Spanish F1 Grand Prix 2016: Start Time, Drivers, TV Schedule and More

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2016

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari leads Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP, Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP into the first corner during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 20, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg will look to continue his relentless charge toward the Formula One World Championship at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.

The German’s impeccable beginning to 2016 continued last time out in Russia, as he raced to another comfortable victory. His team-mate and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has a 43-point gap to make up, and you sense he needs to begin closing that advantage with a winning performance in Barcelona on Sunday.

Here is a look ahead to the action, all of the key viewing details and the drivers set to be involved in what is always an absorbing few days of racing in Spain.

Spanish Grand Prix 2016: Formula 1
DateSessionTime (BST)
Friday, May 13Practice 19 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Friday, May 13Practice 21 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 14Practice 310 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Saturday, May 14Qualifying1 p.m.
Sunday, May 15Race1 p.m.
F1 2016: Driver List
TeamDriver 1Driver 2
Scuderia FerrariSebastian VettelKimi Raikkonen
Sahara Force India Formula One TeamSergio PerezNico Hulkenberg
Haas F1 TeamRomain GrosjeanEsteban Gutierrez
McLaren Honda Formula 1 TeamFernando AlonsoJenson Button
Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One TeamLewis HamiltonNico Rosberg
Manor Racing MRTRio HaryantoPascal Wehrlein
Red Bull RacingDaniel RicciardoDaniil Kvyat
Renault Sport Formula One TeamKevin MagnussenJolyon Palmer
Sauber F1 TeamMarcus EricssonFelipe Nasr
Scuderia Toro RossoMax VerstappenCarlos Sainz Jr.
Williams Martini RacingFelipe MassaValtteri Bottas

Action can be watched via Sky Sports F1 (UK) and NBC Sports (US) 

Rosberg on the Charge

Not only has Rosberg been the dominant force in Formula One in the opening weeks of the new season, since Hamilton was crowned as the champion back in the United States, but the German hasn’t lost a race.

He finished 2015 with three wins on the bounce and has carried that positive momentum into the current term in emphatic style. The challenge now, after building up such an impressive lead at this early stage, will be to maintain focus for the remainder of the year. 

SOCHI, RUSSIA - MAY 01:  Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP celebrates his win in parc ferme after the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on May 1, 2016 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Aside from potentially taking a further major step toward his maiden world championship, another possible motivator for Rosberg will be the chance to set a new landmark. A win in Spain would make it eight wins in a row, a run only bettered by Sebastian Vettel during his imperious 2013 campaign, when he won nine in succession.

As noted by the F1 Twitter feed, his win in Russia was arguably the Mercedes man’s most impressive display yet:

Formula 1 @F1

Pole ✅ Fastest lap ✅ Won the race ✅ Led every lap ✅ @nico_rosberg's 1st Grand Slam. More >> https://t.co/0gKBjCXYrp https://t.co/Vggf5kB38P

But what of the chasing pack? As a three-time champion, there’s little chance of Hamilton giving up the ghost early on. Indeed, the man himself has said as much recently, per NBCSN (via Luke Smith of NBC Sports): “There’s still 17 races to go and 17 times I can give him [Rosberg] hell.” 

While things seem to be falling into place perfectly for Rosberg, his team-mate isn’t enjoying much luck at the moment.

In Russia, he was unable to take part in final qualifying because of an issue with his turbo charger, meaning he was 10th on the grid. The round before in China, Hamilton didn’t even feature in qualifying because of issues with reliability, beginning at the back of the field as a result.

Hamilton needs to respond in Spain.
Hamilton needs to respond in Spain.Clive Mason/Getty Images

As we can see here, courtesy of his Instagram account, it seems as though Hamilton has been taking some time to recharge his batteries ahead of this crucial weekend:

Ferrari will be disappointed that despite the troubles suffered by the world champion, Hamilton remains Rosberg’s closest challenger.

Raikkonen and Vettel have had a frustrating start to the season.
Raikkonen and Vettel have had a frustrating start to the season.Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Vettel has failed to finish races on two occasions this season and, after tangling with Daniil Kvyat for the second successive race in Russia, will want to avoid the Toro Rosso man if possible in Catalonia. His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, third last time out, will also want to show a little more over the coming weeks.

As we can see here, this is a circuit at which the Scuderia typically fare pretty well:

Formula 1 @F1

Most wins at @Circuitcat_eng: Teams 8 Ferrari 6 Williams 4 McLaren 2 Red Bull, Mercedes #F1FastFact #SpanishGP #F1 https://t.co/ohp9EUGYsA

Even with Mercedes’ dominance, this is a race that has always been tough to call. Indeed, in the last nine years, there have been nine different winners in the Spanish Grand Prix. It’s a circuit that really tests the technical talents of the drivers, and it’ll be fascinating to see who copes best around the 16 corners come Sunday.

Rosberg was the last winner here, dominating throughout practice, qualifying and on the race day itself. Hamilton will be desperate to claw something back after his poor beginning to the season, although at the moment, it’s tough to look past the German putting in another professional and winning performance.

Prediction: 1. Rosberg, 2. Hamilton, 3. Vettel


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