If the first half of the season belonged to Mercedes, the Ferrari’s have begun to take ownership of the second half, winning three consecutive races for the first time in over a decade.
Sebastian Vettel grabbed a much-needed win last time out in Singapore, releasing the pressure being heaped on him by teammate Charles Leclerc just a hint.
With the circus rolling on to Russia, the Red Bull’s, as well as the Mercedes, will be looking to get back on top of the podium.
Our Formula 1 betting expert previews the race.
Charles Leclerc could very well have become just the third driver in F1 to win three races in a row after winning their first, were it not for a botched pit call from the garages. Although the young driver made his disappointment clear on the team radio, he has since apologised for his conduct. He looked quick in first practice on Friday and is well-priced at 8/5 to pick up a third F1 win here.
After picking up his first win in over a year, Sebastian Vettel will be feeling much more content than in previous race weeks. The German finished third here last season and should fancy his chances of bettering that result with the improvements made to the car of late. He’s 7/2 to win back-to-back races in Sochi.
Things have gone a little quiet at Mercedes since the summer break, with Lewis Hamilton maintaining a strong lead at the top of the driver’s standings. The Briton prevailed last season in Russia on his way to sealing a fifth World title and knows he could go a great distance towards sealing a sixth if he was to repeat that result (9/4 at Grosvenorsport.com) this weekend.
Valterri Bottas is starting to be put under a bit of pressure for second place in the driver’s standings from Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. The Finn has been reasonably consistent without ever really feeling like a genuine championship contender. He has, however, had his seat for next season confirmed and will be desperate to prove Mercedes’ right in this decision. He’s a ‘gimme’ 3/5 to finish on the podium.
Max Verstappen will once again provide the Red Bull’s most serious challenge in this race, topping the bills in first practice. If anyone was in doubt before, the Dutchman has undoubtedly shown his championship credentials this year, adding a previously unseen maturity to his driving. If he keeps improving, he’ll pile the pressure on Red Bull to produce a car capable of taking him to the heights he deserves or risk losing him to a team that can. He’s 7/1 to win on Sunday at Grosvenorsport.com.
Having replaced Pierre Gasly recently, Alexander Albon will be looking to land a few results capable of cementing his place at Red Bull. He’s unlikely to get a win here, but top three at 12/1 could be a strong outside bet.