F1 Spanish Grand Prix – course and distance kings of Catalunya
For the first 14 years that the Spanish Grand Prix took place at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya the race was dominated by repeat winners, with Nigel Mansell, then Michael Schumacher, then Mika Hakkinen, then Michael Schumacher again defending their titles. However since the last of the great German’s wins in 2004 only one man has struck at the track on more than one occasion, Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen – the Finn can be backed to claim a third victory at 4/1 in Coral’s Spanish Grand Prix betting.
Since Kimi Raikkonen scored a first Spanish GP chequered flag back in 2005 his record when completing the race has been consistently high class with fifth, first and third placed finishes in the subsequent races he completed.
That final podium was achieved for current employers Lotus-Renault last season, after his return from a three season stint in the World Rally Championship and kept up the Scandinavian’s record of finishing in the same position or higher than the one he took on the starting grid in each completed Spanish GP since his maiden victory in 2005.
Both the 2007 World Champion’s victories in Spain came off the back of pole position qualifying runs and the qualifying/race double should come under serious consideration. The former Ferrari pilot is more than capable of going fast at Circuit de Catalunya, having set the track record of 1:21.670 in 2008.
Consistency was the name of the game for Raikkonen last season as he went an entire campaign without being forced out of a race early. The Lotus looks reliable this term too, with neither he nor team-mate Romain Grosjean failing to cross the finish line in a race to date.
Raikonnen has taken his place on the podium of three of the first four races of the campaign and may have got a fair bit nearer than seventh in Malaysia – had he not been penalised three grid places for blocking Nico Rosberg in qualifying – meaning a highly competive Spanish Grand Prix performance could be in the offing from the Finn on the second weekend of May.