Following a decade-long absence, Formula One makes its return to France. Magny-Cours was the home of the French Grand Prix on several occasions, but Paul Ricard, a track F1 has not visited since 1990, will be the host for this year’s renewal.
Here are our motor racing expert’s best Formula One bets to look at ahead of the action.
Hamilton and Vettel vying for favouritism
As one would expect, Lewis Hamilton (6/4) and Sebastian Vettel (7/4) dominate the market for the French Grand Prix. With little recent track experience to go on, the top two in the driver’s championship look the logical starting points when trying to find the winner of the latest stop on the F1 calendar.
While Hamilton took the title in Australia and Spain, his season, has in truth, failed to really take off and he must be fearful that Vettel’s lead at the top will increase if things continue as they have in recent races.
He does traditionally take a while to really get going and tends to dominate as the season goes on, but he’ll have to get on with it with Vettel and his Ferrari seemingly showing few chinks in their respective armours.
The German comes into this off the back of a dominant performance in Canada. He was never really in trouble throughout and looked in total control over the 68 laps. Many people would argue that he should be the favourite for the race in France based on Hamilton’s recent mechanical problems as well as the confidence that Vettel has been driving with.
Top two look too good again
As the market suggests, this looks like a two-horse race and of the two I have to side with Vettel at 7/4. He’s in far better form than Hamilton and looks very happy and confident with his car’s current set-up. Meanwhile, Hamilton is struggling for consistency and I don’t think the 6/4 about him offers much value.
Instead, it might be worth taking a chance on his Mercedes partner Valtteri Bottas to finish in the first three at Evens. Like Hamilton, Bottas was also down on power in Canada, but he managed to get his car over the line in second and I think he’s quite often underestimated in the market. He’s finished on the podium in two of the last three Grand Prix’s and I expect him to follow up again in France.