Sainz wants that home-win - The big talking points heading into the Spanish GP

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Carlos Sainz Jr. is yet to win a Formula 1 race and he could do so this weekend in Spain in front of his home crowd.

Sainz's Ferrari team plans to introduce its first major updates of 2022 to its F1 car.

Along with Ferrari, teams like Mercedes will also introduce updates to their cars.

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Formula 1 returns to Spain this weekend for the start of the 'European season'. The track in Barcelona was also one of two venues where pre-season testing took place, and teams return with new vigour and excitement.

Though we know that Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen will likely be battling it out for the win for their respective teams - Ferrari and Red Bull - it could be that one or two other drivers may want to have a say in the race's outcome. Someone like Carlos Sainz Jr., perhaps?

Sainz has been racing in F1 since 2015, starting his career with Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) before moving to Renault, McLaren, and now Ferrari. With Ferrari being in such a strong position and Sainz racing in front of his home crowd, he'd want to give his fans something to cheer about and bag his first F1 win in the process.

Sainz has had a tough start to the 2022 campaign. Though he has had several good results, on-track disappointments saw him and the team lose plenty of points. Spain could be the restart he so desperately needs, and maybe he could do it with a win.

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Carlos Sainz driving Ferrari's 2022 F1 car

Will Merc get it up?

Mercedes-AMG has gotten it completely wrong in 2022. Though they are not the slowest team, the design of their car leaves much to be desired. The car is slow in almost every aspect, and Lewis Hamilton and George Russell can't seem to extract the maximum performance.

Russell has been luckier than Hamilton regarding on-track results, but even he admits that the car is not easy to operate. Coming into the Spanish GP, the team confirmed that they would introduce updates. Mercedes-AMG could turn their season around and maybe be regular challengers for podium finishes if the planned updates work.

"A considerable amount of hard work has been going on in the factories to unpick the data from Miami and turn it into improvements for Barcelona," says Toto Wolff, Mercedes-AMG team boss.

"Having run there in winter testing, albeit with a car that has evolved a lot since then, it will be a good place to correlate the information we have on the current car, and we're hopeful that we'll take another step forward."

Ferrari's first in-season updates

While championship rivals Red Bull Racing has introduced several updates to the car they started the 2022 season with, Ferrari is yet to do so. However, things are expected to change this weekend. The Scuderia is poised to introduce its first major updates of the season, which should see it come on par with - or surpass - Red Bull, who is now the team to beat after Ferrari set the pace early in the season.

If Ferrari's updates work, then Leclerc and Sainz could repeat the 1-2 finish they achieved in Bahrain and add to the already impressive number of double-podium appearances they achieved so far this season.

Ferrari is perhaps better positioned than any other team to win both championships in 2022, but winning the gold at the season's end could depend on the updates introduced this weekend.


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