Best bet for the Spanish Grand Prix revolves around Ricciardo
If only one of Red Bull duo Daniel Ricciardo or Max Verstappen could have gone a little quicker during qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Two notable statistics in recent years is that no driver has won the Spanish Grand Prix more than once in the last nine years and 23 of the last 25 victors have started the race from the front row of the grid.
But with Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualifying on pole and second respectively at the Circuit de Catalunya this time, at least one of these statistics is bound to end. Rosberg took the chequered flag 12 months ago in Spain and Hamilton did the same in 2014.
Ricciardo and Verstappen, in his first race for the team after being upgraded from Toro Rosso, have never triumphed before, but are best set to capitalise on any Mercedes mishaps. They fill the second row.
The former got to within 0.680 seconds of pace-setter Hamilton during qualifying, which in F1 terms is a relatively large gap. However, based on qualifying in recent years, this is a fine achievement.
Sebastian Vettel chased the Mercedes pair in qualifying last year, but was 0.777 seconds from pole, while in 2014 Ricciardo was third on the grid again, but over a complete second adrift of Hamilton.
Ricciardo went on to convert his third in qualification to a podium finish on that occasion, while Vettel did the same 12 months ago. In both years, the front three on the grid finished in the same order.
This bodes well for Red Bull’s Australian securing a deserved first podium of the season in Spain, having opened the campaign with three consecutive fourth-placed finishes in his home race, Bahrain and China. He was only 11th in Russia last time, having been the innocent victim of an incident on the first corner which caused an unplanned pit stop.
Ricciardo is 5/4 to finish on the podium in Spain and 16/1 to be the race winner.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.