FORMULA ONE: SPANISH GRAND PRIX
The Spanish Grand Prix has been held, since 1991, at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona, as part of the Formula One Championship.
The Spanish Grand Prix has had something of a troubled past. Following the Civil War, Spain returned to the Formula One calendar in 1951, at the Pedralbes circuit, near Barcelona. The course hosted two Formula One Grands Prix, but the Le Mans Disaster of 1955 meant stricter safety rules and the Pedralbes Circuit was permanently retired as a racing venue. In the 1960s, Spain returned to international motor racing, commissioning a new circuit north of Madrid at Jarama, and refurbishing the Montjuich circuit in Barcelona. Following the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama, it was agreed that the race would alternate between Jarama and Montjuich. The 1975 Grand Prix at Montjuich was marked by tragedy. There had been safety concerns during practice, with dual winner Emerson Fittipaldi retiring in protest after just one lap. On the 26th lap, Rolf Stommelen’s car lost a rear wing and crashed, killing four spectators.
THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX AT CATALUNYA
Work on the Circuit de Catalunya was underway north of Barcelona, and in 1991, the event moved to this new track, where it has remained since. With long straights and a variety of corners, the Circuit de Catalunya is seen as one of the sport’s most important testing grounds. The Circuit de Catalunya is often referred to as “Barcelona” in racing circles, despite the fact that it is located in Montmelo, and should not be confused with Montjuich.
The Catalunya circuit has seen some memorable moments. In the 1991 Spanish Grand Prix, Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell duelled for second place all down the straight, with Mansell eventually gaining the position and subsequently winning the race. In the 1994 Spanish Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher managed to finish in second place, despite driving over half the race distance with only fifth gear. Two years later, in the 1996 renewal, Schumacher took his first win as a Ferrari driver with an assertive performance in the rain. In 2001, Mika Hakkinen suffered a clutch failure while leading the race on the last lap, handing the win to Schumacher. At the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso became the first Spanish Formula One driver to win his home Grand Prix. Since the race moved to Catalunya, the most successful driver has been Michael Schumacher, and the most successful constructor Ferrari, with six wins each.
2007 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2006 Fernando Alonso (Renault)
2005 Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren-Mercedes)
2004 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
2003 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
2002 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
2001 Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
2000 Mika Hakkinen (McLaren-Mercedes)
The 2008 event is scheduled for the 27th April, the fourth race of the Grand Prix season.
BETTING ON THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX
Formula One is the major form of gambling on motor racing. Online betting sites offer some good betting options for the shrewd punter. Successful Formula One betting obviously involves the study of the drivers, but also requires knowledge of the teams and tracks, along with Formula One racing statistics. Each of these criteria is important and has its own relevance for a punter to evaluate. It is also important to keep track of the latest gossip and potential personnel changes. Information is freely available on some excellent Formula One websites. As with any sport, Formula One often throws up an odd result and it is important for punters to be careful and have a balanced approach to their betting. It is impossible to continually back favourites and hope to make money. Formula One offers some good opportunities for punters that are willing to take the time to acquire good information. Along with good research, an in-depth knowledge of the types of bet available can prove a valuable tool.
Types of Bet Available
Most online betting sites offer prices on the winning driver in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Each-way 1/5 the odds 1, 2, 3.
Win only. Available from BetFred, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
Highest Scoring Constructor
Since constructors run two cars per race, online prices are offered on the constructor to score the greatest aggregate points. This bet is available from William Hill.
Driver to finish in the first three places. Available from BetFred, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill.
Finish in Points
Driver to finish “in the points,” i.e. the first eight places. Prices are about one-tenth of the outright win odds. This bet is also available from BetFred, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill.
Number of Finishers
Prices on the number of cars completing the full distance of the race are offered by William Hill and Paddy Power.
Prices on the winning margin are offered by bet365.
First Driver to Retire
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power offers prices on this market.
Number of cars to Retire without Completing One Lap
Also offered by Paddy Power.
Drivers with similar chances are matched against each other, the winner being the one who finishes in the higher position, or in the case of retirements, completes the greatest number of laps. Various matches are available from most online betting sites.
Prices are available on the race winner, whilst it is in progress, from most online bookmakers. Each-way terms may be available, dependent on the state of the race.
Although most interest is on the race itself, prices are available on the previous day’s qualifying sessions, e.g. Pole Position. William Hill, BetFred, bet365 and Ladbrokes offer prices related to qualifying.