The Russian Grand Prix gave us some exciting racing, but unfortunately the rain chaos at the end didn’t go our way. Valterri Bottas took a late engine penalty before the race, George Williams got stuck midfield, and Lando Norris lost his dominant lead thanks to a bad gamble of remaining on slick tyres. We move on to Turkey, the 16th race of the season. With just seven races to come, the two point gap at the top of the championship standings bodes well for the thrilling contest to continue between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Other battles are also live, with Lando Norris and Sergio Perez pushing Valterri Bottas for third. Ferrari and McLaren also have a close battle for third in the constructors championship.
Let's take a closer look at the race with our Formula 1betting tips.
Istanbil Park, Sunday October 10th, 11:00pm AEDT
After a ten year absence, this is the second straight year of the Istanbul Park Circuit filling in as a venue during the pandemic. That does give us limited history to go off, but last year we saw Lewis Hamilton victorious, 10 years after his previous win at the circuit in 2010. Sebastian Vettel also has a 2011 win at the circuit before the long absence began. The 5.3km circuit has a bit of everything with a couple of long fast sections, and some tight areas. It has a reputation for low grip levels.
The 2020 edition of this race was a wet weekend, where the tracks grip issues were highlighted when nearly everyone left the course at some point in the race. Despite being on wets, everyone looked like they were on slicks for the entire race. Again this week the forecast threatens to give us some wet periods, although it may clear in time for the race. On the bright side the track is a year older so there should be a little more grip even if it’s wet, and there is confidence that the tyre selection will be superior this year.
If the weather stays away, it’s going to be hard to get away from Mercedes and Red Bull at the top of the field. With Hamilton having a strong history at the circuit and just as capable in wet and dry, it surprises me that he’s at $2.20 while Verstappen is $1.67. Having won in Russia in the wet, and at this circuit last year in the wet, I feel good about Hamilton regardless of the conditions.
The dark horse team is McLaren, who was unlucky not to claim their second straight victory when a perfect Lando Norris weekend turned sour at the last minute. Both Norris and Ricciardo seem to be very comfortable in the car at this point in the season, and must surely be considered at the pointy end of the field on pure talent. I’ll lean towards a Norris podium bet at $4.33, although I don’t mind Ricciardo at $7 odds.
Another team that enjoyed their time in Turkey in 2020 was Aston Martin. Back then Lance Stroll claimed pole, and Sergio Perez secured a podium finish. Pairing that history with Sebastian Vettel owning a win at the circuit to go with last years 3rd place finish and I remain hopeful of a strong showing for the team this weekend, despite some indifferent form in 2021. My bet is Vettel to finish in the Top 6 at $4.
And with more rain in prospect, there is one big long shot that I just have to take a look at. George Russell thrives in the wet when his lowly Williams can compete more readily with the big teams, and he’s paying a massive $126 to win. Instead of opting for that, I’m going to take a small shot at the $11 odds for a top 6 finish. It might be worth waiting until later in the week for this one and making sure that the forecast still contains rain.
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