Our F1 expert backs a Hamilton win and an Alonso surprise in Spain

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After four rounds, the traditional F1 curtain raiser to the European season takes place this weekend with the Spanish Grand Prix.

It’s a track the teams know well, with pre-season testing taking place on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, including eight days of running earlier this year.

But it’s also the race where many teams bring upgrades to try and improve performance, potentially mixing up the pecking order.

So who will succeed and who will be caught out? Here’s three markets to keep an eye on ahead of the race weekend.

Lewis Hamilton to win @ 13/8

One win in four races isn’t exactly the sort of form Lewis Hamilton has become accustomed to over the past few years, but the Ferrari challenge this season has brought an end to the Mercedes dominance.

That said, there are obvious weaknesses in the Mercedes car that the team is looking to fix – notably surrounding tyre usage – and it feels there is more potential in the W08 than has been seen so far this year.

Dips in form rarely linger for the triple world champion, so expect him to be back on it this weekend.

Lance Stroll to score points @ 11/10

It hasn’t been the easiest start to life in F1 for Lance Stroll, with the Canadian rookie retiring from the opening three races.

He finally got a full distance under his belt in Russia, but was unable to match the performance of team-mate Felipe Massa and failed to score.

Stroll was still learning at the first four circuits but has F1 experience in Spain courtesy of pre-season testing and the Williams looked strong at this track over the winter, so the 18-year-old will have the package to get in the points.

Fernando Alonso to reach Q3

Want an outside bet? How about the Spaniard to deliver at home. Alonso has not reached Q3 this year due to Honda’s problems, and was the best part of a second adrift of doing so in Russia.

But that was a power-sensitive circuit, and Barcelona should see the gap shrink.

If McLaren continues progress with its car and the local hero is energised by the Spanish crowd, a spot in the top ten in qualifying might not be totally out of the question.

You can follow all of Chris’ latest F1 news on his Twitter account right here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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