2018 Spanish F1 Grand Prix: Odds and Betting Preview
After a fairly open start to the 2018 Formula One season, defending champion Lewis Hamilton recorded his first win of the campaign when the drivers assembled in Azerbaijan last time out. That victory also saw Hamilton climb back to the top of the Drivers’ Championship as his closest rival Sebastian Vettel finished outside of the podium places in fourth.
This weekend, we’re back to the track in Spain with Mercedes’ number one man looking to continue the comeback.
Back on Track
Hamilton’s win puts the Englishman back on course for a successful title defence so it may surprise many punters to note that he does not start as favourite to win in Spain. Vettel takes that honour with the Ferrari driver at 6/4 with William Hill and Sun Bets but Hamilton isn’t too far behind as he comes in at best odds of 7/4 with Unibet and 888Sport.
In all honesty we’re a little unclear ourselves as to why this is the case: Lewis Hamilton is our defending champion this week and has two wins in Spain as opposed to Vettel’s one triumph back in 2011 so while neither man has dominated the event, the Mercedes driver has the better record and the better immediate form.
There are other options of course but there is a big gap to third favourite Valtteri Bottas at a best of 9/1 with SportingBet and 188Bet while Daniel Ricciardo follows at a top price of 19/2 with Boylesports. We’re only four races into the new season but it won’t have escaped anyone’s attention that Ricciardo is the only man to have broken the Vettel / Hamilton stranglehold so far this year.
However, victory in China for the Red Bull driver came in the middle of two retirements so this may not be the most reliable punt of the weekend.
Moving through the list, Max Verstappen is on offer at best odds of 10/1 with William Hill while Kimi Raikkonen follows at a top price of 12/1 with Coral. Much is expected of Verstappen but he has yet to hit the podium in four races this season while in contrast, Raikkonen has been inside the top three on three occasions and was second to Hamilton in Azerbaijan.
From that point, prices start to drift to the less likely options with Fernando Alonso heading the list of outsiders at a best of 400/1 with Sun Bets.
Outright Market Updates
With Lewis Hamilton taking the last GP, it’s a good time to look at the outright betting markets where we see another unusual shift. Our reigning champion had been favourite since the start of the season but once again we see Sebastian Vettel sneak in to take over.
At the time of writing, Vettel is available at best odds of Even Money with BetFred and Sun Bets while Hamilton drifts to a top price of 11/10 with William Hill and 188Bet. Admittedly, most outlets have the two drivers locked at the same Even Money odds but it’s still an unusual shift.
Behind the top two we have Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas who are both at best odds of 25/1 with Ladbrokes and Betway so the bookmakers clearly feel that this is between two drivers.
As Hamilton recorded his first win of 2018, so did his Mercedes team who have now cemented their place as favourites for the Constructors’ Championship. The German manufacturer is now available at a top price of 8/13 with William Hill and Unibet while Ferrari follow at 11/8 with Sky Bet.
Once again, the odds setters feel this is going to be a ‘two horse race’ with Red Bull the nearest challengers at a best of 18/1 with William Hill.
Other Betting Options
For now, we’ll move back to Spain and take a look at some of the side bets for this weekend’s Grand Prix. There’s been some decent value in the Pole Position market throughout the 2018 season to date and it’s one where Sebastian Vettel has finished at the head of the Grid in each of the last three races.
The German also starts as favourite in this market at best odds of 17/11 with SportingBet to take Pole in Spain while Hamilton, who started at the front in Australia, is close behind at a top price of 2/1 with William Hill.
As we move down through the options, Kimi Raikkonen is available at a best of 11/2 with Coral, Valtteri Bottas is at a top price of 8/1 with William Hill while Daniel Ricciardo can be claimed at best odds of 16/1 with SportingBet. Hamilton took Pole last year in Spain and looks decent value in a side bet where only two men have given us the profits so far this year.
The fastest lap market has also been dominated by two drivers but they are not necessarily the ones you would expect. Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas have shared two fastest laps between them but it’s Lewis Hamilton who starts as favourite for this one at best odds of 5/2 with SportingBet with Vettel following at a top price of 10/3 with William Hill.
Clearly there could be some value in the two names we’ve previously mentioned and there will be interest in Bottas at a best of 7/2 with Betway and Ricciardo at a top price of 6/1 with Ladbrokes. For reference, Lewis Hamilton recorded the fastest lap here 12 months ago.
Indicators are meant to be upset of course but of the three main markets that we’ve considered – winner, pole position and fastest lap – Lewis Hamilton recorded a clean sweep of all three in 2017. The Englishman doesn’t have a great record here but no single driver has dominated recent editions of the Spanish GP so this could prove to be a very open race.
Clearly there is a lot of support for Vettel and that is reflected in the markets and there is a strong theory that suggests Ferrari will supply the better, main car across 2018. However, form tends to bring a good run of momentum for Lewis Hamilton and he seems a decent option as a slightly surprising second favourite.
As a longer option, Daniel Ricciardo’s tendency to ‘go for broke’ could well lead to another fastest lap and 6/1 is a good price for a driver who has delivered a profit here twice in the last two races.
Best Bets for Spanish Grand Prix 2018:
- Lewis Hamilton to win at 7/4 with Unibet
- Daniel Ricciardo to record the Fastest Lap at 6/1 with Ladbrokes