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Twenty races will determine the outcome of the 2015 Formula One title and it would be an enormous surprise if the winner was neither Lewis Hamilton nor Nico Rosberg, the drivers who yet again appear to have the best machinery at their disposal.
The Mercedes pair of Hamilton and Rosberg won 16 of last year’s 19 Formula One races, finishing first and second in the same race on 11 occasions. Only once did a Mercedes man not start a Formula One race from pole position – take a bow, Felipe Massa, for your performance in qualifying first for the Austrian Grand Prix – and the Silver Arrows locked up the front row of the grid 12 times. If it had not been for the tension between Hamilton and Rosberg – the drivers are not the best of friends, it would seem – then the 2014 Formula One championship would have been a snoozefest.
By rights, the 2014 Formula One championship should not have been anywhere near as interesting as it ended up being. The Formula One title was up for grabs until Hamilton crossed the line first in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but it was only the British driver’s bad luck and the governing body’s silly decision to award double points in the final race that kept everyone on tenterhooks. Hamilton’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix win was his 11th of the Formula One season, the British driver taking the chequered flag first six times more than Rosberg. It would have been a travesty of justice had Hamilton not won his second Formula One title and first since 2008.
The word out of pre-season testing is that Mercedes is going to be the dominant Formula One constructor again. There were instances, even towards the dying stages of the 2014 Formula One season, in which the Mercedes cars were lapping roughly one second faster than the vehicles of their rivals. With no substantial rule changes, it was always going to be a tough ask for any of the other teams to catch up to Mercedes. So, as was the case 12 months ago, Formula One punters are left to choose between Hamilton and Rosberg for the chocolates.
Hamilton has to be the call at odds of 67/100 1.67 -149 0.67 -1.49 0.67 with Betfred and Totesport to become the 10th driver to win three Formula One championships and only the second British racer, the other being Jackie Stewart. Hamilton and Rosberg completed 14 of the same Formula One races last season, with the British driver beating his German teammate 10 times. If only those 14 Formula One races had counted – thereby eliminating most of the good and bad luck that each driver experienced – the points tallies would have been 309 to Hamilton and 256 to Rosberg. Yes, one knows that the Formula One competition goes for eight months and that is a long time to wait for an odds-on winner but, barring injury, Hamilton looks like a good thing and, if anything, he is well over the odds.
Formula One punters on the lookout for a futures bet at big odds could do worse than back Romain Grosjean, probably each way, in the title market without the Mercedes drivers based on the testing times of the Frenchman’s Lotus car. Lotus has switched from Renault power to Mercedes power and its times have caught one’s eyes in more than one testing session so one is willing to wager that its results are not a fluke.
Grosjean is a capable driver – he racked up three podiums in a row towards the end of the 2013 Formula One – who did not have the equipment to be a player in 2014. Grosjean is trading at odds of 100/1 101.00 +10000 100.00 100.00 -0.01 with Boylesports in its Formula One championship without Mercedes and they offer each-way terms of one-fifth of the odds for three places.
Grosjean to win F1 Championship (w/o Mercedes)
Starts 15th March 05:00 GMT
Odds: 100/1 101.00 +10000 100.00 100.00 -0.01 EW
Where to Bet: Boylesports