The Formula One season is in full swing, with only 6 races until the end. We couldn’t have wished for a better season, as two top favourites Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have been trading the top spot between each other almost on a weekly basis. The Brit is in the lead and seemingly comfortable at the top, but with Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, and Valtteri Bottas winning races this year as well as the constant pressure by Sebastian Vettel, we could be in for a photo finish.
After Vettel took the number one spot from Hamilton after the British Grand Prix, things have gone downhill for the German. Hamilton has managed to win races even experts didn’t see him winning, retaking the lead and even extending it. That’s bad news for Ferrari fans, but considering the fact that there’s still a long way to go till the end, no one should write off Vettel that soon.
Although the fight for the title will obviously be between Hamilton and Vettel, there are a few other drivers that can spoil their plans. Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, and even the legendary Kimi Raikkonen have the knowledge and skills to shave points off the top favourites and spoil their plans. Ricciardo has already won twice this year with Max Verstappen winning one race as well, so who says they can’t do it again?
The next race in the Formula One Championship is the Russian Grand Prix. Held at the magnificent Sochi Autodrom, the race has seen only Mercedes drivers win since 2014. The first Russian GP was held ages ago in 1913 but was brought back to the F1 calendar 4 years ago. Hamilton won in 2014 and 2015, Nico Rosberg won the GP in 2016, while Valtteri Bottas won last year. Although Vettel had the pole-position last year, he failed to win the top spot, which isn’t very encouraging for Ferrari.
Can Hamilton Continue His Great Run?
After gifting Vettel the win in front of his own fans at the British GP, Lewis Hamilton showed why he’s the champion. The Brit has since won 4 of the next 5 races, opening up a 40-point lead and leaving Vettel stuck in the second spot. The 4-time Formula One champion isn’t planning on stopping his march soon – he’ll surely fight fiercely to win the Russian GP, where he has already won twice.
Mercedes’s driver is currently on a roll and experts are adamant that he has the biggest chances of winning the next F1 GP. However, as has been the case thus far, he’s followed closely by his biggest rival Vettel. Bookies have put both drivers pretty close, giving Hamilton only a slight lead over the German driver. The Brit is available at 21/20 at MansionBet, Letou, SportNation, SportPesa, and RedZoneSports. These odds are good enough for regular punters and considering Hamilton’s great run of form lately, they’re pretty accurate if you ask us.
Hamilton will undeniably be the driver to beat at the upcoming Russian GP and will probably continue Mercedes’ dominance at the track. If you believe in the same, betting on Hamilton will double your stake, which isn’t bad at all.
Vettel’s Last Chance
Sebastian Vettel has only himself to blame for his recent bad string of results. Winning only one race from the last 5 (Belgium Grand Prix), Vettel has dealt his title chances a considerable blow. He’s currently trailing Hamilton by 40 points, which isn’t much, but with 6 races to go before the season ends, it may prove all too difficult for the German driver to throw Hamilton down from the top spot.
Just like in the previous races, Hamilton and Vettel are too close for either of them to be called the main favourite. Although Hamilton is in the lead with odds of 21/20, Vettel is breathing down his neck with 23/20 at MansionBet, Letou, SportNation, RedZoneSports, and SportNation. Vettel’s odds are only slightly better from a punter’s point of view, so the decision of who wins at the Sochi Autodrom is completely yours.
This race is probably Vettel’s last chance in the title fight. If he loses, the point difference may be too great to catch up. If he wins, he’ll shave a few points from Hamilton’s lead and stay in the heated race. If Vettel wins and Hamilton ends the race prematurely, the season will be all the more exciting and will go down to the last race for sure.
Can Bottas or Raikkonen Spoil Hamilton’s and Vettel’s Chances?
Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen have failed to win any races this season, although they’re placed right behind Hamilton and Vettel in the driver’s standings. They’ve both appeared at more than a few podiums this year and have the skills and experience to make it happen again. Bottas’ chances are especially great since the Finn won the Russian GP last year. If he’s leading the starting grid after the qualifications, there’s a great chance that Bottas can spoil the favourites’ plans.
At the moment, bookies are not giving Bottas high chances of winning – he’s available at 7/1 at Letou, SportNation, MansionBet, RedZoneSports, and SportPesa. If you think that he can repeat last year’s success and he does win on Sunday, September 30, you’ll be looking at quite the return.
On the other hand, Kimi Raikkonen is always a threat. This is his last season at Ferrari and he’ll no doubt want to win a high place at the podium before he leaves the Italian racing giant. Raikkonen stands at 8/1 at MansionBet, SportPesa, RedZoneSports, SportNation, and Letou, which is only slightly worse than Bottas. No matter which Finn you choose, you’ll have thousands of reasons to be happy if they take the trophy.
Verstappen – a True Darkhorse?
Max Verstappen is having quite the breakout season. He’s won one race and has been on the podium a few more times, once again showing that he is the future of the sport. His last two seasons have been great and if it wasn’t for Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, the young Dutch pilot would probably be involved in title talk.
Last year, Verstappen ended on the fifth spot at the Russian GP. Now, this may not sound that great but consider the fact that he’s only 20 years old. The Dutch driver is exceeding all expectations and bookies believe that with some luck, he may end up on the highest place on the podium at the Russian GP.
At 24/1 (SportPesa, SportNation, RedZoneSports, Letou, MansionBet) he obviously isn’t a favourite and his odds look pretty far-fetched. However, he already won a race this season leaving Hamilton and Vettel behind, and this might be the perfect time for him to spoil their plans by winning again. Place a reasonable bet on Verstappen and root for him – if he wins, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear.