Charles Leclerc Leads The Pack After FP1 At Spanish Grand Prix

Written By Nicole Russo on May 20, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Odds

Almost every team in Formula One rolled out major upgrades to their cars for the Spanish Grand Prix odds. After the first practice session of the day, Charles Leclerc leads the rest of the pack with his teammate close behind.

Max Verstappen still tops the Spanish Grand Prix board to win the race at some sportsbooks, but Ferrari is just behind him — if not even.

Formula One Spanish Grand Prix Odds

Max Verstappen
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+115
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+110
Charles Leclerc
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+115
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+150
Carlos Sainz Jr.
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+850
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+800
Lewis Hamilton
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+2100
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+1200
Sergio Perez
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+2200
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+2000
George Russell
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+2200
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+1600
Valtteri Bottas
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+7000
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+8000
Fernando Alonso
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+10000
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+5000
Lando Norris
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+10000
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+10000
Daniel Ricciardo
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+18000
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+20000

No Lack Of Upgrades On The Track

All but one team, Haas, debuted major upgrades at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. For many race fans, this wasn’t a surprise, as most teams in the past have used this track to test new upgrades.

Aston Martin had the most significant changes to its car this weekend — many on social media dubbing the new car the “green Red Bull.”

Max Verstappen set the early lead on hard tires during FP1, but at about the halfway point, Leclerc set the fastest lap with 19.828s. He was just under 0.08s faster than his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. Both Ferrari cars have a new rear wing for the race this weekend.

Verstappen switched to softs later on during the practice session and took P3. Red Bull has been vocal about introducing upgrades to decrease the weight of the car and make it more aerodynamic.

Red Bull’s longtime rival Mercedes fitted new engines to both of its cars as well as new floors. Hamilton also has a new gearbox.

George Russell snagged P4 and Lewis Hamilton secured P6.

Another team to keep an eye on is McLaren, with quite a few new upgrades as well. Norris was just behind Hamilton after FP1 in P7 with teammate Daniel Ricciardo in P9.

Why Upgrade In Barcelona?

Many teams choose to upgrade the cars in Barcelona due to both the timing and the location of the race. Designers and engineers work on the cars’ designs all throughout winter to get them ready for the new season.

By the time May rolls around, teams have had time to see where the cars need/can make gains in performance.

The teams have a good amount of simulation data as well as race data to go off of when the Spanish Grand Prix starts.

The location of the race is another huge factor. Most of the teams have factories relatively close to the track, which makes getting parts for major upgrades to the track on time much easier than flying them to a spot like Miami.

Most F1 drivers are also very familiar with the track. Many junior races and F1 testing sessions happen in Barcelona, so there is no need for drivers to “learn the track” during FP1.

It’s much easier to test major upgrades on a familiar track than on one that is brand new. That is why most of the upgrades we saw in Miami were relatively minor.

The Spanish Grand Prix also provides a good baseline for these upgrades. Teams can compare the car’s performance with the new upgrades to how the cars performed in pre-season testing in Barcelona a few months ago.

Spanish Grand Prix TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, May 22

Time: 9 am ET

Network: ESPN

Photo by Associated Press
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Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is the Brand Content Strategist for TheLines.com. Previously, she covered the gambling industries in Tennessee and Indiana as a content editor for PlayTenn.com and PlayIndiana.com. She comes from the world of poker, leading the marketing efforts for online poker in Nevada and New Jersey with the WSOP. Russo also assisted with the marketing efforts for the Caesars Sportsbook launch in 2019.

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