Lewis Hamilton is very warm favourite at 2/5 to win the Malaysian Grand Prix after taking pole almost half a second ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who only made the front row at the death after sluggish form early on.
Hamilton hasn’t won any of the past three rounds, ceding ground to Rosberg in the drivers’ championship, and was soundly beaten by the German after a terrible start from pole at the Italian Grand Prix in early September.
Rosberg’s victory last time out in Singapore was his third on the spin, having managed seven in succession between the end of last season and the beginning of this one, so many will see value in the 5/2 about him taking the laurels at the Sepang International Circuit for the first time.
It’s just as likely three-time drivers’ champion Hamilton will get his start right though, and there are some interesting contests set to kick off behind the Stevenage native.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is odds on at 5/6 to scoop up only the fourth podium finish of his career after qualifying in third less than two hundredths of a second behind Rosberg, but teammate Daniel Ricciardo was fractions behind the Belgian, who was celebrating his 19th birthday in Kuala Lumpur.
Verstappen has looked awesome at times since swapping his drive at Red Bull feeder team Toro Rosso with Daniil Kvyat 11 races ago, but has only made the first three once in his past five races despite plenty of promise in qualifying.
Ricciardo’s form is in reverse, with the 27-year-old Australian spraying champagne at the end of the national anthems in four of the past five rounds.
He’s a bit better in the betting at 6/5 to make the podium, which looks esteemed value compared to the much-hyped teenager.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.