Britain’s Lewis Hamilton will top the Formula One drivers’ standings by the time the Chinese Grand Prix comes to a close next week.
That is the impression given by the pre-race betting, which has the Mercedes ace as the 4/5 jolly to seal a third career win at the Shanghai International Circuit.
The Silver Arrow star took the chequered flag in his title-winning season back in 2008 before claiming another victory in China three years later. And after securing pole in his debut Mercedes season the British driver looks likely to be the man to beat this round.
However, Hamilton was run close by team mate Nico Rosberg when securing Mercedes’ first one-two since 1955 in Malaysia – and the pair made that a back-to-back feat with their Bahrain drive – and if any man can beat Hamilton to a win in China it is his German colleague.
Rosberg is the only other driver to have won a race this year – taking the chequered flag at the season opener in Australia when Hamilton was forced to retire – and with his 2012 Shanghai win fresh in the mind he should also tempt at 2/1.
Results so far have put clear daylight between the Mercedes pairing and the rest of the field, but Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg is currently the best of the rest and at 33/1 represents a decent each-way shout for the Shanghai showdown.
However, if it’s an outside bet you’re after then Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is the standout candidate at 25/1.
Granted, the Spaniard is likely to need the weather or technical issues for Mercedes to intervene, but if conditions or machinery do conspire against the Silver Arrows then no-one is better placed to pounce.
Alonso was victorious in last year’s Chinese GP and alongside Hamilton is the only other driver to have picked up maximum points twice in Shanghai.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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