It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago when the Formula 1 season broke for the mid-year that the Drivers Championship was still a hotly contested two horse race between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Since returning from the break, Hamilton has won four of five races to completely blow his competition out of the water and can wrap up the championship this weekend in Austin, Texas at the annual United States Grand Prix.
The United States Grand Prix will be an early one for Aussie fans with the race set to kick off around 5.10am AEDT on Monday morning. However, we still have you covered with a full betting preview and tips for the race below.
The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas will host the USGP for the seventh consecutive year in 2018 after relocating from Indianapolis in 2011. Amazingly, the 2018 Drivers Championship front runner, Lewis Hamilton has racked up wins in five of the six races held in Austin, and with one more win in Indy in 2008, the Brit sits atop the all-time winningest drivers in the USGP with six.
Hamilton’s main rival over the past few years, Sebastian Vettel, has just one win in the USGP which came back in 2013. In fact, due to the utter dominance of Hamilton and retired legend Michael Schumacher over the past two decades in this race, Hamilton and Vettel will be the only drivers starting the race this weekend with a USPG title to their name.
Schumacher and Hamilton have cleaned up 11 of the 14 USGP’s since the year 2000, which suggests to us that if you know how to race the track, you’ll nearly always have success. This might be because of the ability to pass in up to four different places on the course, meaning the best drivers, despite potentially having a poor qualifying time, have ample opportuinty to showcase their talents and move to the front of the field.
Australian driver for team Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo explains it best;
“Firstly, I think it’s one of the best circuits we go to on the calendar for racing. You can pass in four different places. There’s some tracks you struggle to pass on once, so to have four different opportunities with the shape of the corners and the apexes, everything just creates a real good atmosphere which encourages you to battle.”
There might be 20 drivers lining in every F1 Grand Prix, but the season so far has largely been a string of two horse races. Is seems as though the bookies have finally wised up to that fact, and now have Hamilton at just $1.50 to take out this weekend’s race. No doubt, Hamilton is the most prudent pick for the USGP, but at $1.55 there’s not much meat on the bone. We’ll back him in because we are all about providing winners here but if you’re looking for some better value, read on.
I love to throw out Daniel Ricciardo’s time at Torro Rossa. He was driving in a sub par machine and was never really given a chance to win. Since his move to Red Bull, however, he has claimed two podium finishes in four USGP’s and in another where he retired from the race, he was the fourth fastest qualifier. Obviously loves the track from the quotes above so we think the $3.50 on offer for him to finish on the podium is good value.
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