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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Daniel Ricciardo can return to the podium

Lewis Hamilton looks strong after snatching pole in Spain

Daniel Ricciardo could make his mark for Red Bull in Barcelona
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Spanish Grand Prix
Sky Sports F1, 2.10pm Sunday

Barcelona is a wonderful track for teams to test their F1 cars at as it provides a great all-round test of performance. It doesn’t always make for a tremendous spectacle on race days, however, as overtaking can be difficult.

Three of the last four races at the circuit have been won by the Mercedes on pole and the other one would almost certainly have been as well but for the two Silver Arrows colliding with each other.

Lewis Hamilton is on pole and not a bad price for victory, although punters might want to be cautious as none of the leading teams’ latest upgrades have been tested over a long distance yet and Ferrari and Red Bull are clearly not far behind Mercedes on pace.

Top tip
D Ricciardo podium finish
The Premier League’s big six are a class apart from the rest and the F1 grid is beginning to have a similar look with more than eight-tenths of a second separating the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers from the Haas of Kevin Magnussen in qualifying.

But there may be less between the leading six than we have seen in the past after the improvements the teams have made for the start of the traditional European campaign.

Red Bull have looked right back on the pace in Spain and China winner Daniel Ricciardo could well get in the mix for a podium place.

The obvious stumbling block is the need to get past teammate Max Verstappen and the Australian may be extra cautious after ramming his colleague in Baku, but he showed plenty of pace on the harder of the tyre compounds used in qualifying and can get involved with the battle for the podium.

Other markets
Haas double points finish
Haas haven’t been able to live up to the hype their impressive pre-season test times in Barcelona brought, but they look back on form after returning to the Spanish circuit.

Kevin Magnussen is best of the rest in seventh with Romain Grosjean tenth and with no one obviously out of position behind them a reliable race day could bring a double points finish.

That outcome has shorted from 5-2 to 5-6 with bet365 this week and it’s no surprise.

D Riccardo podium finish
1pt 10-3 Hills, Sky Bet
Haas double points finish
1pt Evs Betway

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Three of the last four races at the circuit have been won by the Mercedes on pole
E.W. Terms
Sky bet