Our F1 expert reveals his tips for the Mexican Grand Prix
The fat lady has cleared her throat and is in the final stages of her warm-up as the Formula 1 paddock makes the quick trip from Texas to the Mexican Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton stands on the verge of the drivers’ championship.
A top five finish will be enough for Hamilton to become the most successful British driver in history with a fourth world title.
And Mercedes should have the performance to make that almost a formality on Sunday.
But there is plenty of close racing still to go this season regardless of the championship picture, so here are three markets to check out this weekend in Mexico.
Verstappen to win @ 4/1
While the fight for victory seemed to be between Hamilton and Vettel in Austin, the pace of Max Verstappen did not go unnoticed.
He ended up in the headlines for his move on Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the race that eventually saw him demoted from third to fourth, but Verstappen had started down in 16th place.
Red Bull performed well in Mexico a year ago, with the long straight not proving as painful as expected. Verstappen knows he has nothing to lose in terms of any title permutations, so he’s worth backing.
Ocon on the podium @ 40/1
Force India have scored a podium in each of the past three season but are yet to do so this year.
With a number of Mexican backers, the team’s ongoing development sees a fairly significant upgrade being brought this weekend which should ensure it is clearly best of the rest once again.
Sergio Perez is the man all the home fans will want to see on the podium.
But Esteban Ocon has finished every race so far in his F1 career and his pace has been improving, so is an outside bet if there is trouble for the top three teams.
Stroll to reach Q3 @ 9/4
While Lance Stroll has finished in the top ten on six occasions this year, he has only reached Q3 three times, and dropped out in Q1 in seven of the past nine races.
However, the Canadian was hit by a power unit problem in Austin when he looked set to take advantage of a more competitive Williams, and the team has gone well in Mexico in the past.
If Stroll can have a clean weekend, Mercedes power could open the door for another top ten in qualifying in Mexico.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing