How the Bookies See It
|2018 Drivers' Championship||
- Lewis Hamilton started the Mexican Grand Prix in third place on the grid, which was two places behind his chief rival Sebastian Vettel. Max Verstappen was in second place, but managed to overtake Vettel as the cars headed into the first corner. Vettel and Hamilton made contact, and both drivers had to retreat into the pits. They emerged in 18th and 20th place, respectively, and the rest of the race was a fight to see how well they could improve their positions. Vettel managed to finish in fourth place, which was much better than Hamilton’s ninth, but not enough to prevent the Brit from winning the 2017 Drivers’ Championship.
- Sebastian Vettel knew that Hamilton could secure his fourth Championship title even without winning, and was therefore relying just as much on misfortune for the Brit than he was on his own ability to finish the race in front of his rival. The incident between the two drivers on the opening lap gave the German a 24-second lead, and he put in a brave performance to improve from 18th to fourth place before the finish, but with Hamilton improving from 20th to ninth, the German still ended up seeing Hamilton celebrate the title which he himself had appeared to have had in his sights for the first half of the season.
- Max Verstappen had won just one Grand Prix race in 2017 prior to Mexico, and that had been achieved in Malaysia back in October. Starting in second place on the grid in Mexico gave him a chance to add another win to his tally, and the Dutchman made the most of it, overtaking Vettel into the first lap to take the lead and then holding that position for the duration of the event. Verstappen ended up winning the race by almost 20 seconds, and later described it as one of the easiest races of his career.
As we saw in Mexico – and in several other races this season – if cars make contact during a Formula 1 race, the form book can be thrown out of the window. Assuming a lack of upsets, however, the winner of the Brazilian Grand Prix would look to be between the Brit and the German, and Lewis Hamilton has the best form of the two by some way. Hamilton has earned 333 points this season, which is 56 ahead of Vettel’s 277, and although he finished five places behind Vettel in Mexico, that was simply down to bad luck.
Hamilton has said that winning the 2017 Drivers’ Championship with a ninth-place finish in Mexico was a ‘horrible way to do it’, and so we expect that he will want to secure a demonstrative win in Brazil even if only for his own pride and satisfaction. We will therefore agree with the bookmakers and tip the Brit to win his tenth Grand Prix win of the season this Sunday.
Sports.net's Top Tip
Lewis Hamilton to win the Brazilian Grand Prix
*Please note, odds may change as the race approaches.