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Hamilton can end Spanish Grand Prix hoodoo with a first 2013 victory

The European stint of the Formula One season will soon be upon us with the 22 drivers heading to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix and the one thing instantly noticeable looking at the previous results is the lack of repeat winners of the race.

In fact, there has been a different winner in each of the last seven seasons, with Pastor Maldonado the most recent last year.

The one name absent from this roll of honour is Lewis Hamilton and although the results suggest this is not one of his favoured circuits, Coral’s 16/1 that he triumphs for the first time in 2013 looks a bet worth taking.

Hamilton’s first season at Mercedes has started better than arguably even he would have visualised. He is third in the drivers’ standings after top-five finishes in each of the opening four races.

This includes podiums in Malaysia and China, despite the fact that his McLaren has had its problems with overheating tyres.

A return to Europe may well help in this regard and Hamilton’s record at the Circuit de Catalunya is fairly solid, even if race victories and pole positions are absent.

In his six previous trips to Spain, the 2008 world champion has finished higher than he started on the grid on five occasions, with the one exception being when he suffered a puncture on the penultimate lap in 2010 when running second at the time.

In four of these six visits, he has started from the front five on the grid, while he qualified with the fastest time last year but was demoted to the back of the grid due to not having enough fuel to make it back to the pits.

Spurred on by the desire to get a first race victory for Mercedes and the chance to improve on two previous runner-up finishes in Barcelona, a win for Hamilton would additional shorten his current price of 14/1 to become world champion again.