We’ve had two races of the 21 this season and it’s fair to say that the fastest driver has not won either of these races. Will the Chinese Grand Prix buck this trend?

Sebastian Vettel has scored maximum points in Australia and Bahrain, making him 17 points clear of Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship. Lewis Hamilton will be looking to take the fight to the Ferrari Driver at this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix. After fighting back from ninth to get on the podium in Bahrain, and picking up a second place in Melbourne, he has already shown there’s plenty of pace in the 2018 Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton to get revenge at the Chinese Grand Prix?

Practice

Once again we take a look at practice one looking for a big price to get our weekend off to a flying start. Last season Max Verstappen came flying out of the traps to take the fastest time in FP1. In Bahrain, it was Verstappen’s teammate that set the fastest time in the first practice. After the double retirement for the Red Bull pair, you have to feel that they’re going to want to prove themselves in Shanghai.

Chinese Grand Prix Preview

So, there’s only one question, Max or Daniel? Verstappen has got the better of his Australian teammate in five of the six free practice sessions so far this season, so it’s a fairly easy choice in the end. There’s also, at time of writing, a good chance that FP1 will be a little damp, conditions that the young Dutchman relishes. An each way bet makes sense as it means if he places in the top three, we will still see a return.

Tip

Max Verstappen quickest in practice 1 at (EW 1,2,3)

 

Qualifying

Qualifying in China has been an all Mercedes affair over recent years. Three of the last four pole positions have been taken by Lewis Hamilton. Despite the lack of qualifying pace in Bahrain compared to the Ferraris, it’s hard to look past the Silver Arrows this weekend. Equally, it’s hard to see past Hamilton, despite the rather skinny odds on offer.

The margin of qualifying has offered some tasty looking prices of recent, however this week I’d suggest it’s better to keep your powder dry as statistically it is a crap-shoot. With an average margin of 0.3345 over the past four years, the 11/8 on offer for over 0.25 seconds does tempt. This bet, however, would have lost 50f58c50f0e39ac2a} of the time during the power-unit era, including last year.

Tip

Lewis Hamilton fastest qualifier at

 

The Race

When we come to the race, the statistics tell the story for us again. The last four years has seen the race won from pole position. Based on my thoughts for qualifying, the obvious bet is Hamilton to win. You may decide that just backing the winner to start on pole market, at 4/6, offers a nice little safety net in case Hamilton fails to ‘light it up’ in Q3. That is not a safety net I’ll be worrying about though, with 5 Chinese Grand Prix victories to his name and three of the last four poles, I’m going straight in on Lewis.

Chinese Grand Prix Preview

Bahrain showed us anything is possible, especially if you’re driving a Toro Rosso Honda. Pierre Gasly’s fourth place was nothing short of a miracle for the Faenza based team. It did show that there’s a decent amount of pace in the Honda engine, despite the claims of many around the paddock. Whereas Pierre Gasly was able to exploit Toro Rosso’s new-found pace, his teammate, Brendon Hartley, saw his race unravel with a pair of time penalties. Prior to this, Hartley was looking good for his first points finish in Formula One. Hartley certainly has the talent to mix it with the big hitters and now it seems that he may have the machinery. My hope is that Hartley’s luck runs better this weekend.

Tips

Hamilton to win the Chinese Grand Prix at

Brendon Hartley points finish at

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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