From the moment that Lewis Hamilton got too much wheelspin at the start of the Australian Grand Prix his season hasn’t gone how he’d imagined it. Now, after three races, with Nico Rosberg having racked up six successive F1 wins (on the back of three at the tail end of last season) the three-times World Champion needs to stop the rot.
Hamilton has always been good at the billiard-table-smooth Russian GP in Sochi, so provided he doesn’t have any more engine or gearbox woes, then this should see the start of his fightback.
Already he has seen his position as 2016 favourite cast aside by the bookies with Paddy Power demoting him to second favourite now that Rosberg is more than a race win ahead in the points table.
So maybe this is the best time to have a cheeky little punt on the man who is ready to give us more Hammer Time.
Heading into the Russian GP it’s now Nico Rosberg favourite at 4/6 while Lewis Hamilton is down to 11/4. However there has been a big slide in the anticipated fortunes of the Ferrari team. Sebatian vettel was once 5-1 but finds himself now at 12-1 and Kimi Raikkonen has slipped from 40-1 to 100-1. Strangest of all, though, are the odds (and they are odd) for Nico Hulkenberg. The man whose name has been mentioned in connection with a Ferrari drive – both he and Valtteri Bottas were thought to be candidates for Kimi Raikkonen’s drive in 2016 – is at a miserable 2000-1.
Obviously it’s not going to happen for the German in 2016, he is not going to do a Leicester City, but the fact is that both Manor drivers, including rookie Rio Haryanto, are at 1000-1.
Mercedes are now embarrassingly overwhelming favourites for the Constructors’ title at 1-33 (before they were 1-8 and then 1-14). The only thing that can stop them is some sort of rules infraction, an F1 version of the VW emissions scandal. Ferrari have dwindled from 4-1 to 6-1 and now 10-1, and with a crushing sense of deja-vu McLaren have slumped from 11-1 (in pre-season) to 16-1, a post-Melbourne 66-1 and now a crushing 250-1 after China. Although they are inching their way up the grid.
Now that we have the engine and aero rules set for 2017 there are chances for the established order to be upset next season, but don’t count on it.
Bets we’d like to see Paddy Power create some odds for
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