Mercedes v Ferrari – Bahrain Grand Prix F1 picks

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hamilton, vettel, rosberg

Something really smells…


This Sunday sees the fourth race of the 2015 F1 World Championship as Lewis Hamilton will once again lead the grid away once the lights go out. His pole position for the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix may be his first ever at the Sakhir Grand Prix Circuit, but it is fourth pole this season and 42nd of his career as he continues to dominate on Saturday. This season has not seen him dominate as much on the Sunday afternoon as he has ‘only’ won two of the three races so far, with Sebastian Vettel taking the other race win in Malaysia.

The German sat second on the grid on that day besides Hamilton as the four time world champion has once again split the Silver Arrows of Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg, and with the Ferrari showing some impressive race pace during practice this year’s Bahrain GP may give us an even more thrilling race than last year.

Last year’s race saw Hamilton and Rosberg battle for the final ten laps after a safety car following a collision between Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez that saw the young Mexican flipped upside down. Rosberg had the edge with the faster tires on his car, but some determined defensive driving from Hamilton saw the Brit take the chequered flag in one of the most exciting finishes to a race all year long.

With these two drivers being joined in their battle for top spot on the podium by Vettel and, assuming his awful luck this year changes, the second Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen with the two Williams drivers of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas poised to take advantage of any issues or incidents we are confident of an even better race this year.

The question is where is the betting value on the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix? We take a look at some of the best value markets with for our F1 picks.

Race Winner:

The folks at certainly believe that victory in this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix will be contested by the number one drivers at Mercedes and Ferrari in Hamilton and Vettel as they make them much shorter prices than their team-mates. They have not made the same mistake of three weeks ago when they priced Vettel at odds of 7.00 to win in Malaysia and we jumped on that to score a big win as the German is much shorter to win from the front row of the grid. However, we feel that this does leave some value on the race winner market in fellow German Nico Rosberg as the perceived number two at Mercedes certainly has the ability to challenge for victory around this track as he showed last year and despite being bested by Hamilton so far this year he still has the best car underneath him and will take the fight to Vettel.

While Rosberg may not win this race, at odds of 7.00 he certainly offers great value to finish in the top two at 1/3rd odds.

Fastest Lap:

The pole sitter and current Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is the man that people think of when they speak about speed and with the Briton having taken nine fastest lap awards over last season and the first three races of this season we are in agreement with the people at the Betfair Sportsbook who make him the 1.90 favourite to make that ten fastest laps in 23 races.

Of course in the current version of F1 anyone who pits late on can put in a fastest lap with new tires and low fuel but, assuming none of the big boys are caught up in an incident, we feel that Hamilton is on course to add to his two fastest laps this season at the Sakhir Grand Prix Circuit as he aims for back to back wins in Bahrain.

First Driver Retirement:

While we are confident on our first two picks and have found little value in the other markets for the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix we are taking a look at a more fun market for our final bet on this weekend’s race. Who will be the first driver to retire from a race is notoriously difficult to predict but this does provide the opportunity to make some big cash from a small stake.

Favourite to retire first with Betfair is Jenson Button (8.00) and with the 2009 world champion having stopped on track three times this weekend, including his first qualifying lap, it does not look like his luck is in for the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix. Only second to the McLaren driver is Pastor Maldonado (11.00) as the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner is having another shocking start to a season. His three races so far have see the Venezuelan retire three times and all three were due to crashes, none of which, surprisingly, of his own making. We’re sure that his luck will return at sometime, but will it be this weekend?

We don’t think so as we’re putting a half stake on both Button and Maldonado to retire first ahead of the second McLaren driver of Fernando Alonso (12.00), Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat (13.00) who has not had a good weekend after beaching the car in FP3 and falling at the first hurdle in qualifying and the two Manor drivers of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi (both 13.00).