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Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2024

Red Bull and Verstappen tipped for Spanish GP hat-trick with 'huge advantage'

Red Bull must be seen as Spanish Grand Prix favourites, reckons Ralf Schumacher.

Verstappen Perez
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull must be considered as favourites heading into the Spanish Grand Prix, Ralf Schumacher has declared.

Despite recent troubles with the RB20, Red Bull has still won two of the last three races, with only Charles Leclerc denying Max Verstappen a hat-trick of victories. 

Problems riding the kerbs at Imola, in Monaco and last time out in Montreal has given hope to a three-way championship fight with McLaren and Ferrari both eating into Red Bull's advantage - with the Barcelona circuit ear-marked as a true test of Red Bull's standing.

The circuit is renowned as a 'chassis track', where the mix of medium to high speed corners exposes any weakness in a team's package, with Red Bull's Helmut Marko claiming that if the RB20 struggles, then the team would have a serious problem. 

Verstappen has won both ground effects era races in Spain, with six-time grand prix winner Schumacher tipping the world champion to make it a hat-trick this weekend.

"Barcelona has always been a complicated track and always will be - the best car concept will win," Schumacher explained in his Sky Germany column. 

"All the cars' weaknesses will be exposed. 

"Ferrari will have a bit of trouble with tyre wear again, and Max Verstappen will have a real advantage with the Red Bull.

"This is a track that is no problem for Red Bull. McLaren will be back as all-rounders - with Lando Norris, who has now developed into one of the most sought-after drivers [in F1]."

Mercedes question mark

In Canada, Mercedes had its most competitive showing of the season, aided in part by a new front-wing design. 

However, Schumacher does not believe George Russell or Lewis Hamilton will quite be in contention as they were in Montreal, where Russell bagged pole and the two finished three-four, with Hamilton also snaring fastest lap.

"The question mark will be: Can Mercedes build on Canada? I suspect not quite," Schumacher said.

"[This is] because the strengths of the engine can't be played to the same extent as in Canada, but I hope that the [recent upward] trend continues."


Also interesting:

Join Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, looking ahead to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. 

The trio discuss how significant this weekend is in the title fight, whether Red Bull's advantage will return and if Andrea Kimi Antonelli will now make his F1 debut at just 17 years old. Much, much more is also discussed! 

Rather watch then listen to our podcast? Click here.

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