Spanish Grand Prix Betting

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The very first event known as the Spanish Grand Prix was held in 1913 on a 300-kilometre road circuit near Madrid. By 1923, a permanent two-kilometre oval track had been built at Sitges for staging the annual event, but it was soon consumed by financial difficulties and the venue shifted to Circuito Lasarte on Spain’s northern coast in 1926.

For several years, through the woes of the Great Depression, Grand Prix racing was an on-again off-again affair in Spain, until the last edition was conducted in 1935, just before the country erupted into its historic civil war. An attempt was made to revive the Spanish Grand Prix at the Pedralbes Circuit in Barcelona in 1946, but it was not until 1951 that Spain officially rejoined the F1 calendar.

Unfortunately, four years later, Pedralbes had to be dropped from the race schedule due to safety issues raised after a tragic and fatal crash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. In the late 1960s, a circuit outside Madrid called Jarama was created and the old track at Montjuic near Barcelona was renovated, so that the Spanish Grand Prix could be alternated between them.

Again, a tragic accident in 1975 caused the Montjuic track to be vacated and then the Jarama was abandoned in 1981. Realizing the Spanish Grand Prix needed a permanent home, the Mayor of Jerez commissioned a new circuit in his town, completing the Circuito Permanente de Jerez in time to host the second of sixteen Grand Prix events on the F1 calendar in 1986. The Jerez track served admirably for another four years.

Meanwhile, the state of Catalonia had embarked on a mission to return Formula One racing to prominence in conjunction with the Barcelona Olympics slated for 1992. Construction of a new race track was undertaken by a consortium made-up of the Catalan Government, the Reial Automòbil Club de Catalunya (RACC) and the Montmeló Town Council, and in February 1989, the foundation stone of Circuit de Catalunya was laid.

By 1991, the new course was ready. It featured a 4.655-kilometre track with sixteen turns, nine of which were right-handed and the remaining six left-handed. The main straight was twelve metres wide and 1,047 metres long. Headquarters were established in an old farm building known as Mas La Moreneta with a modern annex.

Under sanction by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the first Spanish Grand Prix for F1 racing was held here on September 19, 1991 as the fourteenth leg of the Formula One season. The winner of the inaugural 66-lap event was Great Britain’s legendary Nigel Mansell piloting a Williams-Renault—the last of his five wins that year, which would land in him second place overall behind Brazil’s great Ayrton Senna.

Since then, the Spanish Grand Prix has been held every year under the official name “Gran Premio de España,” usually in April or May as the fourth or fifth event of the F1 season. The driver with the most wins here is Germany’s Michael Schumacher with six victories between 1995 and 2004. The leading constructor is Ferrari with eleven championships since 1956 and eight of them coming since the opening of the Circuit de Catalunya.

Following the turn of the new millennium, sponsorship has been provided for the Spanish Grand Prix by Marlboro, Telefónica and, most recently, Santander. The track is now served by sixteen public grandstands and two “V grandstands” featuring hospitality service, a permanent racing exhibition and an official merchandise store.

Ante post wagering on the Spanish Grand Prix is heavy for the outright winner among F1 drivers as well as constructors. After the starting positions are known, betting follows the winner of the pole position at lower odds.

Those seeking higher payouts may wish to invest in a dual forecast, selecting two drivers to finish the race first and second, in either order. There are also markets for who will make it to the podium (top three finishers), who will finish in the points (top ten finishers), and what the fastest official lap speed will be, among others. Of course, pre-race bets can be placed on the fastest qualifier, too.

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