Formula 1 Australia: Will Sebastian Vettel make it a Hat-Trick?

Eric Kelly

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 8:57 AM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019 8:57 AM UTC

Which underdog deserves more attention and who will cause the biggest upset in the Australian Grand-Prix 

<h2><strong>Preview</strong></h2><p>The new Formula 1 season gets underway down under in Australia’s Albert Park in Melbourne. This will be the 24<sup>th</sup> time the drivers head to Albert Park since it re-opened in 1996. This year we have 10 teams competing, and 20 drivers (two per team). The pre-season has seen a nice shake up of riders, teams and mechanical changes. This is by far the biggest shake up we’ve had in F1 in recent years.</p><p>What are the drivers changes? Long-time Red Bull driving Daniel Ricciardo has left and joined a weaker team, Renault. It is no doubt a gamble he is taking but Renault have been improving year after year since they came back into the sport in 2016 (9<sup>th</sup> in 2016, 6<sup>th</sup> in 2017 and 4<sup>th</sup> in 2018). Frenchman Pierre Gasly got promoted earning Ricciardo’s old seat at Red Bull. Charles Leclerc has emerged as one of the most promising drivers, earning himself a drive seat with the famous Ferrari team replacing Kimi Raikkonen who joined the new team, Alfa Romeo. We also have two new English drivers coming up from Formula 2. George Russel won the championship and Lando Norris finished 2<sup>nd</sup> respectively so this season they are both rookies in F1. Russel joins Williams while Norris gets a driver seat at McLaren. It will be very exciting to see the battle between these two. Carlo Sainz left Renault for McLaren. Finally, we have returning F1 legend Robert Kubica who’s back after eight years following the horror crash in 2011 which left with a serious arm injury. He will now drive for Williams.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Key Stats &amp; facts</strong></h2><p>Ferrari and McLaren have had the most wins on this track (12 each). McLaren haven’t been competitive for many years now, recording their last win here in 2012, so their chances to lift the trophy this weekend are pretty slim. Looking back at the last five years here, we have seen 6 DNFs (did not finish) on the average which is surprisingly a very high number. Sebastian Vettel has won the previous two years and is going for the third in a row this coming Sunday. Lewis Hamilton has finished on the podium (top 3) in four of his previous five races in Australia.</p><p>Mercedes have won the championship for five years in a row. Although Ferrari were dominant in the early 2000s, they haven’t had a champion since Raikkonen back in 2007. Red Bull have ended their 12-year partnership with Renault engines switching to Honda for this season. Everyone will be very keen to see how they will perform this year packed with a new Honda engine. The F1 fans know that Honda had a partnership with McLaren, and it didn’t exactly go as planned, having many engine failures and the car was getting worse instead of better.</p><p> </p><p> </p><h2 style="text-align:center;"><strong>Betting Odds</strong></h2><p style="text-align:center;">*Sebastian Vettel - 7/4</p><p style="text-align:center;">*Lewis Hamilton - 2/1</p><p style="text-align:center;">*Charles Leclerc - 5/2</p><p style="text-align:center;">*Max Verstappen - 9/1</p><p style="text-align:center;">*valtteri Bottas - 14/1</p><p style="text-align:center;">*Pierre Gasly - 49/1</p><p style="text-align:center;">*Rest of Drivers - 100/1+</p><p style="text-align:center;"> </p><h2><strong>Verdict</strong></h2><p>Vettel and Ferrari were arguably a better team than Mercedes last year. They were very unlucky in many races with Vettel losing confidence towards the end of the season and struggling to perform at his highest level. This might be his last chance to prove himself at Ferrari as he heads into his 5<sup>th</sup> year with the Italian team, especially now that they have recruited Leclerc, one of the most talented drivers out there. Hamilton doesn’t seem to have the same knack of getting around Albert Park like Vettel does and for that reason alone I think Ferrari will get their strategy right and help Vettel win his hat-trick of wins in Australia.</p><p>In Formula 1 like in any other racing sport, there’s a chance of a driver crashing or engine failing that could complicate things, giving the opportunity to the other drivers to grab the victory from nowhere. For that specific reason, I do like a cheeky bet on Ricciardo to get the win in his home grand prix.</p><p>Mercedes are dominant and everybody is talking about Lewis Hamilton’s chances, but everyone forgets his teammate Valtteri Bottas. He is in the same car and he’s a very strong driver. Usually he is there right at the top being always offered a nice underdog price to win the race. He recorded fastest laps in many races in recent years and that’s another bet we will look out for throughout the season.</p><p>Stats show that many drivers fail to finish on this race track. I would love to take the under 15.5 drivers to finish the race, but unfortunately the bookies are too clever and the best I could find was 4/7 (Betfair). Love the bet, hate the price.</p><p>Romain Grosjean has only finished once in his previous five races in Melbourne and given his recent history, he’s the master of crushing so a bet on him failing to finish the race might be a winning bet.</p><p>Formula 1 is usually a two-horse battle, bar the two favourites crash out or have an engine failure (which is VERY rare). Luckily for us most bookies offer prop-bets throughout the race that we can take advantage of.</p><p> </p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Recommended Bets</strong></p><p style="text-align:center;">Sebastian Vettel 7/4 <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="F1 Betting Odds">(Bet365)</a> 1.5pts win</p><p style="text-align:center;">Daniel Ricciardo 250/1 <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b" target="_blank" title="F1 Betting Odds">(William Hill)</a> 0.5pt each way</p><p style="text-align:center;">Valtteri Bottas 14/1 <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=153&amp;a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6" target="_blank" title="F1 Betting Odds">(Betfair)</a> 1pt each way</p><p style="text-align:center;">Romain Grosjean not to finish the race 5/2 <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="F1 Betting Odds">(Bet365)</a> 1pt</p><p style="text-align:center;">Valtteri Bottas to set the fastest lap 10/1 <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="F1 Betting Odds">(Bet365)</a> 0.5pt</p>
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