Max Verstappen, Austrian Grand Prix 2018
Max Verstappen, Austrian Grand Prix 2018 | (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Formula 1 2020 | Spanish Grand Prix preview | Verstappen eyes career-first double

  • Round six of the 2020 Formula 1 season takes place in Barcelona this weekend for the Spanish Grand Prix
  • Max Verstappen eyes successive wins for the first time in career after Anniversary GP victory last time out
  • Mercedes faced with power ban, as Sergio Perez returns to paddock in Catalonia
BARCELONA, SPAIN – Max Verstappen goes in search of a career-first back-to-back Formula 1 wins in Catalonia this weekend, at the Spanish Grand Prix.


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Verstappen eyes breakthrough

As Round six of the 2020 Formula 1 season rolls into Barcelona this weekend, Max Verstappen will be seeking to win back-t0-back wins for the first time in his career in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Taking victory last weekend at Silverstone in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, the Red Bull Driver claimed his first chequered flag this campaign, ending five wins on the bounce for Mercedes.

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The Dutchman is yet to win successive races in since his debut in 2016, but after Red Bull enjoyed a top five double in the furnace of Silverstone last time out, Barcelona is set to offer yet hotter track conditions approaching 50 degrees over the weekend.

Nine wins to his name over four seasons may not be the most impressive record for Verstappen but with his – on paper – best chance to make it two on the trot this weekend, the youngest F1 race winner in history could see number ten as quite the platform to build on.


Mercedes’ power-mode ban

After their latest monopoly of an F1 season start was finally broken, Mercedes will be looking to move on from their tyre tribulations at Silverstone.

Still with a sizeable 67-point Constructors’ Championship lead, the team may have a different problem to contend however, with F1 bosses considering implementing a rule that would prevent the use of high-power modes in qualifying, with which rivals believe Mercedes have an advantage.

The rule would force teams to use a single engine mode throughout a race weekend, but as Lewis Hamilton told BBC Sport, the Briton does not believe it will adversely affect Mercedes’ team performance:

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“It is obviously to slow us down but I don’t think it will get the result they want.

They’re always trying to slow us down but it doesn’t change a huge amount for us.”

Mercedes have reportedly been working long hours behind the scenes to rectify their problems of the past fortnight.

With Pirelli set to supply its’ three hardest tyre compounds in Barcelona, the fierce temperatures in Spain however, could be the least of their problems to come.


Perez returns to fold

This weekend in Catalonia will see Sergio Perez return to the paddock after testing negative for coronavirus.

Contracting COVID-19 last month, the 30-year-old was forced to miss both the British GP and last weekend’s Anniversary race but will line up again for Racing Point in Barcelona.

The first driver to test positive, Perez was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg for the past two weekends at Silverstone, who will now be stood down for Round six.

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The Mexican returns to the paddock with his team embroiled in a ‘copying’ row, after the manufacturer were handed down a points deduction and substantial fine last weekend.

Whilst a cloud continues to hang over his team, Perez will be keen to get back to the track after a difficult two weeks but with eyes on Racing Point from all angles, Perez can expect an awkward return to F1.


Vettel chassis solution?

2020 has been a year to forget for many the world over and the case is no less true for Ferrari, whose struggles have left many baffled as to the Prancing Horse’s sudden fall from relative grace.

Sebastian Vettel‘s first five races of the season have underlined their problems but ahead of the Spanish GP, the soon to depart four-time world champion may have pinpointed his troubles.

With Charles Leclerc‘s claiming Scuderia’s two lone podium finishes, Vettel meanwhile has found himself battling at the wrong end of the points but set to race in Spain with a new chassis, may be on for better favour in Barcelona.

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Identifying his car’s monocoque, Ferrari believe the lack of rigidity in the car’s outer shell could be to blame for Vettel’s lack of performance at Silverstone – spinning on the opening lap last time out – which could propel the German back up the field.

Regardless, as the rumour mill continues to turn as to his whereabouts next season, Vettel will be eager to resurrect his failings this term ahead of F1’s two-week break before Spa at the end of the month.


The 2020 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix takes place this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.


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