Formula One: No knighthood yet, but Hamilton will win in 2015

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Ladbrokes’ 10/1 about Lewis Hamilton receiving a knighthood in the Queen’s New Years honours list looks a bit on the short side, but 2/1 on the 2014 Formula One champion sporting the prefix ‘Sir’ in his lifetime should be snapped up.

Since cyclist Bradley Wiggins was prematurely knighted nearly two years ago, at the age of just 32, there has been an obvious about-turn by HRH/the establishment/whoever hands out knighthoods.

Chris Froome, who succeeded his Team Sky teammate as Tour de France winner, didn’t even get an MBE, while Andy Murray only picked up an OBE last year, despite taking his second Grand Slam title, at Wimbledon, 12 months after claiming an Olympic Gold medal.

Furthermore, three-time Formula One champion Sir Jackie Stewart had to wait until 28 years after his last title to receive the top gong, while Sir Stirling Moss, often described as ‘the greatest driver never to win the World Championship’, was in his 70s.

It would be downright disrespectful to knight Hamilton, who is not yet 30, in just over a month’s time, but with Mercedes looking likely to dominate F1 in 2015 and possibly beyond, the Stevenage lad should expect a royal engagement in SW1 at some stage.

Hamilton is 4/5 to retain his title, and with a raft of changes in team personnel now confirmed for next season, that’s a bet worth being on.

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel (14/1) is following the road travelled by fellow German Michael Schumacher in signing for Ferrari, but the dominant force in F1 during the early part of this century took half a decade to win the first of his five titles with the Italian giants.

Double champion Fernando Alonso (10/1) is in a similar boat after leaving Ferrari for McLaren, especially with Ron Dennis’ crew switching from Mercedes to Honda engines ahead of next March. It’s impossible to predict how they will go after a poor campaign this time round.

Therefore, the only true competition Hamilton can expect in 2015 comes from within his own team, and after leaving Nico Rosberg (9/4) behind so decisively at the start in Abu Dhabi, it seems the new champ has little to fear.

The one fly in this particular betting ointment could be Red Bull, who look set to retain the services of outstanding team principle Christian Horner and 2014 breakout star Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian who made eight podiums, winning three Grand Prix.

Ricciardo only stepped up from Toro Rosso at the start of this term and is performing ahead of expectations. At 14/1, he rates the best bet to put it up to Hamilton in 2015.

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

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