Wed, Jul 4, 3:07pm by Staff Writer
Red Bull claimed victory in their home Grand Prix in Austria thanks to Max Verstappen who crossed the finish line 1.5 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
The result was Verstappen’s first race win of the 2018 season, but he is priced as a $101 chance at Sportsbet of winning the Drivers Championship, trailing new leader Sebastian Vettel by more than 50 points.
Vettel is once again in the picture to take out the Drivers Championship, priced at $2.60 at Sportsbet. Lewis Hamilton remains the favourite at $1.50.
It was a wonderful afternoon for Vettel in Austria as he claimed his fifth podium finish of the season and leapfrogged Lewis Hamilton to the top of the standings.
Hamilton suffered his first race retirement since 2016 in a bleak day for Mercedes, who suffered a double mechanical retirement for the first time since their return as a constructor in 2010.
Finland’s Valtteri Bottas started from pole in the race, his first of the season, but lost out to Hamilton at the start and dropped back to fourth early in the race.
Mercedes has had a stranglehold on the Austrian circuit since its reintroduction to the calendar in 2014.
Bottas battled back to second position, with Mercedes headed for a one-time finish until he retired with a hydraulics failure on lap 14.
He retired with eight laps to go and while in fourth place, ended a record run of 33 successive scoring finishes. He remains third best priced in the market at $67, but is a considerable distance behind Vettel and Hamilton.
Vettel now leads the Drivers Championship on 146 points, with Hamilton close behind on 145 points.
Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo was also out of luck in Austria, having to retire on his 29th birthday, as teammate Verstappen claimed the win. A broken exhaust was Ricciardo’s undoing, with the Aussie in fourth place on the standings. He is $101 despite that, with his best hope to finish third this season.
Of note in Austria was France’s Romain Grosjean scoring his first points of the season with a fourth placed finish at the event.
The Constructors Championship standings were also reversed after a calamitous day for Mercedes, with Ferrari taking a 10 point lead.
The Raikkonen-Vettel podium finish has pushed Ferrari up to 247 points, with Mercedes not accruing any points in Austria and remaining on 237 points.
Red Bull are in third on 189 points, with a huge gap to fourth placed Renault.
Despite a poor event in Austria, Mercedes remain the overwhelming favourite in this market at $1.25, with Ferrari at $3.75. Red Bull are priced at $23.
This is in large part due to oddsmakers believing Hamilton will excel in future races and therefore Mercedes will score more heavily than their opposition.
The next Grand Prix takes place is the British Grand Prix at the iconic Silverstone Circuit this weekend.
Hamilton is the early favourite to claim victory at $1.91 at Sportsbet, with Vettel ($4.50) and Bottas ($6) the next best priced. Daniel Ricciardo is paying $11 for the win.
F1 Drivers Championship Odds – Sportsbet
Lewis Hamilton $1.50
Sebastian Vettel $2.60
Valtteri Bottas $67
Max Verstappen $101
Daniel Ricciardo $101
Kimi Raikkonen $201
Red Bull Racing $23
British Grand Prix Winner
Lewis Hamilton $1.91
Sebastian Vettel $4.50
Valtteri Bottas $6
Max Verstappen $7
Daniel Ricciardo $11
Kimi Raikkonen $13
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