Mexican Grand Prix: Hamilton One Race Away from World Title
A fifth placed finish or better will be enough to take Lewis Hamilton to the fourth World F1 Drivers’ Title of a distinguished career and write his name into motorsport history. The 32 year old is fully expected to be crowned in Mexico on Sunday and while he dominates the bigger picture, there is a Grand Prix to be contested and a question of who will take the chequered flag.
Can anyone stop Hamilton’s momentum or will the British Driver win his fifth race out of six and his ninth of the campaign?
No prizes for guessing the favourite here as Hamilton leads the market by some margin at best odds of 17/20 with 888Sport. He has one win in Mexico and that did come in 2016 so effectively he is the defending champion.
Sebastian Vettel seemed destined for second place in the Drivers’ Championship and he’s a second favourite for Sunday’s race at price of 5/2 with Winner Sports. The German was competing well with Hamilton until the championship leader went on that winning run and he does have four Grand Prix wins to his name this season.
As we’ve been seeing throughout 2017, the bookmakers feel this is effectively a ‘two horse race’ but other drivers have managed to break the Hamilton-Vettel stranglehold this year so let’s take a look at the other possibilities.
Despite only winning one race this year, Max Verstappen finds himself as third favourite at best odds of 6/1. The Dutch driver has bags of potential and that’s unquestioned but in 2017 he has that solitary victory in Malaysia so that figure may come as something of a surprise.
The Finnish driver to have seen the Chequered Flag this season is Valtteri Bottas who has claimed two victories in Russia and Austria. His compatriot Kimi Raikkonen has also been a threat at times this year butis unfancied at best odds of 22/1 with William Hill so we can probably rule him out at the moment.
Bottas is a more tempting prospect for the bookmakers and added to those two victories are a number of podium appearances across 2017. So, the campaign has given us the occasional surprise but it looks to be down to Hamilton v Vettel once again.
Picking a Winner
Remember that the race only returned to the schedule in 2015 so it’s tough to base a decision on previous winners. However, there is a Mercedes dominance with Lewis Hamilton in 2016 and Nico Rosberg a year earlier as the only recent winners.
Hamilton only needs fifth place or better but the nature of the British driver suggests he isn’t going to sit back and play it safe here. In any event, there are two more races after this where he can claim that handful of points so expect the Mercedes man to go for the win and in all probability, he’s going to get it.
Other Betting Options
If you agree with the theory that Hamilton will win in Mexico but can’t see any value in that odds on win price then there are other options. Although he is 15/8 best priced favourite with BetFred to record the fastest lap, he hasn’t actually achieved that for the last three GPs. In that time Vettel has given us the fastest lap twice, including in the US last time out, and he can be found at best odds of 5/2 with 888Sport while Valtteri Bottas, who went round fastest in Japan, looks very tempting at a top price of 16/1 with bet365 and Coral.
The Top 3, Podium Finish market has Hamilton virtually unbackable at 2/7 with bet365 but there are some good options here again with Bottas at 11/10 with SunBets and Betway and Max Verstappen at 4/7 with MarathonBet. In an open race, we may see some value in that market and Bottas at 11/10 is a decent option at an odds against price.
We’ve argued the case as to why Lewis Hamilton should win and it’s simply not in the driver’s nature to sit back and coast to that fifth placed finish. We expect him to go all out for victory so you could look to take a modest profit on the Mercedes man at 17/2 with 888Sport.
Behind him, Sebastian Vettel has to go for broke and that’s why we feel he is a good bet for the fastest lap. Hamilton seems destined to be crowned in Mexico but there’s plenty of interest in the markets for Sunday’s race.
- Lewis Hamilton to win at 17/20 with 888Sport
- Sebastian Vettel to record the fastest lap at 5/2 with 888Sport
- Valtteri Bottas for a Top Three Finish at 11/10 with Sun Bets