Formula One tips: Hamilton out to bounce back in Bahrain

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The 2018 Formula One season races into the desert for this Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel took victory in Australia, thanks to a large slice of luck from the Virtual Safety Car in an otherwise forgettable event.

Lewis Hamilton was second, after taking a blistering pole position on the Saturday.

And it’s that sort of pace which has our traders placing the reigning champion as 5/6 favourite to win in Sakhir.

Vettel won in Bahrain 12 months ago, but is the outsider this time around at 11/4. Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas is 11/2.

Mercedes should have the upper hand this weekend.

The Bahrain circuit features a number of long straights and that should allow Mercedes to maximise its qualifying prowess and see them start in front of Ferrari and Red Bull once more.

Hamilton is 8/13 to set the fastest qualifying time, with Bottas at 10/3.

Vettel will be hoping that he can match the German marquee on race day, as he did last year. And unlike in Australia, overtaking is more than possible in Bahrain.

Behind them, Max Verstappen is 12/1 to claim his fourth career win, but Red Bull’s hopes will rest on their Renault power units proving competitive.

The same goes for Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo at 14/1.

Kimi Raikkonen could be one to watch. The 2007 world champion is 16/1, and finished third in Australia last time out.

The Finn appears happy with his Ferrari, and has an excellent record in Bahrain, finishing on the podium eight times.

Further back, all eyes will be on the Haas team after their impressive yet controversial form in Australia.

The American squad were on course for a pair of top-six finishes in Australia, before wheel gun problems forced both cars to retire.

Haas enjoy a close relationship with Ferrari, and rival teams have raised questions about the agreement.

Nevertheless, they’re expected to go well again. Romain Grosjean is 11/10 to finish in the top six, with his teammate Kevin Magnussen 6/5.

McLaren and Fernando Alonso could be in for a difficult weekend. Like Red Bull, they’ll need their Renault units to be reliable and quick.

The two-time champion is 6/4 to secure a top-six result and 4/9 to come home in the top 10.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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