Oppose Mercedes in Malaysian fastest-lap betting

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Mercedes filled the first two spots in last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix and, given the dominance of the Silver Arrows in this season’s opening Australian Grand Prix, one would have to be a brave punter to bet against either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg taking the chequered flag first in Sepang.

One has written several times that one rates Hamilton as a significantly superior driver to Rosberg so, if one wants to bet on the headline event of the Malaysian Grand Prix then one would suggest backing Hamilton. However, one has seen the Sepang weather forecast for Sunday and the high chance of an afternoon thunderstorm puts one off taking short odds.

It rained during qualifying for the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix but the heavens did not open during the race and the result was that Hamilton landed his first-ever Grand Slam of pole position, fastest lap and leading the race from start to finish. One is willing to take a punt on rain impacting the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix and the market on which one wants to speculate is the one pertaining to the fastest lap.

One thinks that there is good value in opposing the Mercedes pair of Hamilton and Rosberg in the betting on the Malaysian Grand Prix fastest lap. One’s theory is that Hamilton and Rosberg may dominate the Malaysian Grand Prix – Mercedes boasts a performance edge that makes it hard to see another team winning the race – but that the Silver Arrows may not be running at 100 per cent towards the end of the contest when fuel loads are low and fast laps are recorded. The probability of that scenario playing out increases if the Malaysian Grand Prix track is wet and Mercedes goes into risk-management mode – winning the race is 100 times more important than clocking the fastest lap of the event.

Mercedes dominated Formula One last year, winning 16 of the 19 races and missing pole position only once. But Mercedes was not so dominant when it came to fastest laps, with the Silver Arrows giving way to rival constructors seven times. The fastest-lap strike rate of Mercedes in the 16 grands prix that it won was 37.50 per cent yet bookmakers are quoting short odds about the Silver Arrows teammates.

Hamilton is absolutely poisonous odds at as low as -120  with Bet365 and SkyBet to post the fastest lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix. And Rosberg is not much more attractively priced, either. One thinks that there is mileage in dutching four drivers – Valtteri Bottas (odds if +1600  with Ladbrokes), Felipe Massa (odds of +1600  with BetVictor), Kimi Raikkonen (odds of +1600  with BetVictor and Boylesports) and Sebastian Vettel (odds of +1400  with Boylesports and Ladbrokes) and taking on the Mercedes men. Dutching Bottas, Massa, Raikkonen and Vettel with Ladbrokes generates appealing odds of around +311  that either a Ferrari driver or a Williams driver registers the fastest lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Sepang International Circuit has staged 16 editions of the Malaysian Grand Prix and just twice has the race winner posted the fastest lap – Jenson Button in 2009 and Hamilton in 2014. One thinks it is worth noting that most Formula One fans would, if surveyed, nominate Button as the best driver in wet conditions among the current crop. It is a shame that Button and his McLaren colleague, Kevin Magnussen, had an Australian Grand Prix to forget because the former would have been interesting on some Malaysian Grand Prix markets.

Tips Summary

Malaysian Grand Prix Fastest Lap (dutched +311 )
Bottas ( +1600 )
Massa ( +1600 )
Raikkonen ( +1600 )
Vettel ( +1400 )
29th March 08:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Bet365, SkyBetLadbrokesBetVictor, Boylesports

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