Tyre strategy could prove key to Raikkonen’s Malaysian GP hopes

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After achieving a third-place finish in the maiden race of the Formula One season, Sebastian Vettel is 2/1 favourite to triumph in the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix.

And whilst he has won two of the past three renewals of this contest, the three-time F1 champion should be approached with caution at that price.

Vettel started in pole position as Australia hosted the first Grand Prix of the campaign, but he had to settle for third, with the German placing the blame on tyre degradation.

That should be seriously considered by punters placing a bet on the Malaysian Grand Prix, given the high tyre wear nature of the track, even if Red Bull will enjoy the warmer temperatures in Sepang.

Therefore, Kimi Raikkonen could be worth taking on as a 4/1 shot to complete consecutive Grand Prix victories in his Lotus.

The Finn was impressed by his tyres in Melbourne, with their durability ensuring he required only two pit-stops, in contrast to the three needed by both Vettel’s Red Bull and second-place Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.

Indeed, Raikkonen went on to proclaim the race one of the easiest of his career, and provided he executes his tyre strategy is well as he did in Australia, he has a terrific chance of claiming a third Malaysian Grand Prix success.

Meanwhile, patriotic punters will be hoping for a marked improvement from the McLaren team, who had a wretched time in Melbourne.

Jenson Button’s ninth-place finish was the best the manufacturers could muster, as Mexican Sergio Perez, in his first outing as a McLaren driver, finished outside the points in 11th.

A three-time winner in Australia prior to his most recent trip there, Button’s display was unacceptable by his own admission, and he will aim to rectify that in Sepang.

As he aims to better understand his car across prior to the race though, he looks to have each-way chances at best at 20/1.

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

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