F1 circus rolls in to Europe
The Spanish Grand Prix takes place this weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya.
CAPE TOWN - After a three-week break, Formula One fans will once again get their fix of high-octane action as drivers race for victory in Spain.
Typically, the Formula One season is broken up into three parts - the initial flyaway races, followed by the European season before concluding with the final few flyaways to wrap up the year.
The initial flyaway races have now been completed, with Mercedes emerging as the early season pacesetters.
Merc's two drivers, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, have been the men to beat so far this season.
Hamilton clinched a hat trick of victories in the last three races.
Mercedes will find themselves under a lot more pressure now that the teams are back in Europe.
The various teams are now closer to the team factories, so logistically that makes it easier for them to take new parts to the racetracks.
It's also in one time zone, so jetlag won't be a factor in driver performance.
The teams have used the three-week break to develop and test new parts and upgrades, and typically bolt the new parts onto the car immediately to improve performance.
The Spanish Grand Prix is generally where we see revised front wings, chassis upgrades and aero packages, which tend to bring the field that much closer.
Red Bull Racing, McLaren, Ferrari and Force India especially will be hoping that their upgrades can put some pressure on the marauding Mercs.
The intra-team battle between Rosberg and Hamilton will be an interesting one to watch on Sunday.
Rosberg takes a slender four-point lead into the Spanish Grand Prix due to consistent performances in the opening four races, including victory at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Hamilton though has shown that he is the superior partner, with his three consecutive victories showcasing his determination and hunger to win under pressure, as well as his ability to control a race from the front.
Rosberg has stated publically that he strongly dislikes losing to Hamilton and that he has no intention of giving up his championship lead.
Could we see another almighty tussle between the two teammates or will a new protagonist emerge? We'll wait and see.