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Event: Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana
Date: June 4, 2023, 9:00 a.m. EST
Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Location: Catalonia, Spain
Circuit length: 4.657 km
Race distance: 307.236 km
Driver: Max Verstappen, Red Bull (2021), Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (2017-2021)
Constructor: Red Bull (2021), Mercedes (2017-2021)
Fastest lap: 1:18.149 Max Verstappen, Red Bull (2021)*
*Different track layout than 2023
HOW THE F1 SPANISH GP SETS UP
After six complete races on the 2023 F1 calendar, both Red Bull and Max Verstappen are in a commanding lead in championship points standings. Verstappen (144 pts.) sits first in the Drivers Championship, followed by teammate Sergio Perez (105 pts.), Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso (93 pts.), and the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton (69 pts.) and George Russell (50 pts.)
In the Constructors Championship, Red Bull is far ahead with 249 pts., with Aston Martin (120 pts.) and Mercedes (119 pts.) fighting hard for second place. Ferrari (90 pts.) is trying to find the pace to bring the team back into contention in Spain. While point totals drop off greatly from there, every F1 team has managed to score at least one point so far in the 2023 season, which is good to see.
In key storylines leading up to the 2023 F1 Spanish GP, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will revert to its original and faster layout for 2023. We can also expect a lot of teams to make technical upgrades this weekend, and Red Bull is apologizing over an embarrassing incident caught by the media in Monaco.
Let’s get into what should make the 2023 F1 Spanish Grand Prix a great race to watch.
3 REASONS THE 2023 SPANISH GRAND PRIX IS A GREAT RACE TO WATCH
- The Track
First raced in the 1991 Formula 1 season, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a purpose-built F1 track used by teams as a key preseason testing place to develop both cars and drivers. The track has a bit of everything: fast DRS straights, a range of challenging corners, a smooth surface, and superb sightlines throughout for both fans and broadcast coverage. Here’s the view from the cockpit when Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc set the fastest qualifying time to claim P1 on the grid for the start of the 2022 Spanish GP.
For 2023, a portion of the track that was converted to a low-speed chicane for several F1 seasons is being restored to a faster straight — this will bring lap times down significantly. Truly, Spain may be the best place to watch an F1 race anywhere in the world in 2023.
- The Car Upgrades
Because F1 teams are so familiar with what their cars can and should be able to do around this circuit, they bring a lot of new technical upgrades to Spain every season. In a nutshell, that means cars are mechanically tweaked to run faster and more aerodynamically heading into the Spanish GP. This will make for a feel-out period in Free Practice, some quick lap times in Qualifying, and should result in some excellent racing for Sunday’s championship points race.
- The Constructors Battle
While Red Bull Racing is clearly the class of the field in 2023, Aston Martin, Mercedes, and Ferrari are locked into a close battle for spots two through four, and Spain is a great opportunity to gain an edge heading toward the back half of the season. Expect Aston Martin and Mercedes to go wheel-to-wheel here, with Ferrari making a big push to get on the podium and stay in the battle for second place in the Constructors Championship
2023 SPANISH GP ODDS AND PICKS
Max Verstappen (-330) is the heavy favorite to win in Spain, as he deserves to be. Other top choices include Sergio Perez (+330), Fernando Alonso (+1100), Mercedes Lewis Hamilton (+2000), and George Russell (+2000). The best car usually wins in Spain and Red Bull has the best car in 2023. That said, I like Mercedes to push for a Top-3 finish here and challenge Aston Martin for second in the Constructors Championship points. I don’t think Haas or Alfa Romeo will collect any points here, but I’ll be surprised if Mclaren and Alpha Tauri do not.
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