WEEKEND WARM-UP: Upgrades the talk of the town as the drivers return to Barcelona
The F1 circus is back in Barcelona, where the drivers got their first proper taste of the new generation cars at pre-season running back in February. Since those late winter days, a new pecking order has emerged, with the rivalry up front featuring world champion Max Verstappen – this time going toe to toe with Ferrari hotshot Charles Leclerc.
Will those two be racing wheel-to-wheel this weekend, or can one team start to creep ahead? Many cars will be carrying their first big upgrades here, with boxes arriving all day long in the paddock, before being rapidly smuggled into garages lest anyone catch a glimpse of what’s inside.
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To add to the excitement, the fans are back in force, with Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso feeling the love as they get set to race on home soil. Both have good records here – Sainz has yet to finish outside the points at this track, while this was the last place Alonso tasted victory.
As for Mercedes, this track has been a stronghold for the team in the turbo-hybrid era. But that looks set to change this weekend – unless they have devised a plan to get on top of the bouncing issues that have hampered them all season.
Watch Weekend Warm-Up, presented by Rosanna Tennant, Lawrence Barretto and Sam Collins, in the video player above.