The first formula 1 pre-season testing of the season gets underway on Wednesday, with the world’s top drivers all expected to be in attendance.
The world-famous Circuit de Barcelona plays host to the practice sessions, with two separate tests of three days each.
Home of the Spanish Grand Prix, the 4,655-kilometre track was built as part of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, with Nigel Mansell battling out Ayrton Senna on its debut in F1.
The circuit consists of high and low speed corners, and presents the perfect opportunity for drivers to test their cars ahead of the upcoming season.
It’s the 70th anniversary of F1, and with this season’s calendar featuring an unprecedented 22 Grand Prix races.
The campaign gets underway with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in March, and ends with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. And Vietnam is the latest addition to the schedule.
There has, however, been fears that the event at Hanoi will be cancelled. The worry comes after April’s Chinese GP has already been postponed. But the sport’s governing body have confirmed that the Vietnam GP will go ahead in April as expected.
The top drivers will be ready to go this week in Barcelona. And Lewis Hamilton is gearing up for a potential seventh world title.
Victory this season will bring him level with all-time record holder Michael Schumacher. But the Briton could surpass the F1 legend’s record of 91 GP victories should he maintain his average of ten wins a season since 2014.
Hamilton is available at 4/6 to win the 2020 Drivers World Championship.
Charles Leclerc is currently 11/2, with Max Verstappen available at 6/1. Valtteri Bottas is 15/2 to win it this time around, while Sebastian Vettel is currently 8/1.
Alexander Albon and Daniel Ricciardo find themselves outsiders at 100/1 and 300/1 respectively.
And in the Constructors Championship, Mercedes are favourites to clinch success at 2/5.
They are ahead of Ferrari and Red Bull at 7/2 and 5/1 respectively, with McLaren huge outsiders at 300/1.
Hamilton and Mercedes are, therefore, leading the race to retain their respective world titles. And they’ve been busy working behind the scenes in 2020. Their new car enjoyed its first run at a private test at Silverstone on Friday.
Official testing begins at the Circuit de Catalunya circuit from Wednesday 19 to Friday 21. The second session then gets underway a week later.