Raikkonen the best bet away from Mercedes for Malaysia pole

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It is hard to quibble with anything Mercedes has achieved in the earliest rungs of the latest Formula One season.

In the opening race in Australia Lewis Hamilton started from pole, with teammate Nico Rosberg having an untroubled path to victory in the actual Melbourne race, once Hamilton was forced to retire with an engine problem.

The early signs suggest that this Mercedes domination has every chance of continuing in Malaysia, with Hamilton quickest in the opening practice session and then Rosberg topping the timesheets in the second.

Backing against either to start on pole in Sepang does look a foolish strategy, with Hamilton 1/1 in this market and Rosberg 2/1.

However, given that Ladbrokes are offering the top three places as part of their each-way terms, it may be worth looking for some extra value from the market.

Sebastian Vettel had engine problems of his own in Australia, but his Red Bull did look far more like its usual self during practice in Sepang.

Vettel did intimate that some software problems still need correcting, but the fact that he got to within one tenth of Rosberg’s time is cause for optimism.

The German has won three of the last four races in Malaysia so clearly gets on well with the demands of the track and is a good each-way price of 12/1 to start from pole this year.

Kimi Raikkonen is the other to consider in this market at 33/1, given that he looked quicker than Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso in practice.

There is the suggestion that Ferrari’s main problem at present is to do with fuel consumption and if this is true, strong grid positions will be vital.

Raikkonen was second quickest in practice and Australia may not have showed the best of the Finn, following a spin during qualifying which prevented him from reaching Q3.

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

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