Formula One is back folks and to kick things into gear Britain’s Lewis Hamilton sealed a dramatic last ditch pole position for his Mercedes team in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver has been widely tipped to break Sebastian Vettel’s four-year stranglehold on the Formula One Drivers’ World Championship and if the first qualifying session of the very first race of the 2014 season is anything to go by, now could be the best time to back him.
Hamilton is the 6/4 favourite to take the drivers’ crown which has eluded him since his maiden triumph back in 2008, while quadruple world champion Vettel is next in his wing mirrors, but a leap back to 4/1.
In a rain affected qualifying in Melbourne, Vettel missed the top-10 shoot-out for the first time since 2012 and was forced to settle for 13th position on the grid – citing an engine mapping software problem as the reason.
Meanwhile, Hamilton made his team wait until the very last lap before ousting Vettel’s new Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo by 0.317 seconds and he’s now the warm 10/11 favourite to take the chequered flag for Sunday’s race from the front of the grid.
The former Toro Rosso driver’s impressive debut for his new team showed that Red Bull’s recovery from well-documented winter testing troubles has been a rather a rapid one though.
Still, with Hamilton’s own teammate Nico Rosberg completing the front three, it appears that reports of Mercedes being the team to catch this season under all the new engine regulations have proved to be accurate.
The German is 7/2 to win in Australia, but an even better bet could be the 1/1 about both Mercedes drivers ending up on the podium in Melbourne.
Punters can spray their own champagne if that proves to be the case.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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