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2018 F1 Drivers Championship Betting Odds: Hamilton DNF, Vettel Podiums in Austria

Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen (L) steers his car in front of Ferrari's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen (R) during the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix in Spielberg, central Austria, on July 1, 2018.

Red Bull finally won the Austrian Grand Prix on its home track over the weekend. Max Verstappen made history by becoming the first Red Bull team driver to carry the checkered flag at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. While Verstappen’s win was the storyline of the day, the storyline of the drivers championship is an intriguing one as well.

Mercedes DNF For First Time Since 2016

The Spanish Grand Prix two seasons ago was the last time that both Mercedes vehicles didn’t finish a race. It happened again this past weekend in Austria. After defending champion and pole sitter Valtteri Bottas lost power early in the race, points leader and teammate Lewis Hamilton went out with mechanical issues and just a handful of laps remaining on Sunday.

The DNF was critical to Hamilton in the points pursuit and now marks the third time in nine races that an error by the crew in the pit has led to on-track issues for Hamilton. A clearly frustrated Hamilton radioed to his team that “we’ve thrown away a win.” Upon returning to the pit he stormed past assembled media to speak with his team.

After the race, the entire Mercedes team seemed to be on the same page headed toward Silverstone and the British Grand Prix this coming weekend. It’s Hamilton’s home track and Mercedes has won every race there since 2013.

Ferrari and Vettel Grab Valuable Points

Sebastian Vettel claimed third place and 15 points in Austria, just behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who finished runner-up. Vettel’s 15 points are enough to put him one point ahead of Hamilton in the overall standings heading into Britain. While there’s still plenty of racing left to be done – over half the schedule – futures boards have the championship pegged as a two-driver race. Hamilton is still the favorite (-200) despite currently sitting in second place behind Vettel (+162).

Ferrari’s Raikkonen has stood on the podium in two consecutive races after hitting a speed bump through Spain, Monaco and Canada. Raikkonen is third in the points race, 44 points back of Hamilton, yet has betting odds of +20000 at Bet365 to win the championship. He’s an underdog, yes, but those are some serious odds. A $5 bet on Raikkonen would yield $1000 should he win.

Here’s a look at the complete list of drivers championship betting odds after nine races:

2018 Formula 1 Drivers Championship
DriverOdds
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)-200
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)+162
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)+6600
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)+10000
Max Verstappen (Red Bull)+10000
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)+20000
Fernando Alonso (McLaren)+300000
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)+400000
Romain Grosjean (Haas)+400000
Charles Leclerc (Sauber)+400000
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)+400000
Esteban Ocon (Force India)+400000
Sergio Perez (Force India)+400000
Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)+400000
Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso)+400000
Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso)+400000
Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)+400000
Lance Stroll (Williams)+400000
Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)+400000
Sergiy Sirotkin (Williams)+400000

Odds as of July 3 at Bet365

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Just over a third of the way through the F1 calendar and oddsmakers are giving two familiar names the only real chance of standing atop the podium at the end of the season. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, fresh off his win at the French Grand Prix, leads the drivers standings with 145 points after eight of 21 races. His fiercest rival, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, sits second with 131 points.

Betting odds follow suit. Hamilton is a -250 favorite to take home his fourth drivers championship in five years and his fifth overall. That would put him in a tie for the second-most championships of all time with Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio, who won five titles in the 1950s. Michael Schumacher’s seven championships are still the standard.

Can Vettel Get The Monkey Off His Back?

Vettel, by comparison, won four consecutive championships from 2010 to 2013 but has not been able to get back to the top of the table since then. He enters the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg this weekend as a +200 bet to win his fifth career drivers championship.

It was an error by Vettel early in Sunday’s race resulting in a five-second penalty that ultimately cost him important points in France. Lewis Hamilton thought F1 were light on Vettel and that he deserved a harsher penalty for affecting the outcome of the race for Valtteri Bottas, who couldn’t recover from the damage to his car and fell to fourth in the overall standings. Bottas is the third-best bet for the drivers championship at +5000, offering further proof that books see only one of two outcomes at the end of the season.

Bottas and Ricciardo Provide Value

Bettors looking for value could place bets on Bottas (+5000) or Daniel Ricciardo at +6600. Ricciardo is third in overall points with 96 heading into the race on his home track. With still a long season to go and anything at all possible, these are big value should anything happen to the two front-runners. Bottas won in Austria last year and 25 points on his tally this week would likely bring the betting value on him down.

Here’s a look at the complete list of drivers championship betting odds after eight races:

2018 Formula 1 Drivers Championship
DriverOdds
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)-250
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)+200
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)+5000
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)+6600
Max Verstappen (Red Bull)+20000
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)+20000
Fernando Alonso (McLaren)+300000
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)+400000
Romain Grosjean (Haas)+400000
Charles Leclerc (Sauber)+400000
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)+400000
Esteban Ocon (Force India)+400000
Sergio Perez (Force India)+400000
Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)+400000
Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso)+400000
Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso)+400000
Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)+400000
Lance Stroll (Williams)+400000
Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)+400000
Sergiy Sirotkin (Williams)+400000

Odds as of June 25 at Bovada

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