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Everything you need to know about the Spanish Grand Prix

todayJune 22, 2024 20

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Jun 19, 2024, 12:16 PM ET

Canada’s thrilling race livened up the 2024 season, and Formula One heads to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for round 10.

Spain marks the start of the triple header, and a return to Europe with Austria and the British Grand Prix to follow.

Formula One first came to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 1991 when the circuit was built for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. It’s also the home race for Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz, and one that drivers love, having spent many years of winter testing here.

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40385359Spanish drivers Carlos Sainz (L) and Fernando Alonso at their home race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Circuit stats & history

The first race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 1991 provided one of its most iconic battles as Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna fought for second place early in the race. With sparks flying from the underside of the cars, Mansell passed Senna into Turn One, only for Senna to regain the position in the pits and lose it again when he spun a few laps later. Mansell went on to win the race with another daring overtake on Gerhard Berger at Turn One.

Michael Schumacher’s first victory with Ferrari came at a soaking wet Spanish Grand Prix in 1996. In a car that was a long way off the pace of the dominant Williams in the dry, he mastered the conditions to pick his way through the field from sixth at the start and win by over 45 seconds.

The fierce rivalry between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton came to a head at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix when the Mercedes teammates collided on the opening lap at Turn Four. The two drivers blamed each other while the team blamed them both, adding to tensions already building within Mercedes during one of its most dominant periods in F1. Max Verstappen took advantage of the situation and won the race on his debut for Red Bull.

Laps: 66 laps of 4.6km. Total distance – 307km.

Lap record: 1:16.330 – Max Verstappen (2023)

Most wins: Hamilton and Schumacher are tied on six wins at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Of the remaining current grid, Verstappen has three (2016, 2022, 2023), Alonso has two (2006, 2013).

Most poles: Schumacher has seven (1994-1995, 2000-2004), while Hamilton is one behind on six (2014, 2016-2018, 2020-2021). Of the remaining current grid, Verstappen (2023), Alonso (2006), Charles Leclerc (2022), Valtteri Bottas (2019), all have one.

40385359Max Verstappen won in 2023, with Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell on the podium. Adam Pretty/Getty Images

What happened last year

A routine victory for Verstappen came as no surprise as the Dutch driver notched up his 40th career win after leading every lap.

There was a glimmer of hope for Mercedes, which filled second and third place on the podium following a recent upgrade to its car, but it proved to be a false dawn in the team’s development programme and, ultimately, its high point of the season.

Ferrari struggled, with Sainz dropping from second on the grid to fifth at the finish and Leclerc qualifying 19th and failing to feature in the top ten in the race.

Who’s going to win?

A return to a purpose-built race track with high-speed corners should favour championship leaders Red Bull, making Verstappen the driver to beat in Spain.

The limitations of the RB20’s suspension have been exposed over kerbs and bumps at recent rounds, but the layout of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya should play to its strengths in fast corners.

The relative performance of the Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes should give a good indication of how competitive the second half of the season will be among the top teams.

40385359(Pictured) The gothic cathedral Collegiate Basilica of Santa Maria Seu in Manresa city in Catalonia, on the outskirts of Barcelona. Sergi Reboredo/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

How to watch the GP

Watch on ESPNEWS and ESPN+ (U.S. only).

Live broadcast coverage in the U.K. is on Sky Sports F1, and BBC Radio 5 Live, with Sunday’s highlights on Channel 4.

For news, analysis and updates, follow the coverage with ESPN’s F1 team Nate Saunders and Laurence Edmondson in Barcelona.

Friday, June 21
Free practice one – 12:30-13:30 BST / 13:30-14:30 CEST (Central European summer time)
Free practice two – 16:00-17:00 BST / 17:00-18:00 CEST.

Saturday, June 22
Free practice three – 11:30-12:30 BST / 12:30-13:30 CEST
Qualifying – 15:00-16:00 BST / 16:00-17:00 CEST.

Sunday, June 23
Race starts – 14:00 BST / 15:00 CEST.

How the championships look

Verstappen continues to lead the drivers’ championship with 194 points, 56 ahead of Leclerc in second. Meanwhile Lando Norris has closed the gap behind the Ferrari driver to just seven points.

Red Bull also lead the constructors’ championship, but Ferrari are only 49 points behind.

Ferrari and McLaren are the only other teams to have won races this year, and having eaten into Red Bull’s dominance, more victories and consistent podiums could see them close that deficit further.

Standings | Calendar | Teams

Written by: Ag Entertainment

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