12 months ago, Max Verstappen stunned the Formula One collective with an outstanding debut victory with Red Bull at the circuit de Catalunya. This season, Red Bull find themselves with some ground to make up to Ferrari and Mercedes, could a chance of rain on Sunday open up the opportunity for another surprise victory in Spain?
Verstappen races in a league of his own in wet conditions, and with Red Bull bringing enough upgrades to the car to warrant it being dubbed as the RB14, the team could find themselves on for the win this weekend.
Ahead of the weekend, Verstappen remains cautious about the incoming upgrades,
“We have to wait and see what the updates will bring. I hope we can be a bit closer to the top teams or that we can at least follow them. That would already be a good step forward.
“Going back to Spain will always mean a lot to me. Last year was such a special race to me and in the end we managed to pull it off. It was an incredible feeling once I passed the finish line, especially in your first race with a new team.”
– Max Verstappen
There’s a 40% of rain on Sunday, so even if the upgrades don’t bridge the gap, this would play into Max Verstappen’s favour. One of his biggest rivals this weekend will be Lewis Hamilton, who has a habit of bouncing back ferociously from bad weekends. 4th in Sochi wasn’t good enough by his standards, so expect him to be at his best this weekend. He didn’t finish the Grand Prix last year after the dramatic collision with Nico Rosberg on the opening lap, it’s important he regains momentum in the title fight against Vettel.
The Ferrari driver can manage a race from the front like no other, it is the foundation with which he gained his titles at Red Bull, the Spanish Grand Prix is critical to get right for Ferrari and provides the first real opportunity for things to go wrong, their updates need to match Mercedes’ at least.
If it rains in Spain, not on the plane but on the circuit, then Verstappen could cause a major upset around the circuit de Catalunya this weekend.