Who Are the Favored Drivers to Win Bahrain GP 2018?
April 6, 2018
Sebastian Vettel may have won Australian GP 2018 and last year’s Bahrain GP, but sportsbooks still favor Lewis Hamilton to win the next race. It will be a close battle for the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers because of the many long straights feature of the Sakhir circuit—features that favor Vettel and Raikkonen’s cars. With the unpredictability of the early season of Formula 1, who will reach the podium in Bahrain GP 2018 this weekend?
Top 4 Drivers to Win Bahrain
Hamilton tops sportsbooks charts with 1.72 odds from Bet365 and 1.83 odds from William Hill. Meanwhile, Bet365 sets Vettel with 4.33 odds and William Hill gives him 4.00 odds to win.
Bookmakers are likely favoring Hamilton’s superior driving performance, which he demonstrated in the Australian race last month. Vettel could not overtake the British driver throughout the first part of the race. The Ferrari driver only managed to take first place thanks to the safety car. This limited the speed of all drivers on the track while Vettel pit his car.
Although Valtteri Bottas finished eighth and Max Verstappen took sixth, both are the most favored racers to win the next GP. Bottas gets 6.00 odds from Bet365 and 7.00 from William Hill. Both sportsbooks give Verstappen 13.00 odds.
Surprisingly, Bottas has better odds than Verstappen for the next race. This can be because of how Bottas managed to secure eighth place in the last race despite a grid penalty. Meanwhile, Verstappen could not overtake many slow cars during the last GP in Australia.
One factor for Verstappen’s unfavorable odds is his practice schedule. Red Bull Racing’s practice sessions consist mostly of day trainings instead of night ones. Adjustment can be hard for Verstappen and his Red Bull Racing teammate when it comes to race for real. Since the qualifiers and main event are night races, the cold temperature can have a significant effect on the drivers. Another issue is with how the temperature difference affects the tires. Because of the practice schedule, Red Bull Racing’s team might not have the necessary data they need to determine which tires will allow Verstappen’s car to deliver good results.
Ferrari’s Dominant Long Straight Performance
Ferrari will be a threat at Bahrain because of the car’s performance in the long straights of the Sakhir Circuit.
Hamilton acknowledges the advantages that Ferraris have in Bahrain. He said:
“Their performance is better than it looked. Ferrari are going to be quick on the straights. They are going to be rapid at the next race, they are going to be good in Bahrain. They are always good on hot circuits – even though it is a night race it is tough on the tyres. Everyone’s talking about how much quicker we are but they were quick in the first stint. It was not easy to pull away from Kimi.”
Despite some hard lessons learned in last month’s Australian GP, Hamilton is still optimistic about winning Bahrain. Both Mercedes drivers are taking steps to avoid the same problem for the next race. This includes finding and correcting a glitch with an offline tool for calculating the delta times.
Another key factor of the track is the three tight turns after some of the long straights which require heavy braking. These technical turns present an opportunity to overtake for many drivers. Only time will tell as to how the drivers will use the three turns to their advantage this weekend.