2021 F1 preview: Spanish Grand Prix

It is race weekend once again in Formula 1 with the Spanish Grand Prix, only a week after a Grand Prix took place in the neighboring country of Portugal. In the Portuguese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton won a three-way battle over Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas to pick up his 97th win in F1.

Hamilton starts on pole for the 100th time in F1, the first driver in history to ever reach triple-digit poles in a career. He has won the last four Spanish Grand Prix and looks to win his sixth-career race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The last time Hamilton did not win at Spain was in 2016, a race that saw teammate Nico Rosberg collide with Hamilton, taking both Mercedes drivers out of the race on lap 1. Verstappen, who made his Red Bull Racing debut, won the Grand Prix, becoming the youngest-ever race winner and the first Dutch driver to win a race in F1.

Speaking of Verstappen, he will start second as he attempts to close his eight-point deficit in the driver standings behind Hamilton. Both Hamilton and Verstappen have finished first and second in all three races in 2021. Fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez will start eighth after spinning in Q3.

Bottas will start third. He has finished third in two of the first three races of the season while posting the fastest lap of the race in both of those races. He sits fourth in the driver standings, five points behind Lando Norris.

Charles Leclerc will start fourth for Ferrari, looking to rebound after a DNF in the Spanish GP last year. Leclerc has finished in the top six in all three races to start 2021. His Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz, will start sixth.

Esteban Ocon qualified fifth, the first time he placed in the top five in qualifying since the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix. His teammate, Fernando Alonso, will start 10th, making it the first time this season both Alpine drivers made it to Q3.

Daniel Ricciardo will start seventh and Norris will start ninth for McLaren. Ricciardo outqualifies Norris for the third time in four races this year despite trailing Norris by 21 points in the driver standings. Heading into this race, McLaren is the only team to have both of their drivers finish in the top 10 in every race this season.

For the first time this season, both AlphaTauri drivers missed Q3 as Pierre Gasly will start 12th and Yuki Tsunoda will start 16th.

If you are watching in the United States, coverage for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix will begin at 9:00 a.m. EST. You can catch the race on ESPN.

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