F1 Betting: Melbourne Grand Prix Preview
What an exhilarating F1 season we have on our hands: Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is fighting hard to retain his world title, while the once-unstoppable Lewis Hamilton has been contending with an underperforming Mercedes that saw him qualify 5th in Bahrain. Meanwhile, Ferrari is finally occupying places on the podium after limited success for much of the last decade.
F1’s new rule changes appear to be, so far, achieving their aim of bridging the gap between teams, allowing the cars to utilise the slipstream and crank up the entertainment dial while they’re at it. With so many drivers now with an eye on the podium, Formula One betting in 2022 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting seasons ever.
After a three year absence, the Formula One circus returns to Melbourne, and the humm of the Australian Grand Prix will once again ring out across the city. In preparation, the Albert Park circuit has been redesigned and reprofiled in an effort to encourage overtaking.Corners have been thoughtfully reshaped, and braking zones expanded to allow greater speed and multiple lines, all of which adds up to more dynamic racing as the drivers go wheel-to-wheel in pursuit of glory.
History of Melbourne Grand Prix
The Australian Grand Prix was first held way back in 1928, though the first race in the modern era took place in 1985 in Adelaide. In 1996, Melbourne’s Albert Park became its new home and has since become a firm favourite among Formula One fans, even .
Over the years, Melbourne has provided us with a host of memorable moments. During the inaugural Grand Prix at the circuit, Martin Brundle’s Jordan was destroyed after becoming airborne in a terrifying crash. Unphased, the stoic Brit climbed out of the wreckage, ran back to the pits, and jumped into his waiting spare car to take the restart.
In 2002, a first-corner crash saw Ralf Schumacher launch his Williams over the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello, eliminating half of the field of 22 in the process. Ralf’s brother, Michael, capitalised on the chaos to take the win, while local hero Mark Webber delighted the home crowd by earning points in his maiden race for the underdog Minardi team.
Albert Park is a stunning circuit, and fittingly, the Melbourne Grand Prix has given us some stunning victories.
In 1997, David Coulthard broke a 50-race drought for McLaren, while 1999 saw the Northern Irish driver, Eddie Irvine, pick up his first victory.
In 2009, just weeks after boss Ross Brawn had bought his team from Honda for £1, Jenson Button cruised to victory in his Brawn GP. It set the tone for the season as Button went on to win his first and only World Championship.
Michael Schumacher, as at so many circuits around the world, has reigned supreme Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit, having taken the chequered flag in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004. Jenson Button and Sebastien Vettel sit equal second, with three victories apiece, while David Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, and Nico Rosberg have each stood atop the podium twice.
With the new rule changes and a close field, there are several strong contenders for the 2022 Australian Grand Prix. Let’s take a look at the top five.
Max Verstappen (+120)
After failing to finish the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Max Verstappen got his first points on the board by claiming victory in Saudi Arabia. He’s lost none of the punch he displayed last season, with some great wheel-to-wheel racing with Leclerc. Provided his car doesn’t let him down, he’ll be fighting for the win.
Charles Leclerc (+150)
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is leading the Formula One World Championship. Starting impressively with a win in Bahrain and a second in Saudi Arabia, his car is quick and seemingly bulletproof, which will ensure Verstappen will have his hands full in the fight for the 25 points in Melbourne.
Carlos Sainz Jr. (+800)
Carlos Sainz is Ferrari’s second driver and he’s been strong so far this year. Slightly lacking the pace of his Monegasque teammate, his odds aren’t quite as favourable. But should the conditions favour the Spaniard, don’t be surprised if he is standing on the top step of the podium come Sunday afternoon.
Sergio Perez (+1400)
Mexican driver, Sergio Perez also suffered a DNF at the Bahrain Grand Prix but was on pole in Jeddah. An unfortunately timed pit stop, meant the safety car dropped him down the race order, but he showed he has what it takes to lead. With a little bit of luck, or perhaps just the absence of bad luck, he could be challenging the frontrunners for the win at Albert Park.
Lewis Hamilton (+1600)
No, that’s not a typo, Lewis Hamilton really does have odds of +1600 to win the Australian Grand Prix. The Brit has been off the pace this season as his Mercedes has had a hard time keeping up with his Ferrari and Red Bull rivals, though the Red Bull’s unreliability helped him to third place in Bahrain. But you can never discount a champion, Hamilton could be up there, and he knows what it takes to win.
Canada has its share of elites competing in April’s packed sports calendar, and Formula One is no exception. Here’s how our homegrown drivers stack up in our Melbourne Grand Prix odds.
Lance Stroll (+100000)
Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin team have been struggling along with the rest of the Mercedes-powered fleet, with 12th and 14th place finishes in the first two races. His odds of +100000 suggest he’s not expected to contend for the race, but it won’t take much for him to shorten them coming forward from 12th.
Nicholas Latifi (+300000)
Nicholas Latifi’s odds of winning the Australian Grand Prix illustrate just how difficult it will be for him to carve a path to victory. The Canadian failed to finish the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and crossed the line behind 15 other drivers in Bahrain’s first race. With the current pace of his Williams Racing car he needs nothing short of a miracle to win, but stranger things have happened in F1.
The Australian Grand Prix is always a wildly exciting race, and its welcome return to the 2022 Championship will be no exception. With several teams, and drivers so far showing that they are legit contenders for the win, we’re in for a wild ride. And a fresh track of less resistance will let the drivers do what they do best: race. So take your place on the grid, start your engines, and pick your favourite in the Melbourne Grand Prix odds. It’s time again for the thunder of Formula 1 racing to roar Down Under.