How the Bookies See It
- Russian Grand Prix Winner: Lewis Hamilton 1/1, Sebastian Vettel 6/4, Valtteri Bottas 6/1 – SkyBet
- Winning Car: Mercedes 4/6, Ferrari 6/5, Red Bull 20/1 – Bet365
- 2017 Drivers’ Championship: Lewis Hamilton 5/6, Sebastian Vettel 11/10, Valtteri Bottas 7/1 – William Hill
- Lewis Hamilton could possibly have won the Bahrain Grand Prix, but he incurred a five second penalty at one point for being too slow into the pit entry. He ended up finishing the race 6.66 seconds behind the winner, and picked up 18 points for his second-place position, but later apologised to his team for the error, which effectively scuppered his chances of going one better. Hamilton now stands in second place on the Drivers’ Championship table, with a total of 61 points from the first three races of the season. Those points were earned with second-place finishes in Australia and Bahrain, and with a win in the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday 9 April.
- Sebastian Vettel certainly benefited from Hamilton picking up a penalty in Bahrain, but he may well have won the race regardless thanks to an effective pit strategy which saw him on fresh tyres from the 11th lap. That early pit stop allowed him to get in a few impressive laps before the safety car appeared, and by the time normal racing resumed – and Hamilton had earned his penalty – Vettel was leading. Vettel’s wins in the Bahrain Grand Prix and also in the Australian Grand Prix, along with his second-place finish in China, means that he currently tops the Drivers’ Championship table with 68 points.
- Valtteri Bottas started the Bahrain Grand Prix in pole position, which was a career first for the Finnish driver, but he failed to capitalise on that advantage, and lacked pace from the outset. Mercedes later said that incorrect tyre pressure due to a broken generator was to blame for the disappointing start, and that should be some consolation for Bottas, who finished the race in sixth place. That finish added 8 points to his tally for the season, and puts him in third place for the Drivers’ Championship, with a total of 38 points.
After just three events, the 2017 Formula 1 season is already developing into something of a match between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Whilst the German driver is currently winning the battle for Ferrari, he is only seven points ahead of his Mercedes rival, and Hamilton will be keen to make up for his error in Bahrain by picking up the full 25 points available in Russia.
Valtteri Bottas did very well to start in pole position for the first time in Bahrain, and we have no idea how he would have fared without the tyre pressure problem, so he could be a good each-way proposition for the Russian Grand Prix. For outright win bets, it is difficult to pick between the two market leaders for betting purposes, but Hamilton’s win in China was a good response to a mistake he made in Australia, so we will side with him doing something similar this Sunday to make up for his error in Bahrain.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Lewis Hamilton to win the Russian Grand Prix – 1/1 at SkyBet
*Please note, odds may change as the race approaches.