Hamilton and Verstappen to resume title fight in Barcelona

MADRID (AP) — The race for the Formula One title has quickly become a two-man show, and it’s not expected to change when the circuit goes to Barcelona this week for the Spanish Grand Prix.

At a track all teams know well, Mercedes and Red Bull are expected to continue to dominate with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen separated by eight points after three races.

“The picture is starting to clarify. Red Bull and Mercedes are the two standout teams, and Lewis and Max are the two standout drivers,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. “If we get a pretty standard Barcelona, I think you’ll get the four races and we can see where our strengths and weaknesses are. But what we can see is it’s incredibly tight.”

Hamilton, the four-time defending champion with Mercedes, has the edge over Verstappen after winning the season-opener in Bahrain and last week's race in Portugal. But Red Bull has significantly closed the gap this season, with Verstappen picking up a win in Italy and a pole position in Bahrain in the first three races. The teams are 18 points apart in the constructors’ championship.