The new Formula 1 season is nearly upon us with this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix kicking off 20 races to determine who will be the 2017 drivers’ world champion.
Mercedes has dominated over the past three seasons. However, this year promises plenty of opportunities for the chasing pack with new regulations in place that could shake up the pecking order.
So, where’s the smart money going after pre-season testing?
I’ve pulled out three markets worth a closer look.
I know it looks like I’m getting carried away with the results of testing but bear with me.
Ferrari has traditionally looked good in the winter in recent years and this time round was no different, but the gap was much bigger.
Kimi Raikkonen hasn’t won a race in four years, but the new regulations suit his driving style and he came close twice last year.
To go from ninth overall in the Constructors’ standings, having taken just eight points, to a podium finish would constitute a big leap.
But this is a different Renault from 12 months ago. The car was designed with the Renault power unit in mind (unlike 2016), and a more competitive one at that.
Add in serious investment in personnel and facilities ahead of a season where car development will be crucial and Renault should only get stronger if it doesn’t start the year at the front of the midfield.
Of the top three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – it is the latter with the most explosive driver line-up.
The pair never had much in the way of controversy last year as Mercedes ran away with most races, but this year there’s a chance it will be closer.
With Max Verstappen showing how robust he can be on track last year, and Daniel Ricciardo one of the latest brakers on the grid, surely it’s only a matter of time…
Follow me on Twitter @ChrisMedlandF1 for more F1 insight and keep checking back for my exclusive betting opinion.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing