On 20 March, the leading Formula 1 drivers will line up on the grid at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the sport having achieved notoriety last season when Max Verstappen was able to clinch a barely deserved victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to claim the drivers championship after Lewis Hamilton had previously landed a consecutive hat-trick of race victories.

The 2022 Bahrain GP odds indicate that the top F1 betting sites expect Lewis Hamilton to be the most likely winner of this race, although they conversely don’t give the Mercedes driver much more than a 33% chance of securing a victory in the Middle East. This is partly down to a number of unknowns and variables.

Can Hamilton Reclaim the F1 Drivers’ Championship Title?

Lewis Hamilton hasn’t spoken too much about the controversial way in which he was denied an eighth Formula 1 drivers’ championship, although falling short by such a tight margin will have been tough to take considering the way in which the seven-time champion was able to claw his way back into contention by securing three consecutive wins.

The best F1 betting sites make Hamilton a best price 6/4 to win the 2022 Drivers Championship and he obviously has a wealth more experience than his rivals including Verstappen, although much depends on whether Mercedes have the best cars on the grid and the constructors are currently doing their final testing before the season begins.

Hamilton did win the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix and actually made a flying start to last season by securing three wins in his first four races, so perhaps it could be worth a wager on him at odds that you’re unlikely to secure for the next race should the Brit prove to be head and shoulders above the competition.

Verstappen Bidding to Retain F1 Drivers Title

Max Verstappen is now a Formula 1 world champion and nobody can take this away from the Dutchman who won an exciting 2021 race which culminated in him taking the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi. The 24-year-old will want to build on this brilliant success and there is scope for him and his Red Bull team to show lots of improvement on the track this time around.

The top Formula 1 betting sites don’t yet think that Verstappen is going to have things his own way, with some bookmakers prepared to offer 3/1 that the Dutch driver claims the chequered flag in the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix and there is lots to recommend his technical ability depending on whether testing has gone well.

Who Are the Other Bahrain Grand Prix Contenders?

Charles Leclerc is the third favourite in the 2022 Bahrain GP betting market, with the Ferrari driver finishing a distant seventh in the 2021 Drivers Championship standings, although we are expecting a much stronger showing from the Prancing Horse constructor this time around and that could spell plenty of success for their Monaco driver.

George Russell is also a promising driver and he will hope to play more than just a supporting role when it comes to being the second pilot for Mercedes, with Carlos Sainz being the other Ferrari driver who is bidding to restore the Italian constructor to a previous greatness.

For the second year in a row, Lewis Hamilton was a frustrated man after the season opening Australian Grand Prix. The defending Formula 1 world champion arrived in Melbourne quietly confident after a huge number of laps testing in Barcelona.

That work paid off as Hamilton qualified in pole position but he was left ruing a miscalculation from his Mercedes team which, coupled with a virtual safety car, allowed Sebastian Vettel to take full advantage and land an early blow in the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton and Mercedes are chomping at the bit to right the wrongs of Melbourne by securing maximum points at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The circuit at Sakhir is very different to that found in Albert Park. There are several medium length straights which hand an advantage to the cars with the most straightline speed, while the tricky middle portion and high track temperatures will test the drivers to the maximum. We predict a fascinating battle.

Mercedes Can Lead from the Front with Hamilton Cast in the Lead Role

Valtteri Bottas sprung something of a surprise in the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix by qualifying in pole position. The Mercedes driver came under instant pressure from Sebastian Vettel though who took a very brave line into the first corner to sneak past Lewis Hamilton in second.

The race was eventually decided as Ferrari took the initiative by bringing Vettel into the pits earlier than Mercedes had expected. Mercedes then panicked a little by bringing both Bottas and Hamilton in too close together. Hamilton was forced to drive slowly down the pit lane as he waited for the pit box to clear, holding up Daniel Ricciardo in the process. The stewards penalised Hamilton five seconds and two points and from then on Vettel knew he just had to avoid any glaring mistakes and the race would be his.

Following on from the mistake at Melbourne, Mercedes will surely be taking a much more proactive approach to the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix. Toto Wolff has promised Hamilton and Bottas that they can rely on the team from now on. If everybody is pulling in the right direction then Mercedes have a very good chance to put last week behind them with victory in Bahrain.

The new Mercedes car certainly has plenty of straightline speed while Hamilton and Bottas are capable of holding off challengers behind them in the DRS zones. They’re also both capable of pulling out a top class lap and claiming pole position but Hamilton is the one with the four world championships and he is the worthy favourite with the bookies.

A quick odds comparison shows that the best price you can find on Hamilton is the 5/6 that Coral are offering. That’s a decent enough price and we certainly wouldn’t put anybody off backing Hamilton to win. However, the best betting odds for the race could well be the 11/2 that Ladbrokes are quoting on Hamilton securing the hat-trick of race winner, pole position and fastest race lap.

This should be the race where Mercedes reassert their dominance in the push for the drivers’ championship and Hamilton is ready to lead the charge from the front.

Raikkonen Can Push His Teammate All the Way

Sebastian Vettel rightly took the plaudits for the way the combination of a technical drive and a cool head helped him to win the Australian Grand Prix. The German’s win is reflected in his betting odds where he is a best price of 10/3 to win the race with Bet365. However, those odds could be overplaying the strength of Vettel’s performance relative to his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen.

Raikkonen was arguably progressing better through the race in Melbourne before Vettel took his chance with the virtual safety car. The Finn is certainly much happier with his Ferrari car than he has been for a very long time and he’s confident that he’ll be able to utilise his own experience to have a successful season. It’s asking a lot for Raikkonen to win in Bahrain (a comparison of the odds shows he is a big 16/1 with Ladbrokes) but he could still spring a surprise by grabbing a place on the podium at nice betting odds of 11/4 with William Hill.

Ferrari to Lose Ground in the Constructor’s Championship

Mercedes have won each of the last four constructors’ championships and are incredibly strong in the betting for the 2018 title. The best betting odds you’ll find on them is the 2/7 that Bet365 are offering. Ferrari, who haven’t won the title for 10 years now, will be hoping that those odds change over the coming weeks and months but they may well be set to lose ground after their strong start.

Sakhir may be one of the safest tracks in F1 thanks largely to the large run off areas around many of the corners but unpredictable mistakes are never far away when drivers push themselves and their cars to the limit. Thankfully for Mercedes, they have a very capable deputy in Valtteri Bottas, should something unforeseen stop Hamilton during the race. That’s why Betfred are offering odds of just 2/5 on Mercedes being the winning team in Sunday’s race.

While there is no debate about whether Hamilton is the best driver at Mercedes, there is a fierce debate about who is the best driver in F1. Some will claim that it’s Vettel who is the most gifted driver while others will say Fernando Alonso would beat both the leading drivers if he had a comparable car. Those debates don’t matter to Hamilton though. He’s only interested in trophies and he is the odds-on favourite to win his fifth drivers’ championship. Our odds comparison shows the best price is offered by William Hill who make Hamilton an 8/15 shot and even that looks decent enough value.


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