Carabao Cup Semi-Final Preview
Lewis Hamilton comes into the Brazilian Grand Prix knowing he is already the World Champion. But it’s not all over for the Mercedes team as they are yet to sew up the lucrative Constructor’s title. Mercedes will be quietly confident though having won three of the last four races at Interlagos.
A silver arrow has started on pole for each of the last four Brazilian Grands Prix. In fact, the average qualifying gap between the Mercedes and their rivals during this time is a massive 0.363 seconds. The gap between last year’s pole sitter, Valtteri Bottas, and second placed Sebastian Vettel was just 0.038 seconds – so Ferrai must feel like they’ve got a chance to reverse Mercedes’ qualifying dominance at this year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
My money will be firmly on the Silver Arrows again this year though. Currently it looks as if qualifying will be a dry and warm affair. Assuming Mercedes have got to the bottom of their rear tyre cooling issue, they should be difficult to beat. Preference would be for Valtteri Bottas as Hamilton has only started on pole once in the last four years. In fact, he’s only managed to out-qualify his teammate once in in the last five years.
It looks like there may be some rain hanging around Interlagos this weekend – Red Bull’s Christian Horner must have been doing his rain dance. The rain would help the Red Bulls, however, even the team themselves thought Mexico was their last real chance to get a win this year. Personally, I’d love to see it pouring down with rain and Max Verstappen storming around the circuit. Unfortunately, the reality is that, even if the rain does arrive, it’s unlikely to be wet enough to make up for the power deficit Red Bull are suffering.
Lewis Hamilton is 15/8 second favourite for victory behind Sebastian Vettel and I can’t quite fathom how. Hamilton was very publicly given a free-kick in Russia at Bottas’ expense. Now the Drivers’ Championship has been wrapped up, both Hamilton and Mercedes will be looking at repaying the favour.
That makes my decision easy; I truly believe that the Mercedes will be the best car this weekend. Barring any unforeseen circumstances for the Silver Arrows I see a one-two finish with Bottas being prioritised over Hamilton for the victory.
Back Valtteri Bottas to qualify fastest at 15/2
Back Valtteri Bottas to win the race at 6/1