The 2014 Spanish GP preview: Everything you need to know about this weekend's race!

The European season gets underway in Barcelona

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 07/05/14 4:15pm

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    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

F1 returns to its spiritual home of Europe this weekend, with the now traditional opener of this phase of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

Following four flyaway races, this race is poised to be the first time any major upgrade packages are brought to the new-for-2014 cars due to the proximity to the teams' bases.

So read on below as Sky Sports Online provides your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the grand prix weekend.

The 2014 Spanish GP in a nutshell

Track: Circuit de Catalunya. Permanent circuit.

Race start time: 1pm UK time Sunday (2pm local).

Laps: 66.

Track length: 4.655 km.

Tyre allocation: Hard (orange) and Medium (white).

DRS Zones: Two with separate detection points (Pit Straight and between Turns 9 and 10).

Driver steward: Danny Sullivan.

Lap record: Kimi Raikkonen - 1:21.670 (Ferrari; 2008).

2013 pole: Nico Rosberg - 1:20.718 (Mercedes).

Nico Rosberg: Took pole in 2013

Sky Sports F1's schedule

Wednesday 7th May
9pm - Classic Races - Spain 2012.

Thursday 8th May
2pm - Drivers' Press Conference - Live!
6pm - Drivers' Press Conference - Replay.
9pm - Classic Races - Spain 1996.
11:30pm - Gear up for Spain.

Friday 9th May
8:45am - Spanish GP Practice One - Live!
11am - GP2 Practice - Live!
12:45pm - Spanish GP Practice Two - Live!
2:50pm - GP2 Qualifying - Live!
4pm - Team Principals' Press Conference.
5pm - The F1 Show - Live!
9pm - Classic Races - Spain 1981.

Saturday 10th May
8:45am - GP3 Qualifying - Live!
9:45am - Spanish GP Practice Three - Live!
12pm - Spanish GP Qualifying - Live!
2:35pm - GP2 Feature Race - Live!
4:15pm - GP3 Race One - Live!
8:40pm - Ted's Qualifying Notebook.
9pm - Classic Races - Spain 1991.

Sunday 11th May
8:20am - GP3 Race Two - Live!
9:30am - GP2 Sprint Race - Live!
11:30am - The 2014 Spanish GP - Track Parade - Live!
12pm - The 2014 Spanish GP - Race - Live! !
3:30pm - The 2014 Spanish GP - Paddock Live!
6pm - Spanish GP highlights.
7pm - Ted's Notebook.
9pm - Classic Races - Spain 1994.

Form guide

Fernando Alonso took his second win on home soil last year meaning he and Kimi Raikkonen (two) are the only multiple winners currently on the grid. Both though are a long way behind six-time victor Michael Schumacher in the overall victory tallies. Of the other current F1 drivers, Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel and Pastor Maldonado have all stood atop the podium in Spain.

2013 result: 1. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 2. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus); 3. Felipe Massa (Ferrari); 4. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull); 5. Mark Webber (Red Bull); 6. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 7. Paul Di Resta (Force India); 8. Jenson Button (McLaren); 9. Sergio Perez (McLaren); 10. Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso).

Last five winners in Spain: 2013: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 2012: Pastor Maldonado (Williams); 2011: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull); 2010: Mark Webber (Red Bull); 2009: Jenson Button (Brawn).

Fernando Alonso claimed victory on home soil last year

Tyre allocation

For the second time this season, after Malaysia, Pirelli are bringing the hardest two tyres in their range to the Spanish GP. The orange-marked hard tyre will serve as the weekend's 'prime' rubber and the white-marked medium the 'option' choice.

'The Montmelo circuit is well known for putting high-energy loads through the tyres, while ambient temperatures can also be notable at the Spanish Grand Prix,' Pirelli explained. 'Tarmac roughness is quite high, and the tyres on the left-hand side are particularly stressed.'

Sky Bet odds

After the first victory hat-trick of his F1 career, Lewis Hamilton unsurprisingly remains the overwhelming favourite to make it four in a row at Barcelona. Sky Bet are offering odds of 4/7 that the Briton does so, with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg more enticingly priced at 9/4 to end Hamilton's winning run.

Fernando Alonso is 14/1 third favourite to win on home soil again, but Red Bull at priced shorter than Ferrari (9/1 v 12/1) to become the first non-Mercedes victors of 2014. Check out the full range of Spanish GP odds here.

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