Spanish Grand Prix
Location: Montmelo, Spain
Course: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Course Length: 4.655 KM
Max Verstappen has suddenly won three of five races, finishing atop the podium each of the last two races. After it appeared that Ferrari and Charles Leclerc had the potential to run away with both the Constructors and Drivers Championships, Red Bull and Verstappen own all of the momentum. Despite not living up to the extremely high standards of the last half-decade, Mercedes has established itself as the top team among the midfield pack. There's been parity after that, as Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Alpine have shown glimpses of strong performance, but have yet to do so consistently.
Heading into the Spanish Grand Prix, Aston Martin will look to insert itself into the conversation, as it has tallied points in each of the last two races. It is among the teams to have reportedly introduced a large upgrade since the Miami GP, and the car now reportedly bears a visual resemblance to the Red Bull. The team hopes the results are also similar.
Key Stats at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Winners from Pole: 23
Fastest Lap: 1:18.149 - Max Verstappen (2021)
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Track Preview
Modern tracks have gotten the majority of attention early this season, but the Barcelona track is a classic that is far more akin to Imola than Miami or Abu Dhabi. Historically, qualifying has played a huge role in the ultimate winner of the race. In addition to the 23 of 31 winners coming from pole, there have only been three winners that did not start on the front row. That could change due to the new regulations and could be the source of value in both DFS and betting contexts. However, we've seen DRS trains spoil some of the racing in the midfield at both Imola and Miami, so there remains some lack of clarity as to how effective the overhaul in rules has been.
Speaking of DRS, the circuit features two zones that are placed after turns 9 and 16. Despite that, the track is taken at full throttle only 39 percent of the time and 51 percent of the distance due to the high number of corners and the resulting technical difficulty. Pirelli has brought the three hardest-compound tires to the track (C1, C2, C3) and the provider expects that the teams will opt for a two-stop strategy. All told, this is a grueling track on both drivers and tires.
DraftKings Value Picks
DraftKings Constructor Values
Red Bull Racing - $11,800
Ferrari - $11,400
Alpine - $5,000
Aston Martin - $3,400
Verstappen and Red Bull appear to have figured out the issues that caused a pair of DNFs in the first three races. When the car has held up, Verstappen has looked dominant. Ferrari is reportedly set to unveil an upgrade this weekend, and if it qualifies faster than Red Bull it's a pretty easy pivot. Bottas has been incredibly consistent and has consistently appeared in the top 5. Priced lower than Lando Norris, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, he presents good value at the top of the midfield. Fernando Alonso is another to consider in Bottas' place, also saving some money to potentially pay up to the likes of Pierre Gasly ($5,600) from Albon or Stroll.
From there, I'm largely looking for the "first driver" from teams. Albon and Magnussen pretty clearly fit that bill. The gap between Stroll and Vettel is a bit closer, and I'd be willing to use Vettel over Stroll depending on the first sessions of the weekend.
This likely will be a pretty chalky build, and duplicated lineups have been a big problem in DraftKings contests. To get a bit contrary, consider mixing up the constructor. Alpine and McLaren are two teams with the potential to nab a pair of top-10 finishes. If Aston Martin's upgrades appear to have pushed it up the pack, it is a nice punt play given it's already fought for points in recent races — albeit largely on the basis of good fortune.
Best Bets (Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook)
Team of Winning Driver - Red Bull (-105)
Grid Position of Winner - Pole (-150)
Due to the importance of qualifying, odds are not available for the winning driver at the time of this writing. However, there are still plenty of options from which to choose. Ferrari led FP1, which made it the favorite constructor (-115) for the weekend, so I'd immediately jump on the very slight value of Red Bull. Similarly, I like Perez for a podium finish because that likely will require that he beats Carlos Sainz, which he has done in two of the last three races (two of five times for the season). Fernando Alonso and Alpine have been fast all season but haven't gotten the results. It could be another frustrating weekend for them, but I like their odds for a top-six finish and they as a darkhorse for a podium if we get some chaos. As discussed in the introduction, I like Aston Martin as a team to potentially push two cars into the top 10 for the weekend, and it doesn't seem to be getting much respect.
I'm more willing to turn to the narrative in F1 as opposed to other traditionally North American sports. With that in mind, both Alonso and Sainz are racing in their home grand prix.