Lewis Hamilton’s brilliant start to the season continued in Bahrain as the world champion nailed his fourth successive pole position, but the threat from Ferrari is growing ever stronger.
For the second time this season Hamilton will have Sebastian Vettel for company at the front of the grid, rather than Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who could only just sneak third ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Despite taking the last two poles at the track, Rosberg was over half a second slower than Hamilton, indicating that the German could be in for further disappointed at Bahrain.
Unsurprisingly, the betting places Hamilton as the warm 1/2 favourite to take successive chequered flags at the Bahrain International Circuit.
However, some eyebrows will be raised to see Rosberg as far back as 6/1 to win a first race of the new campaign, when the Silver Arrow driver won five separate Grand Prixs last season.
This does reflect the fact the unchecked dominance of Mercedes witnessed in 2014 is almost certainly over, with Vettel looking like the best value bet in the field to win a second race of the season.
The German ace is an 11/4 shot to triumph around the track he claimed victories for Red Bull at in both 2012 and 2013.
The omens from Malaysia, where Vettel won his first win of this season are also promising, as he was second on the grid in Sepang before his team out-thought Mercedes in the tactical battle to take a famous win.
Only about four-tenths of a second separated his vastly improved Ferrari from Hamilton in Q3 and showing this much pace can only mean more duels with the Briton as the season progresses.
A punt on Ferrari scoring most points in Bahrain at 3/1 is a real tempter.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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