Formula One Betting Preview & Predictions: Australian Grand Prix (Sunday)
Lewis Hamilton to be fastest again in faster cars?
The 2018 Formula 1 cars are faster than their 2017 counterparts. That is one of the few conclusions we can safely make from the pre-season F1 testing that took place at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya at the end of February and start of March.
It is also safe to say that podium positions will primarily be fought over by Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes drivers once again. The F1 betting firms are adamant that Lewis Hamilton is the man to beat, the Brit is generally even-money to claim his fourth World Drivers Championship in five years.
Mercedes the Kingmaker
Given his current teammate, Valtteri Bottas, does not look either capable or permitted to put up the kind of fight former teammate, Nico Rosberg, once did, it looks a great price. After all Mercedes have a hyper reliable car and with major rule changes to engines or gearboxes, that dependability is not going to disappear.
Furthermore Mercedes have remarkable resources which were seen to great effect last season. Their car was outclassed by Ferrari in the opening races of 2017 yet became one that was superior at the end of it.
There’s been plenty of changes amongst the remaining seven teams. McLaren are now powered by Renault, Toro Rosso have Honda engines and the Sauber team will have the latest spec Ferrari power units.
Sauber is really interesting as they were previously handicapped by engines which were a year out of date. And not only will they have Ferrari’s latest power units, a lot of their cars rear suspension and gearbox is being supplied from the Italian manufacturer this season. This could make Sauber the surprise package amongst the mid-pack teams this year.
Sunday’s best F1 bet is a McLaren DNF
We will know a lot more once this race weekend is out the way. We are predicting Lewis Hamilton will have the car (we know he has the ability) to win the Australian Grand Prix for a third time and it is the usual suspects that should chase him home.
But for Formula One betting purposes our next fancy comes in the obscure ‘first driver retirement’ market. Melbourne is a race which normally claims a number of casualties. There were seven last year with complaints ranging from ‘brakes’ to ‘water leaks’.
McLaren showed they had substantial reliability problems in winter testing. In addition to five on-track breakdowns in the space of four days they also completed less test miles than any other team. Taking this into account it is their Belgian pilot, Stoffel Vandoorne, that looks the most likely to be parked up on the side of the racetrack before any other.
Recommended Formula One Bets:
F1 World Championship – Lewis Hamilton 5/6 (1.83) William Hill
Australian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton 11/10 (2.10) William Hill
First Driver Retirement – Stoffel Vandoorne 11/1 (12.00) Betstars
F1 2018 schedule
The 2018 F1 season will consist of 21 races, the French Grand Prix at the Paul Ricard Circuit being a new addition and the German Grand Prix making a welcome return to the calendar.
- 25th March Australian GP – Melbourne
- 8th April Bahrain GP – Sakhir
- April 15 Chinese GP, Shanghai
- April 29 Azerbaijan GP, Baku
- May 13 Spanish GP, Barcelona
- May 27 Monaco GP, Monaco
- June 10 Canadian GP, Montreal
- June 24 French GP, Le Castellet
- July 1 Austrian GP, Spielberg
- July 8 British GP, Silverstone
- July 22 German GP, Hockenheim
- July 29 Hungarian GP, Budapest
- August 26 Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps
- September 2 Italian GP, Monza
- September 16 Singapore GP, Marina Bay
- September 30 Russian GP, Sochi
- October 7 Japanese GP, Suzuka
- October 21 United States GP, Austin
- October 28 Mexican GP, Mexico City
- November 11 Brazilian GP, Sao Paulo
- November 25 Abu Dhabi GP, Yas Marina