Spanish GP preview: Hamilton hoping to hunt down unbeaten Rosberg

Daniil Kvyat has returned to Toro Rosso for the remainder of the 2016 season
Daniil Kvyat has returned to Toro Rosso for the remainder of the 2016 season

Nico Rosberg arrives for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya as the unbeaten man of the 2016 FIA F1 World Championship.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas racer has won all four of the Grands Prix held so far this season, and having won the final three events of 2015, the German is on a current seven race winning streak.

Despite having scored a maximum 100 points from his four starts this season, Rosberg is keen to state that he is not yet comfortable regarding talk of a possible world championship victory.

Speaking this week, he said: “Of course people will start to say that I can become the champion this season, but we have only had four races.

“Yes, I have won them all but with 25 points available for each victory, it wouldn’t take many bad races to have my lead cut right back.

“This year we have a massive number of races – the largest season of F1 ever.

“That is great as I try to win more races, but it also gives everyone else ample opportunities to win and catch me.

“I am just taking one race at a time and trying to win this race and the next as well.”

Despite not starting the season as he would have hoped, Lewis Hamilton is still placed second in the Drivers’ Standings with his Brackley-based Mercedes.

The three-time world champion said: “I haven’t enjoyed the best start to the season, but I have been lucky enough to keep scoring points and good placings despite all of my bad luck.

“My season is far from over but I have to keep my concentration and make sure I don’t make any big mistakes. I can’t afford Nico to gain a massive advantage as I’ll have to work hard to claw back points lost.”

The Spanish Grand Prix is the traditional start to the mainstream European leg of the F1 season, and the Barcelona track is well-known to drivers and teams who use it regularly for pre-season tests.

Rosberg added: “Barcelona is one track we all know really well. We use the track for pre-season testing, and we all have good car set-ups.

“It is not like somewhere like Sochi, where we only see the track once a year. Our experience here will ensure this is a close race and it should provide a good battle for the spectators.”

One driver hoping to make an impression this weekend is Russian racer Daniil Kvyat.

After scoring an impressive podium finish in China for the Red Bull team, which saw him battle hard against the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, the youngster then clashed with the German racer in Sochi which saw him dropped from the Red Bull team.

Swapping places with the highly-rated Max Verstappen, Kvyat has returned to the part Bicester-based Toro Rosso squad – the team he made his debut for in 2014. The Red Bull-supported racer will rejoin Toro Rosso, and race alongside Carlos Sainz Jr. in a Ferrari-powered car.

Speaking this week: Kvyat said, “I am looking ahead to the rest of the 2016 season and I will be doing my very best for Toro Rosso. I enjoyed my time with the team in 2014 before joining Red Bull, and I think we have a good car that will be able score points this season.”

Sainz, who will be driving in his home Grand Prix, is looking to score points for the third time this season having finished in the top ten in Australia and China.

Silverstone-based Sahara Force India are also looking to improve in Spain.

Sergio Perez scored his first points of the 2016 season at the Sochi Autodrom two weeks ago, while Nico Hulkenberg has not collected any points since the opening race in Melbourne.

He said: “I need a good race this weekend to get my season underway again. Everyone in the team is working so hard to make this possible.”