Spanish Grand Prix Betting: Rosberg's Race Pace Gives Him A Real Chance

A trio of home drivers line up on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix - but it's not worth putting money on any of them.

Not even two-times world champion Fernando Alonso. He may have 32 Grand Prix trophies on his mantlepiece but major names in the sport are questioning whether he'll ever win again having pledged his future to the faltering McLaren-Honda project. His odds on winning this weekend are a dizzying 751.0.

Rookie Carlos Sainz Jnr would seem to have a better chance of winning this weekend, as his Toro Rosso is at least capable of picking up points. But the reliability of its Renault power unit is not so hot, hence his even longer odds of 1001. And Roberto Merhi, gamely plugging away with a team which is fortunate just to be on the grid, is the longest shot on the grid at a whopping 7501. You'd get better odds on Kimi Raikkonen saying something interesting in the press conference.


Odds growing on Rosberg success

AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 : News Photo

These long odds serve to illustrate Formula One is a one-sided affair at the moment. Only four drivers are at less than 101.0 to win on Sunday. Encouragingly, all of them are reasonably close, as a resurgent Ferrari has kept Mercedes more than honest in the opening rounds: Sebastian Vettel pinched a win in Malaysia and Raikkonen was probably no more than two laps away from doing the same in Bahrain when the chequered flag fell.

Lewis Hamilton, winner of the other three races this year, is the clear favourite on 1.50. Team mate Nico Rosberg is by far the better bet at 3.50 - his race pace has been at least as good as Hamilton's on several occasions, and there's every indication that if he can just out-qualify his team mate on Saturday - something he managed more often than not last year - a much-needed victory is within his grasp.

The Rosberg faithful would do well to note how long his odds of winning the drivers' championship have grown. He's only 27 points behind Hamilton with 375 available over the rest of the season, yet his odds on championship success have risen to 9.00


Two teams in it

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain : News Photo

And what about those Ferraris? The red cars have thrived at venues where tyre management is key, and the Circuit de Catalunya could play into their hands. The front tyres take a pounding here, particularly on the left, and if Ferrari exhibit the strong long-run pace we've seen them manage at other tracks they'll be well-placed for race day.

They'd love a bit of help from the Spanish sun as well, and with temperatures forecast to exceed 25C they look likely to get it. They don't have the performance over a single lap to threaten in qualifying, but those race day odds of 7.00 for Vettel and 8.00 for Raikkonen are worth pondering. Both are past winners at this track - Vettel once, Raikkonen twice - but Vettel's superior qualifying form at the moment makes him the pick of the pair.

The Spanish race usually see teams bring a raft of upgrades. Red Bull, whose car looks tailor-made for Catalunya's sweeping bends, are obvious candidates for a step forward. While they are unlikely to be in the hunt for victory - Daniel Ricciardo is on 301.0 to win - you may be able to pick up a good price on a podium finish for him or Daniil Kvyat as race day approaches.


Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic