Hamilton is the only viable F1 champion besides Vettel in 2014

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After Sebastian Vettel’s record-equalling Grand Prix win in Brazil brought the chequered flag down on the 2013 Formula One season, we look at the betting ahead of 2014 and whether or not the four-time world champion can be prevented from making it five straight drivers’ crowns?

Following nine consecutive race wins in the second-half of the season, to equal the F1 record set by Alberto Ascari in 1953, it’s hardly a shock to find Red Bull’s Vettel as the short 1/1 favourite to add a fifth drivers’ world title to his collection in 2014.

The Red Bull team may have produced yet another majestic machine for Vettel to win races in, but make no bones about it; the German driver is the best in F1 and a deserved champion as well.

Even when Jenson Button’s all-conquering Brawn-Mercedes blew away the rest of the field in the 2009 season, Vettel was the only man able to offer the Brit any kind of competition.

As long as team principal Christian Horner remains in charge, Red Bull Racing will continue to be the ones to beat in the upcoming season, especially in tandem with the finest designer in the business, Adrian Newey, who remains a key factor in the success of the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

With radical new regulations coming into play, which includes a switch to V6 turbo engines, having Newey on board to oversee the new design challenges posed to all the teams, arguably makes Vettel’s case even stronger.

But, if there is to be an alternative winner in the new-look cars of 2014 then 4/1 shot Lewis Hamilton looks the bet over 5/1 Fernando Alonso and 6/1 Kimi Raikkonen.

Rumour has it that Mercedes are ahead of the competition in their designs for the coming season already and will likely channel most of their efforts the way of their best driver, Hamilton, who proved he still has unrivalled raw pace at points this season.

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s decision to pair two veteran world champions together is questionable, as Alonso in particular does not like to share in the limelight and expected tensions could be damaging.

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

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