Formula One Chinese Grand Prix: 2018 Odds

After two races of the 2018 F1 season, Sebastian Vettel has taken both wins to establish a lead at the head of the Drivers’ Championship. It’s still early days of course but can the Ferrari man hang on and wrestle the crown from the Mercedes contingent?

With two podium finishes, reigning champion Lewis Hamilton will be disappointed with his start to the campaign but he remains in touch with the leader as we move on to China and the third race of the season this weekend.

Out in Front

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel’s impressive start gives us a fairly tight winner market for China but Hamilton remains as the favourite at best odds of 6/5 with Sky Bet. Vettel follows at 9/4 with Ladbrokes and Coral before the prices start to spread out.

Vettel and his team managed the race perfectly in Bahrain with shrewd tyre changes and after the driver had secured pole, the tactics saw them home. At the very least we should have a serious battle on our hands for the title even though the early indicators suggest it’s all about two men.

Back to the betting for China and after his second place in Bahrain, Valtteri Bottas goes into this race at best odds of 12/1 with SportingBet for the win. On those numbers, the Mercedes number two is just fifth favourite with both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo available at 11/1 with bet365 and William Hill.

The only other driver in double figures is Kimi Raikkonen at a best of 16/1 with 10Bet and Sport Pesa and then we move right out to Fernando Alonso who leads the list of outsiders at 300/1 with Unibet and 888Sport.

Those are the main prices and we’ll come to the verdict later but what are the other options for China and beyond?

Alternative Markets

Lewis Hamilton

It’s certainly worth taking a look at the season long bets in the wake of those two opening Grand Prix and although Ferrari’s Vettel has triumphed on both occasions, he’s not been able to shift the favourites.

In the Drivers’ Championship betting, Lewis Hamilton remains as favourite at best odds of 4/6 with Ladbrokes and Coral but there has been some interest in Sebastian Vettel who can now be picked up at a top price of 2/1 with most bookmakers including bet365 and MarathonBet.

Moving over to the Constructors’ Championship and with their two drivers both getting to the podium in Bahrain, things are clearer with Mercedes some way out in front at best odds of 4/9 with William Hill while once again there is some interest in Ferrari at a top price of 11/4 with MarathonBet.

The only other option as far as the bookies are concerned are Red Bull at a best of 10/1 with Unibet and 888Sport before we move out into treble figures.

Moving back to the Chinese Grand Prix and as we have seen at the start of the season, while the race winner has gone to the second favourite each time, the Pole Position and Fastest Lap in particular may have some better value.

Of those two, it’s the Fastest Lap betting that’s proved to be the most unpredictable with Daniel Ricciardo delivering the profit in Australia, followed by Valtteri Bottas last time out. For this weekend, the usual suspects lead the way with Hamilton favourite to go round fastest in China at best odds of 2/1 with SportingBet and Vettel behind at a top price of 3/1 with SportingBet again.

Ricciardo, meanwhile, is further back at a best of 11/1 with William Hill who are also quoting that same 11/1 against the name of Max Verstappen. Slightly shorter is Valtteri Bottas at 9/2 with SportingBet so that’s a market with plenty of interesting prices for us to refer to.

As for Pole Position, the first two races of 2018 have been split between the top two drivers so perhaps there is less chance of a shock here. For China, Lewis Hamilton is favourite to finish on pole at best odds of 11/13 with SportingBet while Sebastian Vettel follows at 3/1 with most bookies including bet365 and William Hill.

Other options for the Pole Position market include Valtteri Bottas at 6/1 with SportingBet and then we drift right out to Max Verstappen at 20/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.

Verdict

In 2017, Lewis Hamilton took the Chinese Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel and over the brief history of this event, the Englishman is completely dominant. The race was added to the F1 calendar in 2004 and Hamilton has since won five times while Vettel has just a solitary success with Red Bull in 2009.

Trends are meant to be broken of course but while the Ferrari driver has started 2018 so well, it’s obvious that Hamilton won’t be away from the top of the podium for too long.

There are some good options in the Fastest Lap market and a second straight profit for Valtteri Bottas could be a good punt but as for the winner, we think it’s time for our defending champion to rise to the top. A Hamilton – Vettel 1-2 would be a decent bet but instead of the straight forecast. We’ll keep it simple this week and back the Englishman for the win.

Best Bets for Chinese Grand Prix 2018:

  • Lewis Hamilton to win at 6/5 with Sky Bet
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