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Sportsbooks Heavily Favor Hamilton for Austrian GP 2018

June 28, 2018

Lewis Hamilton is leading in this season’s World Championship Drivers’ Standing after winning the French Grand Prix 2018.

With Hamilton leading by 14 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel, sportsbooks widened the odds gap between the two for Austrian GP 2018. Will Hamilton maintain his lead or will Vettel take back the top spot in the Drivers’ Standing by winning the Austrian GP title this Sunday?

Hamilton Wins French GP with Ease

The French GP was an easy win for Hamilton who took the pole position in the qualifiers and went nearly unchallenged throughout the race. One of the reasons for the British driver’s performance was the latest engine inside his Mercedes.

Hamilton said:

“The car feels great, and the new engine is also great. And we haven’t even opened it up yet. I feel very grateful for a solid weekend. My guys [Mercedes], I’ve been with them for six years and they are just continuously pushing the boundaries and never giving up, so I’m just forever grateful for all their work, here at the track and back at the factory. But there’s a long way to go and we’ll keep approaching the rest of the season like we approached today.”

The last GP could have ended differently for Vettel had he not crashed into Valtteri Bottas at the first corner of the first lap. Stewards of the previous race imposed a five-second timed penalty on Vettel for causing the collision.

Vettel said:

“The car was quick. But I wasn’t able to be quick in it today. This is a tricky track, and we are not yet where we should be.”

Despite the setback, Vettel managed to finish fifth while his team mate, Kimi Räikkönen, finished third. The German driver also surprised many people, including his Mercedes rival, by winning the Driver of the Day award in the last race.

Sportsbooks were impressed by Hamilton’s victory that they improved his odds for the next race. William Hill has 2.10 odds for the Mercedes driver to win the Austrian GP while Bet365 gives him 2.00 odds. Meanwhile, both bookmakers have low expectations from Vettel because of his collision with Bottas. Bet365 and William Hill set the Ferrari driver with 3.25 odds to win.

| Related: Hamilton Favored to Win His 7th Canadian GP Title

Verstappen Right Behind Hamilton

Like Hamilton, Verstappen took advantage of Vettel’s collision with Bottas during the race. The young Dutchman raced cleanly by keeping an arms distance from Hamilton throughout the French GP. This led to Verstappen finishing second and becoming the first Red Bull driver this season to get consecutive podiums.

Verstappen said:

“I tried to follow Lewis. I had a good race. It’s good to be on the podium.”

Meanwhile, Ricciardo managed to finish fourth, ahead of Vettel by about 27 seconds. The French GP could have seen two Red Bull drivers on the podium if Ricciardo had properly configured his car for the last GP’s track conditions. In addition, his car was damaged by the debris on the tracks, downgrading the performance of his machine.

Ricciardo said:

“I’m obviously a bit disappointed and it’s a shame to lose out on the podium today. We were definitely quicker than fourth place and it could have been a good battle with (Red Bull teammate) Max (Verstappen). The positive is that we got some decent points but we were definitely quicker than fourth and just unlucky this afternoon.”

Bookmakers have not changed their stance on both Verstappen and Ricciardo. Bet365 and William Hill have given both Red Bull drivers 9.00 odds to win.

All drivers will be heading to Spielberg, Verstappen’s team hometown, where they will be racing in the Red Bull Ring this weekend. The pressure to gain the most points in the next race will be felt in the qualifiers where the pole position is crucial. According to Hamilton, overtaking in the Red Bull Ring will be very difficult. The driver who will start at pole position will have a clear advantage in the Austrian GP.

| Related: Vettel Leads F1 Drivers’ Standing After Canadian GP Win