Bahrain Grand Prix Preview: Vettel to Reign Supreme?6 min read
I feel we were unlucky to only receive four wins, from six picks, at the Australian Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas’ crash during qualifying put pay to what could quite easily have been a clean sweep. That said, if you were to have backed each of the tips with a level stake, you would have seen a profit. So all in all, not a bad weekend. This weekend sees the Formula 1 circus return to the Bahrain International Circuit for the Bahrain Grand Prix. We once again take a look at the odds to try to make it another profitable weekend of F1 punting.
Can Sebastian Vettel reign supreme at the Bahrain Grand Prix?
During the power-unit era, the fastest time set in FP1 has been evenly split between Ferrari and Mercedes, each taking two apiece. It’s worth noting that Lewis Hamilton, the market leader, hasn’t managed to finish FP1 fastest since 2014. With this in mind, I’m looking elsewhere for a bet. In Australia, Kimi Räikkönen was 4th fastest out of the box and, interestingly, quicker than Sebastian Vettel. Vettel was fastest in the Bahrain GP FP1 last year and so we know the Ferrari is likely to be quick out of the blocks again this year. So, a safe bet could well be on Vettel to be quickest at , however, on Räikkönen is far too tasty not to have a nibble at.
Kimi Räikkönen quickest in practice 1 at
Unsurprisingly, thanks to their “party mode,” Mercedes have been top of the timings during qualifying for each of the last four years. I see no reason for this to change this year, assuming they can keep themselves pointing in the correct direction. Lewis Hamilton deservedly is favourite to start the race from the first position. But, since his teammate has started ahead of him twice in the last four years, including last year, looks far too short.
The available for last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix pole sitter, Valtteri Bottas, looks like a much more attractive price.
It’s also worth noting that, during the power-unit era, pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix has been taken by an average margin of 0.1975 seconds. The last two seasons have been 0.023 and 0.077 seconds respectively. So backing the under 0.25 on the qualifying margin alongside the fastest qualifier seems a sensible way to boost your odds a little. Luckily, thanks to our #PriceItUp markets, this is a bet that now can be placed.
Valtteri Bottas fastest qualifier at
#PriceItUp: Valtteri Bottas to get pole by under 0.25 seconds at
The winner of the race has started from pole position just once in the past five years. This win was, admittedly, achieved by World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, however, this was back in 2015. So, the value may well be in opposing the pole sitter winning the race.
I truly believe that, despite Hamilton’s claims, Mercedes do have qualifying “party mode” and, so, will get a one-two in qualifying, barring any mishaps.
My money isn’t on either of the Mercedes’ topping the podium on Sunday though. I’m backing last year’s winner and current world championship leader, Sebastian Vettel. Vettel has previous in the desert, with three Bahrain Grand Prix wins to his name. Vettel is currently for the win, however, I’ll be keeping my powder dry until after qualifying as, should Vettel start behind both of the Mercedes, the price for the win should lengthen considerably. There is also the added benefit that, should something go catastrophically wrong, we won’t be stuck in a seemingly unwinnable position even before the race starts.
The fight to become a five-time world champion will continue to intensify the rivalry between Hamilton and Vettel. Both will, undoubtedly, be aware that the winner of the Bahrain Grand Prix has been crowned world champion for nine of the previous 13 visits.
Vettel to win the Bahrain Grand Prix (to be placed after qualifying, if Vettel 3rd behind the Mercedes pair)