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F1 Podium: Three Bets for the Austrian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Austrian Grand Prix Formula 1

OK, so we didn’t fare exactly as we had hoped in Baku after a 3-for-3 weekend in Montreal, but damn we were close! Let’s pick up the pieces from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and pick some winners for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

After a 10-year hiatus from Formula 1, racing returned to Austria in 2014 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. Mercedes will be excited as the team has dominated in three races since the Grand Prix came back to the calendar with wins in all three races. Lewis Hamilton, who trails Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 14 points entering the weekend, won here last year while now ex-teammate Nico Rosberg won in 2014 and 2015.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was certainly one of the best, most entertaining Grand Prix in some time. If the Austrian Grand Prix is going to be half that race, we should be in store for something thrilling in Spielberg.

As ever with an F1 race, there is plenty of value on the board. Here are three wagers to consider – starting with the longer odds – that are available at online shop Bovada.

I’m going to go a bit more conservative with this week’s picks to try to have a nice rebound after Baku. All picks are still plus-money, but there’s nothing like we had last time with Checo Perez for top three at +1000 or anything like that.

(Article and odds ahead of Saturday’s qualifying)

P1: Daniel Ricciardo Top 3 Finish (+300)

Ricciardo’s win at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – and, to be honest, his great driving in recent races – has been Red Bull’s saving grace this season considering the way Max Verstappen’s luck has gone so far (through no fault of his own, mind you). Ricciardo has now reached four podiums in the last four races and has been one of the best drivers in F1 over that stretch.

The way the Aussie has been driving makes this wager extremely appealing and there is really no sense in not backing this until he starts finishing outside the podium spots with some consistency.

Red Bull Ring has not been his best circuit, but he did finish fifth here one year ago (eighth in 2014, 10th in 2015).

Ricciardo is already on 92 points so far in the campaign and has finished top five in all but two races (both retirements). He is just 19 points behind Valtteri Bottas for third in the drivers’ standings and another strong showing could close the gap on the Finn.

P2: Both Williams Cars to Finish Top 10 (+250)

Backing the two Force India cars to finish top 10 was my favorite bet of the early F1 season (-125 this weekend), but the value has slowly evaporated (though in fairness, it should have better value considering the team’s results the last two times out). But with the way the Williams cars have been going, I love this wager at plus-money odds.

Rookie Lance Stroll stole the show in Baku with an incredible third-place drive and Driver of the Day honors and has a ton of momentum behind him with points in his last two races. The young Canadian appears to be brimming with confidence every time he’s behind the wheel. It will be tough for him to replicate another podium finish, but I think Stroll will be in the points with more frequency before the season wraps.

Teammate Felipe Massa, on the other hand, has been driving exceptionally all season long. He’s had to retire in back-to-back races but was on pace for a top-three finish at the very least in Baku before retiring due to a suspension issue.

Still, the Brazilian has been in the points in four of eight races and finished third and fourth here in 2014 and 2015 (he retired with brake issues last season).

I expect Williams to score double points here and will be looking at this option for as long as it stays in the plus-money region.

P3: Lewis Hamilton Fastest Lap (+120)

Hamilton has recorded the fastest lap in four of this season’s eight races and has never gone two races without earning that honor. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel recorded the fastest lap in Baku so this is a good price for Hamilton to keep that trend going in race 9.

In last season’s Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton recorded the fastest lap with a 1:08.411 on lap 67. He is coming off a very disappointing weekend in Baku that saw Vettel ram into the back of his Mercedes and he fell out of the podium spots thanks to a poorly installed headrest that forced him to box on lap 31. Ultimately, Hamilton finished fifth – his second-worst finish of the season after P7 in Canada.

Furthermore, Hamilton was flying in Friday’s practice sessions, posting a time of 1:05.975 in the first free practice and 1:05.483 in the second.

All of these potential wagers could look very different come Sunday morning, but ahead of Saturday’s qualifying, they all look like pretty damn good wagers for the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix.

2017 Austrian Grand Prix Odds
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)-165
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)+350
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)+500
Max Verstappen (Red Bull)+1200
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)+2500
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)+2500
Sergio Perez (Force India)+25000
Fernando Alonso (McLaren)+25000
Esteban Ocon (Force India)+30000
Niko Hulkenberg (Renault)+30000
Felipe Massa (Williams)+50000
Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso)+75000
Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)+75000
Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)+75000
Romain Grosjean (Haas)+100000
Lance Stroll (Williams)+100000
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)+100000
Jolyon Palmer (Renault)+300000
Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)+300000
Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)+300000

Odds as of July 7 at Bovada