Mon, Mar 19, 12:41pm by Staff Writer
The 2018 Formula 1 season is set to kick off in Melbourne this week, with defending Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton the favourite to win his fifth World Championship.
Hamilton is priced as a short $1.72 favourite at Sportsbet and it is hard to deny him favouritism given his superb driving in 2017.
Last season’s second placed finisher Sebastian Vettel is regarded as Hamilton’s nearest competitor, with the Ferrari driver priced at $4.50 to win the 2018 F1 season at Sportsbet.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver and Australian Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed a race win in Baku and nine podium finishes before his fifth placed finish in the championship last season.
Ricciardo is fourth favourite to win the driver’s championship this season at $9 and in doing so, would eclipse his previous best finish of third in 2014 and 2016.
Dutch driver and team mate of Ricciardo, Max Verstappen has had two promising years on the circuit with 5th and 6th placed finishes in 2016 and 2017, with big things expected in 2018.
Verstappen recorded two race wins in 2017 and in 2018 is priced as third favourite to win the championship at $6.50 at Sportsbet.
Veteran Fernando Alonso has struggled to reach the pinnacle of motor racing since his World Championship winning years of 2005 and 2006, but the McLaren mainstay is priced at $17 at Sportsbet, sixth in the line of betting.
Another veteran, 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen had somewhat of a resurgence in 2017, with seven podium finishes ahead of a fourth placed finish with Ferrari.
The Fin is not being regarded highly by punters before the racing season begins, priced at a whopping $26 at Sportsbet.
The man who is all the rage when it comes to Finnish Formula One drivers is Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas finished the 2017 season in third place, with three race wins in Russia, Austria and Abu Dhabi in addition to 13 podium finishes.
He is over rated at his current price of $13 at Sportsbet and look out for Bottas to win a few races again in 2018.
New Zealander Brendon Hartley will race for Toro Rosso again in 2018 after four races with the team in 2017.
Hartley has made his name as an endurance racer, winning the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2017 and the FIA Endurance Championship in 2015. He is priced as a long shot at $501 to win the drivers championship in 2018.
Formula 1 Drivers Championships Odds – Sportsbet
Lewis Hamilton $1.72
Sebastian Vettel $4.50
Max Verstappen $6.50
Daniel Ricciardo $9
Valtteri Bottas $13
Fernando Alonso $17
Kimi Raikkonen $26
Nico Hulkenberg $67
Sergio Perez $151
Brendon Hartley $501
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