Our F1 expert’s three best bets for Russian GP – starting with a Bottas win
Formula 1 heads to one of the newer venues on the calendar this weekend as the Russian Grand Prix takes place around the former Winter Olympic Park in Sochi.
Winding its way around the different venues that played host to the 2014 Winter Olympics on the coast of the Black Sea, Sochi has been a Mercedes stronghold over the past three years.
But Ferrari leads the way in both championships and this season is proving far less predictable.
So here are three markets to check out for this weekend’s race in Russia, starting with what would be a first…
Bottas to win @ 6/1
Valtteri Bottas failed to capitalise on his big chance in Bahrain, taking pole position for the first time in his career but fading to third place.
His maiden pole should have come in Russia three years ago but for a mis-take at the final corner, and he’s never qualified outside the top three here.
Russia is a strong track for Bottas – driving for Williams he boasts a third and a fourth place from three visits and was taken out of third place on the final lap on the other occasion.
Mercedes will have been hard at work after Ferrari’s impressive start to the season too.
McLaren to score a point @ 11/4
Don’t worry, I’ve not totally lost it. A McLaren has only finished on one occasion from three races so far, but Fernando Alonso specifically has been able to challenge for the top ten in races.
Honda’s MGU-H woes in Bahrain showed signs of progress during testing, and countermeasures imple-mented this weekend should improve reliability.
There’s usually an incident or two at Sochi to open up the points, as well, and Alonso is 11/4 to land his and team’s first points of the year.
Two Toro Rossos in the top ten @ 11/4
Russia doesn’t hold fond memories for either Toro Rosso driver – 2016 was the race that sealed Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull fate and Carlos Sainz crashed heavily a year earlier – but they’re the most experienced pairing in the midfield and the car is solid.
Toro Rosso has struggled to have a clean weekend since the season opener, but Melbourne is another low-abrasion street circuit and both cars scored points in Australia.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing