Verstappen and Bottas the best-backed drivers for 2017 F1 title

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Lewis Hamilton may be favourite to win this season’s Formula One title, but the popular vote is for Max Verstappen or Valtteri Bottas to steal the show in 2017.

We’ve seen more bets placed on the former than any other driver, with pre-season testing now just a few weeks away.

And hot on his heels is Mercedes new boy Bottas, who has lucked in to the best seat in town following Nico Rosberg’s retirement.

Between them, the pair have been the subject of more than 36 per cent of all bets placed in the market.

Verstappen is 3/1 second favourite this season, behind Hamilton at 9/4.

And Bottas is 4/1 as he prepares for his first campaign in race-winning machinery.

Red Bull star Verstappen won on his first race for the Austrian-backed team in Spain last season, and his drive to third in Brazil has already gone down in the annals of the sport’s greatest performances.

Widely-accepted to be one of the brightest talents the sport has ever seen, the 19-year-old would become the youngest ever world champion should he achieve that goal this year.

And with a full pre-season under his belt, plus new rules which may diminish Mercedes’ dominance, those who have backed the Dutchman must be feeling pretty confident right now.

Hamilton is the third-most backed driver in terms of bets placed, but is the kingpin when it comes to total stakes.

But impressively, Fernando Alonso is next up in the number of bets wagered.

Given the troubles McLaren have endured over the last two seasons, it says everything about Alonso’s reputation that he’s taken more bets than Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, plus last year’s standout driver Daniel Ricciardo.

It’s less than a fortnight now until the teams start revealing their new contenders, with the first race of the season taking place in Melbourne, Australia, on March 26.

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

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