The 2021 title battle looks like a straight fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Having one of the two protagonists and one of this year’s only race winners should be a priority if you’re looking for pole or race win points.
Hamilton at 33.3m is a hefty investment while Verstappen’s 25.3m gives you a little bit more wriggle room, but the Mercedes driver is aiming for five consecutive Spanish GP victories this weekend.
Lando Norris is the star performer in the best of the rest squabble behind the top teams and he still retains third in the drivers’ championship after three races despite his McLaren not looking like a race-winning car on pure pace.
Ones to watch
Fernando Alonso’s Portugal pace might have been the first signs of his old self rising to the surface on his return. While the Spaniard had struggled to get to grips with the Alpine A521 during pre-season testing and the first two rounds of the season, he showed that he can put together a good race and scored his first on-track points finish of the season.
While Ocon appears to have the measure of his team-mate, the 15.0m price tag for the two-time champion might be off-putting until he can get a true rhythm going, but his Portimao promise is something to keep an eye on.
Sergio Perez showed a bit more of what we’d expected pre-season, using his experience to make a long race stint on the medium tyres work for fourth position at the Portuguese GP.
The Mexican has adopted the Verstappen set-up in the hopes of getting on terms with his highly-rated team-mate quicker but has found it hard work so far this season. His first representative finish of the year could be a catapult for the second Red Bull driver to disrupt the Mercedes duo at the front.
Ones to avoid
Nikita Mazepin should be on the no-fly list for your F1 Fantasy team immediately. If he wasn’t already, his spin on his first flying lap around the Circuit de Catalunya Barcelona should set you off right away.
Likewise, Nicholas Latifi is outclassed by team-mate George Russell on a Saturday and is unlikely to make up those lost points on Sunday with positional gain versus his starting grid position.
Sebastian Vettel’s Q3 heights in Portugal appear to be a false dawn for Aston Martin as the team struggles to get on top of the regulation changes arising from the floor changes and apparent benefit to the high-rake concept cars.
The team showed positive pace in FP1 but was off the boil in the second race-relevant FP2 session. Be warned.
Valtteri Bottas had his chance in a dry session to show that he had the pace to contend for a title in Portugal but was well down on Verstappen and Hamilton, dropping to P3 after a mistake on his outlap allowed the Red Bull driver to pounce for second position. Beyond a strong qualifying position, he’s looking unlikely to contend for a race victory with his rivals in such top form.
Spanish Grand Prix picks
Lewis Hamilton (33.3m)
Lando Norris (13.8m)
Charles Leclerc (17.9m)
Esteban Ocon (10.2m)
Mick Schumacher (5.7m)