The German is still the man to take all the beating if his performance in Bahrain is any yardstick, although that was the Red Bull driver’s first win of the season and it only just edges him ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place.
Perhaps Red Bull Racing are getting their act together after an inauspicious start and Vettel is the favourite to reign in Spain, with odds of 11/4 (bet365 £200 free bets) available about the 2010 and 2011 champion.
Hamilton is out to deny the 24-year-old a hat-trick of titles and his 8th place in Bahrain was the first time that the Brit has finished off the podium this term, having claimed 3rd in Australia, Malaysia and China.
McLaren’s latest upgrades appear to have pleased Lewis who claims that his car is already feeling better than it did a fortnight ago and perhaps he can claim his first victory at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. He can be backed at 4/1 (Sportingbet bookmaker) to do so and that seems like a generous price.
Kimi Raikkonen has been the forgotten man of Formula 1 this season, with the Finn managing 7th, 5th and then 14th in his first three races, although 2nd place in Bahrain made everyone sit up and take notice of the 2007 champion.
The 32-year-old now drives for Lotus-Renault and is expected to drive a big race in Spain according to the latest odds which have him priced at 6/1 (Betfred) to take the chequered flag. Raikkonen was the quickest in pre-season testing at Barcelona which might serve as good yardstick.
What about Jenson Button’s chances of a second victory in 2012? It has been a rollercoaster ride for the McLaren driver so far, who has won in Australia and finished second in China but also finished way off the pace on his two other races.
However, with optimism pervading the McLaren team that the cars of himself and Lewis Hamilton are in good nick, there will be plenty of patriotic money going on the more cautious McLaren driver at odds of 5/1.
The Red Bulls, the McLarens and the Lotus’ are expected to finish clear of the pack, although the bookies aren’t taking too many chances with their quotes about Fernando Alonso considering that he claimed a surprise victory in Malaysia.