How the Bookies See It
- Drivers’ Championship: Lewis Hamilton 1/1, Sebastian Vettel 13/5, Max Verstappen 16/5, Daniel Ricciardo 11/2, Valtteri Bottas 9/1 – Paddy Power
- Lewis Hamilton’s 2017 Drivers’ Championship win was his fourth since 2008, and his only blip in the last few years was when losing out to Nico Rosberg in 2016. Rosberg then retired from the sport, and Hamilton bounced back this year, but it wasn’t the most straightforward championship win, and for much of the first half of the season he was tussling with Sebastian Vettel for the lead. Overall, Hamilton won 9 of 20 races and, having emerged victorious despite Vettel putting up a strong fight, the Brit will be confident of having another decent shot at the title in 2018.
- Sebastian Vettel got his 2017 season off to the best possible start by winning the opening race in Australia, and for the first six races he was always on the podium. Unfortunately for the German, he then began to lose his form a little, and that gave Hamilton a chance to reassert his dominance. Vettel won 5 races in total in 2017, and will be looking to fare better next year.
- Max Verstappen won a couple of races in 2017, and those were achieved in Malaysia and Mexico. The second half of the season was far better for Verstappen than the first, and he ended up finishing in a respectable sixth place in the Drivers’ Championship table. One of the youngest drivers in the sport, Verstappen could well be poised to become the next golden boy, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him add another few wins to his CV in 2018.
- Daniel Ricciardo achieved just one win in 2017, and that was in Azerbaijan, but he did get to stand on the podium on another eight occasions, and that was enough to give him 200 points, which put him in fifth place for the Drivers’ Championship. Whilst Ricciardo performed well enough this year, it is difficult to see him challenging for the title in 2018.
- Valtteri Bottas finished third in the Drivers’ Championship table for the 2017 season, with a total of 305 points. Bottas earned himself 13 podium finishes, and won 3 races, so he will be looking to do at least as well next year, if not even better.
Quite why the bookies have not made Valtteri Bottas the third favourite for the 2018 Drivers’ Championship is hard to figure. Bottas had a good season in 2017, and was there or thereabouts more often than either Max Verstappen or Daniel Ricciardo. An each-way bet on Bottas at decent odds might be a good bet, but as far as the most likely winner of next year’s championship is concerned, we will have to side with Lewis Hamilton once again. Sebastian Vettel did his utmost to beat the Brit this year and failed, and we don’t think that the German will succeed in turning the tables on his main rival in 2018.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Lewis Hamilton to win the 2018 Drivers’ Championship at 1/1 – Paddy Power
*Please note, odds may change as the first race of the season approaches.