After the procession that was the second half of the 2013 Formula One season, the forthcoming campaign promises to be a thrill-a-minute by comparison.
Changes to the engines, fuel allowances, energy recovery systems and a host of other alterations promise to make the sport, which has seen Sebastian Vettel crowned champion for four successive years, far more competitive.
Many an armchair fan has claimed that if all the drivers were given the same car Vettel would be nowhere near as dominant as he has proven in the recent past and 2014 will cut the gap between Red Bull and the rest of the field quite dramatically.
However, there is a school of thought that Vettel is in fact every bit as good a driver as his record suggests and it is for that reason that the evens on him defending his crown once again should be taken in case the 26-year-old once again becomes odds-on favourite.
The Red Bull ace’s starts in the last two campaigns will encourage those opposing him, with the 2013 season proving a slow burner despite two poles and 2012 seeing no podium finishes in the first three races.
However, with Vettel breaking Alberto Ascari’s record by ending last season with nine consecutive wins he looks more likely to enjoy a stellar start to the campaign, as he proved he can in 2011.
During that year, Red Bull’s star man won five of the first six races and went on to claim a staggering 15 of the 19 available poles.
Those looking for bigger prices could also be tempted to back a return to winning ways for Britain’s Lewis Hamilton.
The Mercedes man is the 4/1 second favourite to wrestle the title from Vettel and add to his own 2008 crown and after a better-than-expected bedding in year at the Silver Arrows, should be better equipped to mount a challenge this time round.
Hamilton is perceived as the fastest – if not most successful – driver on the current roster and with a car that should ultimately prove more competitive in the forthcoming season may could be tempted by the longer odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim three £10 free bets when you bet £10.