How the Bookies See It
- Drivers’ Championship: Lewis Hamilton 5/4, Max Verstappen 11/4, Valtteri Bottas 10/3, Daniel Ricciardo 7/2 – Paddy Power
- Constructors’ Championship: Mercedes 4/6, Red Bull 6/4, Ferrari 8/1, McLaren 16/1 – William Hill
- Nico Rosberg won the first four races of the 2016 season and Max Verstappen won the fifth, so Lewis Hamilton had to wait until the Monaco Grand Prix for his first win. He followed that with another five wins from the next six races (Rosberg won the European Grand Prix), but then he had another dry spell as Rosberg won in Belgium, Italy and Singapore. Daniel Ricciardo won his only race of the season in Japan, and then Hamilton recovered to take the last four races. Unfortunately for Hamilton, Rosberg’s lead was still too great, and the German took the Championship title for the first time.
- The Mercedes team have now won the Constructors’ Championship three years in a row, and have dominated proceedings in almost every race. Red Bull were the team to follow between 2010 and 2013, with Brawn-Mercedes taking the title in 2009. Ferrari haven’t won the Constructors’ Championship since 2008, when Lewis Hamilton became Drivers Champion for the first time.
Now that Rosberg has retired from the sport, Hamilton’s main rival is out of the picture, so the Brit will be keen to make the most of that situation in his efforts to secure his fourth Drivers’ Championship title. He did extremely well to come so close to winning this year after what was a rather patchy season, so if he can get off to a better start and remain just a little more consistent he has every chance of succeeding.
Mercedes haven’t yet said who Hamilton’s new team-mate will be, and quite a few names have been mentioned in the media as potential replacements for Rosberg, but at the time of writing it looks to be a choice between Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes junior driver Pascal Wehrlein. Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has said that the decision may not be made until the end of next month, so anyone who wants to bet on a named driver other than Hamilton to win the Drivers’ Championship should bear that in mind.
In our opinion, Mercedes are a solid bet to win the Constructors’ Championship for the fourth year running, but we will side with Lewis Hamilton to learn a few lessons from the 2016 season and add a fourth Drivers’ Championship title to his CV.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Lewis Hamilton to win the 2017 Drivers’ Championship at 5/4 – Paddy Power
*Please note, odds may change as the first race of the season approaches.