The Formula One circus heads to Russia for just the second time, and with plenty of ongoing developments off the track, it’s about time the sport had some action on it following a somewhat routine event in Japan.
The all-conquering Mercedes team secured the constructor’s title last year at the Sochi venue and they’re well poised to do so again 12 months later.
Here are a few things to look out for this weekend…
A Mercedes at the front
Lewis Hamilton took pole and the win in Sochi last year, while Nico Rosberg made up for a first-corner error by cruising through the field to claim second after an early pitstop.
Hamilton dominated last time out in Japan too, while again after a poor start, Rosberg came through to complete Mercedes’ eighth 1-2 finish of the season.
A Singapore repeat?
After being castigated for bringing tyres that were too conservative last year, Pirelli are providing the softest compounds for this weekend’s race.
The last time the soft and supersoft tyres were chosen, Mercedes were completely off the pace in Singapore as Sebastian Vettel won.
The Silver Arrows should still set the pace, but if they do struggle and you’re looking for an outsider, then Ferrari man Vettel at 8/1 is the man to back. The Scuderia’s Kimi Raikkonen at 25/1 could be worth an each-way punt.
Bottas to feature
Williams driver Valterri Bottas hasn’t quite enjoyed the success of last season, with just one podium this year to 2014’s six, but the Finn and his Williams FW37 could well be a force this weekend.
Retirements are dead
Every driver was classified in Japan last time out, and the 5/6 on over 16.5 finishers this weekend with Ladbrokes would have paid out in four of the last five grand prix.
Should McLaren reach the flag and Pastor Maldonado stays out of trouble, then this looks excellent value at near evens.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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