Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, Russian Grand Prix betting tips
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Russian Grand Prix betting tips: Mercedes to dominate again

| 24.09.2021
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Preview and odds for Sunday’s race

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are locked in a gripping battle for the World Championship and they square off in Sochi as we look at some Russian Grand Prix betting tips.

The title protagonists ended their Italian Grand Prix in spectacular fashion last time out, a collision at turn one taking both out of the running partway through the race. Now they arrive at Sochi Autodrom just five points apart in the standings.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valterri Bottas won the 2020 Russian Grand Prix and could be the one to profit from any further shenanigans.

Verstappen penalty woe

The Dutchman has a three-place grid penalty in Russia this weekend after being “predominantly to blame” for his crash with Hamilton in Italy.

Hamilton was hit on the head by Verstappen’s car but insists he has had no after-effects from the crash.

This was their second crash of the season, following on from the British Grand Prix which Hamilton went on to win, and there have also been near misses on the first laps of the Emilia Romagna and Spanish Grands Prix, where a collision was avoided only when Hamilton backed out of a wheel-to-wheel situation.

The Briton, who is pushing for an eighth world title, is five points behind Verstappen, who may well take a new engine this week. That would automatically add a further grid penalty because he has already reached the maximum three allowed.

Nothing has been decided as yet, but the odds would suggest that Hamilton has an edge as Verstappen is a 7/2 chance to win in Sochi and is 5/6 for a podium finish.

Mercedes seek to dominate

With eight races left, starting this weekend, Hamilton knows he may not have a better chance to regain the title lead than here.

For Mercedes have dominated here, having won all seven previous races in Sochi, with the Briton having won four of them, the last coming in 2019. It is 2/5 that Mercedes win the race again.

Hamilton is 8/11 to win and 3/1 to win the race and have the fastest lap.

Bottas admitted that he would also be prepared to take team orders and allow his team-mate to go by should he be running ahead of him in the closing stages.

Bottas said: “Every race is different. There could be times we need to play as a team and I need to take one for the team and this situation as it is, yes, I would do it. I am here for the team and I want to make sure we win both titles.”

The Finn is 9/2 to win this weekend, while he is 8/13 for a podium finish.

Qualifying will be key

This is a narrow circuit and Saturday’s qualifying will be crucial.

While Verstappen has a grid penalty, he has missed out on pole only twice in the last eight races and is 7/4 to be the fastest qualifier.

Hamilton is evens in the same market although he is on something of a drought, his last pole coming in Hungary and the one before that coming in Spain.

The fastest lap market is wide open. Not including the shortened Belgian GP, there have been five different winners in the last five races. In Austria it was Verstappen, in Great Britain it was Sergio Perez, in Hungary it was Pierre Gasly, Hamilton took it in the Netherlands and Daniel Ricciardo produced the fastest lap in Italy.

The latter is a 25/1 chance this time while Perez is a 5/1 shot.

He was the last to gain a podium finish at Sochi outside of Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari – back in 2015. He is 2/1 to repeat a podium finish.

View the latest F1 odds

All odds and markets correct at the date of publication

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Author

Simon Milham