Verstappen, Kvyat or Hamilton - Which driver is under the most pressure at the Spanish GP?
The Sky Sports F1 punditry team on the drivers who are in greatest need of strong performances at Barcelona
By James Galloway in Barcelona
Last Updated: 12/05/16 2:08pm
F1 drivers are under pressure to perform every time they get behind the wheel of their cars but some are undoubtedly more in need of a strong result than others at this weekend’s Spanish GP.
Amid the backdrop of Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat trading Red Bull places, and Nico Rosberg leaving Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel trailing in the world title battle, we asked some of the Sky Sports F1 team to pick the drivers who they feel are under the most pressure at Barcelona…
"Half the grid is under severe pressure.
"From Daniil Kvyat, to show that Red Bull were wrong to drop him. From Jolyon Palmer, to see off the pressure from Esteban Ocon. From Lewis Hamilton, to get his championship going again. And to Sebastian Vettel because Sergio Marchionne, the Ferrari president, says he expects a win here.
"But the biggest pressure has to be on Max Verstappen. Red Bull have caused the disruption by changing their driver line-up and now they need the justification - and it's up to Verstappen to deliver on that.
"It's his first weekend with a new team and new engineers, so I would say that is the biggest pressure of the weekend right there on his young shoulders."
"There are 22 drivers under pressure this weekend.
"You can't say one is under more pressure, really, because of the environment of F1: everybody has to beat their team-mate, to produce the goods, and justify why they're in that seat.
"At Renault, Jolyon Palmer is under pressure to have a really good race on a track he knows well. Kevin Magnussen knows it equally as well and can make life difficult for Jolyon.
"Obviously, Daniil Kvyat will be looking for a good result to boost his confidence and to put it into the back of Helmut Marko's mind he could still be the man for the top team. Max Verstappen has also got to deliver now he has been promoted, while Daniel Ricciardo has got a third different team-mate at the senior team so he'll be under pressure too to prove he is still the numero uno there.
"Then there's Lewis Hamilton, who is under pressure because he needs a good result. But he's not driving badly, so he'll continue doing what he's been doing.
"So the man under the most pressure is Nico Rosberg because he's the guy who is leading the championship. He is the hunted, everybody else are the hunters. He's got a 43-point lead to defend at a race track where he'll be confident of a successful weekend.
"The guy under the most pressure is always the one who's leading the championship - but don't discount the individual pressures that are on the other 21 drivers as well."
"It's Daniil Kvyat who is under the most pressure.
"Altruism and Formula 1 don't often go hand in hand and my impression, in this cut-throat world, is that Max Verstappen wouldn't have lost much sleep over what's gone on - but Kvyat is probably not particularly well rested.
"He's certainly under pressure now. He's probably been lying awake at night thinking about his future because he's been put in a very difficult position."
Watch the Spanish GP live on Sky Sports F1. The race starts at 1pm on Sunday, with build-up underway at 11.30am. Or watch the race without a contract for £6.99 on NOW TV.