Wed, Mar 21, 2:05pm by Staff Writer
The 2018 Formula 1 season gets underway this weekend as the best drivers in the world begin the new season at Albert Park for the 2018 Australian Grand Prix.
There are a number of intriguing storylines ahead of the 2018 season, with Lewis Hamilton ($1.67) the overwhelming favourite to make it back-to-back drivers championships for Mercedes.
Hamilton is a heavy favourite to begin his 2018 campaign with a win, priced at $2 to win the Melbourne Grand Prix at Sportsbet.
2017 Melbourne race winner and four-time drivers championship winner Sebastian Vettel will be looking for his third crown in the Australian Grand Prix.
Vettel is second favourite at $4.20 and is expected to be Hamilton’s nearest challenger in 2018.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is expected to be a big mover in 2018, with the Dutchman posting two wins from 20 starts last season.
He is $6.50 to take cross the finish line in first place in what would be his fourth career win and first for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo always gets a lot of attention when he comes to Melbourne, particularly now that he is the lone Australian driver on the circuit.
Ricciardo’s Red Bull has posted some impressive times in pre-season testing, with the Australian eager to add to his five career first place finishes.
He is $8 to win the Australian Grand Prix and be the first Australian man since Alan Jones in 1980 to win his home Grand Prix.
Other familiar names to Albert Park regulars will be Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen ($26) and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso ($51) both of who are outsiders for this race.
Albert Park is a temporary street circuit with a mix of fast flowing corners and technical sections, with its unique charm amongst the lakes and trees of the city a challenging race to begin the season.
The race has taken place in the twilight time slot for a number of years now to cater towards international viewers, with the low sun noted to be an issue for drivers in the past.
Rain is expected during qualifying and on race day, with a maximum temperature of 21°C expected on race day.
It is hard to bet against Lewis Hamilton who has been truly phenomenal over the past 12 months of racing.
While the sentimental pick for Australian’s will be to back Daniel Ricciardo, it is hard to see the Aussie overcoming the weight of expectation and skill of the likes of Hamilton and Vettel this early in the season.
Both Hamilton and Vettel have winning pedigree in this race as two-time champions, something which Ricciardo lacks.
As always in motorsport, anything is possible, but we are sticking with Hamilton to get his 2018 season off the mark with a race win.
Best bet- Lewis Hamilton to win the Australian Grand Prix at $2
Australian F1 Grand Prix Odds – Sportsbet
Lewis Hamilton $2
Sebastian Vettel $4.20
Max Verstappen $6.50
Daniel Ricciardo $8
Valtteri Bottas $8.50
Kimi Raikkonen $26
Fernando Alonso $51
Stoffel Vandoorne $151
Nico Hulkenberg $201
Esteban Ocon $251
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