Mercedes took pole position in both China and Bahrain, and while neither Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg could convert them into race wins, there’s still plenty of value for the Silver Arrows drivers to start the Spanish Grand Prix from the front.
The one-lap strength of the Mercedes W04 is also it’s biggest handicap. It’s ability to heat it’s tyres up quickly also means it overhearts them too, thus suffering badly in races.
But over a lap they are a match for anybody. And the sweeping bends or Barcelona should allow Hamilton and Rosberg to produce quick single laps throughout qualifying.
The Montmelo circuit’s long pit straight will play to the prowess of the Mercedes engine too, and 6/1 for Hamilton and particularly 8/1 for the underrated Rosberg represents excellent value.
Of course the likes of Sebastian Vettel will provide a threat in Saturday’s qualifying shootout.
The German took pole in the opening two rounds this season taking his total to a remarkable 38, but a price of 5/4 for the three-time champion to start from P1 in Barcelona could be a risk given the competition around him.
Fernando Alonso at 5/1 is the joker in the pack this weekend.
Five pole positions in his last 101 races isn’t much to shout about and he hasn’t been on pole since the German Grand Prix in July last year.
But the Spaniard has been third on the grid in the past three races, and often produces the goods in front of his home crowd.
Anyone looking for an outsider should look to Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.
Raikkonen’s one lap pace often hindered him last season, but second place on the grid China suggests the Finn may be getting on top of things at a 10/1 bet placed each-way could prove a wise move.
Felipe Massa meanwhile is showing some fine form this season, and is regularly pushing team leader Alonso hard.
The Brazilian has qualified in the top five at every round this season, and is a great price at 20/1 to be at the pointy end of the grid, again perhaps placed each-way.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing