The 2018 edition of the Mexican Grand Prix will most likely give the winner of this season’s Formula 1 Championship even though there are still three F1 races to go. This is because the points difference between first placed Lewis Hamilton and second placed Sebastian Vettel currently stands at 70 points and there are only 75 points to race for.
This means that the race held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, which returned at the Mexico City circuit in 2015, will be closely followed by both Formula 1 enthusiasts and casual sports fans worldwide.
Last year, the Mexican Grand Prix was won by Max Verstappen, who was followed by Finnish duo Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen in second and third. Of the two candidates vying for this season’s title, Vettel, who had the pole position, finished in fourth, while Hamilton finished in ninth after both drivers badly damaged their cars in a collision that also involved winner Max Verstappen.
And while Lewis Hamilton may not have fond memories from the Mexican Grand Prix, he and Sebastian Vettel are once again the top favourites to win the race according to bookmakers. Furthermore, Hamilton will most likely clinch his 2018 title in Mexico City, so all the more reason to do that in style.
Can Vettel Win a Race for the First Time in Two Months?
Vettel’s last victory was in Belgium on 26 August. Back then, it still seemed that the Formula 1 title chase was a two horse race and that the German had equal if not greater chances than Hamilton to win the title.
However, Lewis Hamilton managed to win the next four races, while Vettel failed at every hurdle and basically conceded the title. Many pundits claimed that this is always the case with Vettel, who whenever feels that the pressure of a title chase is too high, caves in and his performances start to suffer.
Vettel was also involved in yet another collision in Austin which was not as serious as the one in Suzuka, but still showed that he has trouble maintaining his focus when things heat up and when the pressure is on.
Luckily for Vettel, there will be no pressure on him in Mexico as nobody expects a miraculous return from the German. This has prompted bookmakers to make him their favourite and betting operators such as MansionBet, Letou, and SportNation give him odds of 33/20, while RedZoneSports go for 17/10 and LV BET go for 3/2.
Will Hamilton Try to Win or Just to Finish the Race?
There is a debate currently going on as to whether Lewis Hamilton will put the pedal to the metal and try to win in Mexico City or whether he will go for a safety first approach and just try to finish the race, knowing that in that way he will be crowned as champion.
Indeed there is much logic in tipping the 4 time world champion to go with a safe and methodical racing approach as even if Vettel wins the race and he finishes in seventh place, he will be once again crowned champion. If Vettel places second or lower, then Hamilton’s 5th world championship will be in the bag.
That’s why it is to be expected that Hamilton will drive carefully, avoiding risky situations and possible collisions. With the big gap in quality between the three main teams and the top six drivers, it is almost certain that in that scenario Hamilton will not finish lower than sixth.
However, if you think that he will try to win in style, you can always back him at 17/10 (MansionBet, Letou, and SportNation) or at 7/4 (RedZoneSports and LV BET).
Can Verstappen Win in Mexico Once Again?
Verstappen won in Mexico City last year, courtesy of a Hamilton and Vettel collision which left both leading drivers at the back end of the race’s proceedings and enabled the Dutch driver to record his third career victory.
This year, Verstappen has recorded yet another victory when he won in the Austrian Grand Prix, but the Red Bull driver seems glued to the fifth position in the standings as his Red Bull car cannot seem to break the dominance of the two leading teams and their respective drivers.
However, if you take into account the fact that Verstappen won on the same course last year and also had a pretty decent performance in one of the tightest races of the season, the US GP in Austin, a case can be made for the Dutch driver to win the Mexican GP once again.
Bookmakers seem to agree with this as they make him their third favourite behind the leading duo of Vettel and Hamilton and betting operators such as MansionBet, Letou, SportNation, and RedZoneSports give him odds of 33/10, while LV BET go for 5/1.
Can Kimi Raikkonen Win Two in a Row?
Raikkonen’s victory in Austin, Texas, was his first victory since 2013 and meant that he recorded his first victory in 113 races. This astonishing break between two victories is actually the longest period between two wins in Formula 1 history.
It is an understatement to say that Raikkonen was relieved when he drove through the finishing line in Texas, but the question on every Kimi supporter’s lips right now is whether he can do it again?
His much awaited victory meant that he moved from fourth to third position in the standings and is now ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. The race for third is now much closer than the race for first place and it is to be expected that Ferrari will try to capitalize on Raikkonen’s USA victory to keep their two drivers in the top three positions in the standings.
That’s why it is to be expected that Raikkonen will try to use the momentum and win in Mexico City as well. Bookmakers such as MansionBet, Letou, SportNation, and RedZoneSports certainly feel that this is a very real possibility and give odds of 39/4, while LV BET go for 17/2.
Can Daniel Ricciardo Notch His 8th Career Victory?
The Australian driver is one of five drivers to have won a race this season together with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen. His two victories this year came in the Chinese and in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Both of those races saw a very mature Daniel Ricciardo who was driving to his strengths and knew just what to expect from his car and from his competitors. His victory in China saw him overtake several cars to finish first from his sixth starting position, while he was always expected to win in Monaco due to his car’s superior chassis and down force.
In Mexico City he will be considered as an outsider for victory, but it is not out of the question that he will try to win considering that the Mercedes drivers will just be focusing on Hamilton to finish the race safely and the Ferrari drivers will be more focused on the performance of Hamilton and Bottas than on themselves.
This is why bookmakers such as MansionBet, Letou, SportNation, and RedZoneSports give Ricciardo odds of 21/2 to win, while LV BET opt for odds of 10/1.