After a two-week break in the world’s best and most popular racing championship, the Russian Grand Prix showed that bookies were right to give the role of favourite to Lewis Hamilton. The defending champion had a great race in Sochi, leaving pole-position winner and team colleague Valtteri Bottas behind him, and most importantly, leaving Sebastian Vettel on the 3rd place and opening up a comfortable lead at the top.
After a tight battle between Hamilton and Vettel, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Mercedes and Hamilton will best Ferrari once again unless a miracle happens. Sure, the opportunity for Vettel is still there, but with the way Hamilton has been racing in the past 6 races, we think that the German will end on the second spot yet one more time.
Hamilton is sitting comfortably on the top of the Driver’s standings with a 50-point lead over Vettel. He has won 5 of the last 6 races, some in dominant fashion. It’s clear that Vettel’s mistakes at some of the previous Grand Prix’s have cost him a lot, and may end up costing him the title. After a promising start and a close battle with Hamilton halfway through the season, Vettel has since fallen down to second place and it seems that Ferrari fans will be disappointed yet again.
Hamilton has been driving as a man possessed, once again showcasing the dominance Mercedes have established in recent years. It’s clear that their car is better than the competition, and to make things worse for every other driver, they also have Hamilton in the driver seat. With 5 races until the end of the season, Hamilton looks like a lock for another trophy. Next week, the F1 Championship continues with the exciting race at the Suzuka Circuit.
Lewis Hamilton – a Major Bookie Favourite
After trading places as bookie favourites up until last week, Hamilton and Vettel are clearly separated for the Japanese GP. If Hamilton wins, he’ll be a major step in front of Vettel, and he’s already a step in front right now. With no serious competition in the past 3 races, which he won dominantly, Lewis Hamilton is rightfully the bookie’s favourite this time, and his chances are bolstered by the fact that he has 4 wins at Suzuka. Vettel has 4 as well, but Hamilton has been more successful recently, winning in 2015 and 2017.
Mansion Bet, SportPesa, SportNation, and Fun88 have the English driver available at 10/13, while RedZoneSports trails close with 4/5. This makes Hamilton the absolute favourite and most likely to win the race. However, he’s not the obvious choice from a punter’s view. At 4/5 or 10/13, you’re better off looking at some of the other choices.
The Formula One Championship has provided surprises in the past, and it wouldn’t be unheard of if the title race goes down to the very end of the line. Vettel’s 50-point lag can be erased if he ends up winning all the remaining races and Hamilton has problems, but if he wants a shot at the title, he needs to win at Suzuka first.
Is the Championship Over for Vettel?
It’s fair to say that Sebastian Vettel was at Hamilton’s level for more than half of this year’s championship. The German opened the season with two wins in a row and had 4 wins in total compared to Hamilton’s 3 until the 10th race for the British Grand Prix. From there on, it all went downhill for Ferrari and Vettel.
Uncharacteristic mistakes from the German have cost him valuable points in the fight for the title. Since the British GP, he has managed to win only one of the other races, with 5 going to Hamilton. Due to this, he lost the first position in the standings and is now trailing 50 points behind the defending champion.
Not all is lost for Vettel yet. He still has a shot at the title if he manages to win the remaining races, starting from Suzuka. Of course, he’ll need to hope for a few Hamilton mistakes as well, which many don’t believe will happen. After a fantastic start to the season and the clear improvements on the car, Ferrari fans are feeling disappointed and it looks like they’ll wait for at least a season more to see the title at Maranello again.
When it comes to the Japanese GP, Vettel is currently the second favourite to win the race, standing at 41/20 at RedZoneSports, and 2/1 at SportNation, Fun88, SportPesa, and Mansion Bet. This makes the German driver a much better option for punters. At these odds, you’ll get more than triple of your investment in return, and if you think that it’s time for Vettel to win a race and get back in the title hunt, put your money on him.
Bottas and Raikkonen – the Only Challengers for the Leading Duo?
Bottas and Raikkonen, currently on spots number 3 and 4 in the Driver’s Standings, have still to taste victory this season, although they have been close on several occasions. Bottas leads the list of fastest laps this season with 5, so it’s clear that the Finn can drive. On the other hand, Kimi Raikkonen is a former champion whose chances shouldn’t be doubted – he’s one of the best drivers in the championship and that will never change.
Bottas is currently placed behind Hamilton at Vettel, with odds of 9/1 at SportPesa, Fun88, SportNation, Mansion Bet, and RedZoneSports. His fellow Finn Raikkonen trails right behind with odds of 11/1 at the same bookies. Although it’s clear that neither of them is a favourite to win the race, bookies obviously believe they are a threat.
If Hamilton and Vettel have a bad time at Suzuka, you can expect Bottas and Raikkonen to lead the front. Place a reasonable wager on them if you think it’s high time they win a race and make things even more interesting. If your selection does, the payout will be huge.
Can Verstappen Cause Another Surprise?
All the headlines after the Russian GP last week were pointed in Max Verstappen’s way, not the winner Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen did something not many young drivers could do. On his 21st birthday, the Dutch sensation stormed back from the 19th to the 5th place after Red Bull received grid penalties during qualifications.
Verstappen’s courageous act in the first seven laps was praised by many motorsport legends, who said they haven’t seen driving like that for a long time. It’s clear that Verstappen possesses all the talent of a champion, and if not for Hamilton and Vettel, he’d surely be considered a challenger.
When it comes to this year’s Suzuka race, Verstappen is considered a 5th favourite with odds of 12/1 at RedZoneSports, SportNation, Fun88, Mansion Bet, and SportPesa. It’s obvious that he’s not the major favourite, but the performance at the Russian GP has surely given the young star a boost of self-esteem. If he manages to repeat that feat, he may win the race this time and bring you more than a few quids.