- Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen look to bounce back after suffering disappointing finishes last time out in Azerbaijan
- Verstappen was robbed of certain victory in Baku by a tire failure, while a desperate move relegated Hamilton to his worst finish since joining Mercedes in 2013
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday’s running of the French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard
The top two drivers in Formula 1 look to overcome disappointing finishes two weeks ago in Azerbaijan when the scene shifts to the outskirts of Marseille for this weekend’s running of the 2021 French Grand Prix. A two-time winner at this event, Lewis Hamilton looks to reclaim his perch atop the F1 Drivers Standings on Sunday as a narrow +120 favorite. Denied certain victory in Baku by a sudden tire failure, Max Verstappen aims to pad his lead in the standings as a strong +150 second favorite. Fresh off his second career victory, Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez is a +800 bet to make it three in a row for Red Bull Racing. Valtteri Bottas will try to overcome a difficult week that has placed his future with Mercedes in doubt, sporting +1000 odds.
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Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead of the 89th running of the French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard on Sunday morning at 9:00 AM EST.
Odds to Win 2021 French Grand Prix
|Driver||Odds to Win at BetMGM||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Six||Odds to Finish Top Ten|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+6600||+1000||+150||-600|
Odds as of June 17Advertising Disclosure
Hamilton Seeks Redemption
There should be no shortage of motivation for Lewis Hamilton this weekend. The reigning world champion is coming off his worst finish since joining Mercedes eight years ago, settling for 15th place in two weeks ago after failing to execute a risky maneuver in a bid to overtake eventual winner Sergio Perez. The winner in three of the first four races of the season, Hamilton has failed to crack the top six in his past two outings, leaving him stalled in the F1 Drivers Standings, four points back of frontrunner Max Verstappen.
Mercedes says it is targeting to improve its 'brake magic' procedures ahead of the French GP after Lewis Hamilton's accidental error that cost him victory in Baku
— Read Motorsport (@ReadMotorsport) June 11, 2021
However, if there is any place where the 36-year-old Englishman is positioned to make a turnaround, Circuit Paul Ricard is it. Hamilton has seized the pole on his way to dominating victories in each of the past two editions of this race. But can he keep pace with Verstappen, who has emerged as the most dominant driver on the F1 circuit this season?
Verstappen Aims to Rebound… with Help from Checo
Frustrated by his misfortune in Baku, Verstappen will be aiming to make amends in France, where he finished second and fourth in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Provided with increasingly steady support from his new teammate Sergio Perez, Verstappen recorded a pair of wins and three 2nd-place finishes this season prior to his misfortune in Azerbaijan.
F1: Pirelli ‘understands’ Verstappen’s tire-kicking anger – https://t.co/gMkeeJyREo
(GMM) Mario Isola says he can “completely understand” Max Verstappen’s anger which culminated in the Dutchman kicking his shredded Pirelli tire after a high-speed blowout at Baku.
The incident… pic.twitter.com/75s4dhzyKh
— AutoRacing1.com (@AutoRacing1) June 10, 2021
Indeed, the arrival of Perez has been key to Verstappen taking the next step after being regularly forced to battle the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas alone in previous seasons. And while Verstappen offers considerable value as a +150 bet, that value will increase further should Perez enjoy a strong qualifying session that once again enables him to engage his Mercedes rivals on race day.
H: "Blue flags!"
Radio: Noup, you're racing him
H: "Ive lost position to Perez?!?" 😤
H: "He's too fast!!" 😖
— Ronza. Sí, así me llamo. (@ronzaarias) June 7, 2021
Of course, as “Checo” proved in Baku, he is quite capable of seizing opportunities. With Verstappen out of the race, Perez was rewarded for his steady performance with his first win driving for Red Bull and his second checkered flag in his past eight overall race appearances. Overall, Checo has finished among the top five on five occasions this season and is worthy of consideration as a +140 bet to return to the podium on Sunday.
French Grand Prix Recent Winners
|Year||Driver||Margin of Victory||Pole Position||Fastest Lap|
|2020||Race Cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|2019||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||18.056 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari|
|2018||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||7.090 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes|
|2017||Race not held||n/a||n/a||n/a|
Bet on Bottas, Fade Russell
Things are not so rosy for his counterpart at Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas. In the wake of his disappointing 12th-place performance in Baku, his future with the German automaker has been placed in doubt, with reports suggesting he will lose his spot to George Russell next season. But sports bettors counting out the veteran Finn this weekend do so at their own peril.
Valtteri Bottas has denied recent Russell to Mercedes rumours🎙
"There are all kinds of speculation that is not based on any facts… People are making up stories for clicks". pic.twitter.com/nvBleMnvx6
— formularacers (@formularacers_) June 17, 2021
While the post two races have been massive disappointments for Bottas, he enjoys a steady track record at the French Grand Prix, where he has started from the front row in two previous appearances, and finished second behind Hamilton last time out, two years ago. And with nothing to lose, Bottas is increasingly unlikely to settle for playing second fiddle to Hamilton on race day.
George Russell does not believe it would be a "failure" if Williams failed to score points this season. pic.twitter.com/en51Awd1IW
— formularacers (@formularacers_) June 13, 2021
Conversely, sports bettors may want to think twice before jumping on the surprisingly short odds that Russell sports to finish among the top six and top ten. The 23-year-old Williams driver has finished no better than 14th so far this season and never earned a point while behind the wheel of a Williams Mercedes.
The Picks: Valtteri Bottas top three (-135); All Mercedes and Red Bull drivers top six (-135)
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