How the Bookies See It
|Malaysian GP Winner||
- Lewis Hamilton wasn’t expected to win the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday 17 September, and the fact that he started on the grid in fifth place meant that the Brit needed something special to happen to achieve his third win in a row. As things turned out, Sebastian Vettel, who started in pole position, was involved in a crash that saw Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen – who had started in second and fourth place, respectively – exit the race. Vettel himself then had to retire because of the damage done to his own car, and that left Hamilton free to take full advantage of the situation and add another 25 points to his tally for the season. Hamilton now leads the Drivers’ Championship table with 263 points.
- Sebastian Vettel was blamed by many for the crash at the beginning of the Singapore Grand Prix, with his detractors saying that he drove too aggressively for the wet conditions. The stewards later decided that no driver was ‘wholly or predominantly to blame’ for the accident, and that saved Vettel from being slapped with a penalty, but it could well be that the German’s involvement has cost him dearly in terms of his chances of winning the Drivers’ Championship. Vettel remains on 235 points, and will need to turn things around fast if he is to have a chance of closing the 28-point gap that now stands between himself and Lewis Hamilton.
- Valtteri Bottas started the Singapore Grand Prix in sixth place on the grid, and although the Finnish driver probably wasn’t happy about that at the time, it turned out to be quite fortunate, because it enabled him to avoid the accident which took out several of the drivers in front. Whilst Bottas didn’t quite manage to get the better of Daniel Ricciardo, who started third on the grid and finished the race one place better, he did secure third place on the podium to pick up 15 points. That puts him on a total of 212 points, which is just 23 behind second-placed Vettel in the Drivers’ Championship table.
Luck plays a role in all sporting events, but the event which virtually handed Lewis Hamilton the Singapore Grand Prix on a silver platter was quite remarkable. The pressure on Hamilton will have eased significantly after that result, but the Brit won’t be tempted to relax now that he has established a decent lead for the 2017 Drivers’ Championship.
Sebastian Vettel will of course want to redeem himself following his performance at the start of the previous race in Singapore, but at the same time he will be cautious about being overly aggressive, and that itself may play directly in Hamilton’s favour.
Given that Hamilton has now won three Grand Prix races in a row, and seems to be enjoying plenty of good fortune to match the good form, we will tip him to follow up with a fourth win this Sunday.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
*Please note, odds may change as the race approaches.