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Which Racer Will Place 1st in Australian Grand Prix 2018?

Date Posted: March 14, 2018

With four World Championship titles and two Australian Grand Prix titles under his belt, Lewis Hamilton, the top driver of last season’s Formula 1, is favored to win the first Grand Prix in Melbourne this month. Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, still managed to be the second-ranking championship driver last year despite an unlucky season. Can Vettel pull off another win against Hamilton during his second year with Mercedes or will Max Verstappen cross the checkered flag first in Melbourne?

Hamilton’s Close Rivalry with Vettel Continues

Australian Grand Prix 2018 FrontrunnersSportsbooks once again highlight the rivalry of last season’s top F1 drivers. NetBet and Bet365 give Hamilton 2.00 odds to win, while Vettel gets the closest odds of 4.33 from Bet365 and 4.25 from NetBet.

Longtime F1 punters are likely the least surprised group to see Hamilton in the favored seat again because of his achievements last season. The British racer won nine out of 20 Grand Prix races and reached the podium several times in 2017. He ended the previous season with 363 points which helped him win his fourth World Championship title.

Hamilton and Valterri Bottas will use the latest W09 EQ Power+ car from Mercedes this year which is the 2016 challenger successor. Bottas is Hamilton’s team mate for Mercedes who finished third in the 2017 Driver’s Championship. According to Hamilton, the new car is a beast because of its capabilities. Sports betting sites are likely to be taking note of his new car which resulted in higher odds for the Australian Grand Prix.

It was a close match between Vettel and Hamilton during the early half of last season. But Vettel experienced a slump in the latter part of 2017. The German racer retired early across several races because of technical problems with his car and racing incidents. This season, Vettel has a clean slate and is not worrying about last year’s performance. He has confidence with the base setup of Ferrari’s new car which he will further explore and improve its performance throughout the year.

Ferrari showcased the latest Sauber C37 for both Vettel and Räikkönen. The new car has a narrow and long wheelbase than before along with new sidepods. Vettel’s new Ferrari can still perform at its highest during slow-speed circuits.

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Max Verstappen Gets Better Odds than Bottas

There is a good chance for Verstappen and Bottas to win the Grand Prix in Melbourne because of their performance last year. Surprisingly, Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer’s racer is favored more than the Mercedes’ driver. Verstappen gets 7.00 from Bet365 and 6.65 from NetBet. On the other hand, Bet365 puts Bottas at 8.00 while NetBet gives him 7.75.

Verstappen turned everyone’s head when he won the title in Malaysia Grand Prix 2017 against Hamilton with a 12-second gap. The Red Bull racer nearly won the title in Japan when he was seconds away from Hamilton to get first place.  In Mexico, Verstappen proved his potential by finishing first ahead of Bottas by more than 19 seconds.

Hamilton himself has seen potential in the Red Bull driver over his team mate and said:

“I think it is very difficult to say, he definitely has the potential to be a world champion as we’ve all seen that and that is why he has such a great following. We’ve seen the way he drives and he has great potential and is in a great team. I think he is in the perfect place to continue growing. He has a long time ahead of him even with a good few seasons under his belt. I still hadn’t even had my first season at 21 so he is even further ahead than me and a lot of the drivers.”

Verstappen will use the latest RB14 from Red Bull. The new car includes a new protective halo and new exclusion zones which removed the wings of the rear.

Every racer will likely not be performing their best in Melbourne since they are still getting used to their new car. This is why the start of any Formula 1 season can be anyone’s game. Audience could see Bottas or even Räikkönen cross the finish line first for the first Grand Prix of 2018.

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