In light of his enforced retirement from the opening race of the season in Australia, it’s no great shock to see Lewis Hamilton’s price to win the Formula One drivers’
championship drift while his teammate Nico Rosberg made hay in his own Mercedes.
Before the F1 points-scoring began in earnest Down Under, Hamilton was labelled the 6/4 favourite to claim the 2014 world title, but his odds have since skidded to 2/1 – something which should have punters rubbing their palms together.
Despite engine trouble ending his involvement after just three laps in Melbourne, the omens for both Mercedes and Hamilton moving forward are very good.
First and foremost it was Hamilton’s teammate who took the chequered flag as all the talk of Mercedes leading the way after winter testing came to fruition.
The fact that Rosberg finished a full 25 seconds ahead of the chasing pack confirmed that his team really have stolen a march on their rivals when it comes to the development of the new turbo hybrid engines rolled out across F1 this season.
A notion backed up by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner in the wake of the opening Grand Prix: “The Mercedes is definitely extremely quick,” Horner said, “and I suspect they were driving to a pace rather than being stretched so they probably have more up their sleeve, so we have quite a lot of work to do.”
Despite making rapid progress since well documented testing troubles, Red Bull are clearly a work in progress, with new driver Daniel Ricciardo being stripped of his second-place pending appeal due to a the suspected breaking of fuel consumption regulations.
Hamilton showed by qualifying in pole position showed that given a reliable car he could have been the one to forge the unassailable lead gifted to Rosberg, who whistled past Ricciardo after an electric start from third.
2008 world champion, Hamilton, finished 18 points ahead of his German teammate last season and it looks like being a battle between the two all the way this.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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