- With Lewis Hamilton sidelined by COVID-19, George Russell is set to make his Mercedes debut at the Sakhir Grand Prix on December 6th, 2020
- Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen lead the way as co-favorites, while Racing Point holds the edge in the battle for third place in the F1 Constructors Standings
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds ahead of Sunday morning’s running of the Sakhir Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit
George Russell will be poised to pick up the first Formula 1 race points of his career in spectacular style when he hits the track for Sunday’s running of the Sakhir Grand Prix sporting strong +275 odds. The 22-year-old Englishman has rocketed up the odds after being tapped by Mercedes to drive in place of ailing F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton’s absence also provides an opportunity for a team to breakthrough in the tight four-way race for third place on the Formula 1 Constructors Standings.
Just 40 points separate third place from sixth place in the standings ahead of lights out on Sunday morning’s running of the Sakhir Grand Prix on the Outer Circuit of the Bahrain International Circuit.
Odds to Win 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix
|Driver||Odds to Win||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Six||Odds to Finish Top 10|
Odds taken Dec. 3 at BetMGM
Rising Star Gets His Chance
Opportunity has knocked for Russell after Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 following his victory at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Currently, in his second F1 season with Williams-Mercedes, Russell is viewed as a rising star on the circuit despite failing to finish in the points in his first 36 races. That has not dampened the view of his potential by Mercedes, who wasted no time making a deal with Russell’s current team, Williams, who currently sit in last place in the F1 Constructors Standings.
Just a little kid named George Russell chasing one-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton in 2009 for an autograph.
Maybe one day he'll ask if he can drive his car too 😁 pic.twitter.com/HCSQedcGH5
— Alejandro (@motorsport_geek) December 2, 2020
While Russell has yet to crack the top ten, he has come close. The former FIA Formula 2 champion has finished 12th or better on three occasions this season, including prolific performances at both the British Grand Prix and Tuscan Grand Prix. In addition, Russell is on a historic run of 36 straight races in which he has posted a qualifying win over his Williams teammates.
Bottas, Verstappen Set to Exploit Outer Circuit
Of course, driving the world’s fastest racecar, the Mercedes W11 provides Russell with a chance to shine. Hamilton and his teammate Valterri Bottas have dominated F1 this season, combining to win 13 of 15 races, and tallying 23 total podium finishes. However, with Russell getting his first taste behind the wheel of the W11, he lags behind both Bottas and Max Verstappen, who sit knotted as +160 co-favorites.
Why did Mercedes only change three tyres on Valtteri Bottas' car in Bahrain?
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) December 3, 2020
Bottas has struggled in his past two outings, capped by a disappointing eighth-place finish in last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix. Tire trouble arose as a massive issue for Bottas on the 15-corner Grand Prix Circuit configuration used in last week’s race.
However, the shortened Outer Circuit is set to be used for the Sakhir Grand Prix. In addition to measuring just 3.543 kilometers in length, the Outer Circuit features just 11 corners, without the extremely challenging speed traps on turns 4, 8, 10, 11, and 13.
— DAMS (@damsracing) December 2, 2020
Indeed, the lengthy straightaways ahead of turns 1, 4, and 10 provide both Mercedes drivers with an opportunity to exploit their vaunted ride. That has not been overlooked in the Sakhir Grand Prix odds, where Bottas is pegged as a +130 favorite to record the fastest lap, with Russell trailing at +350.
With a short track and Hamilton’s absence, Verstappen has a chance to strut his stuff. The Red Bull driver has emerged as arguably the biggest threat to Hamilton with his fearless brand of driving, claiming the fastest lap on three occasions this season, including last weekend. He’s listed at an attractive +150 odds to do it again on Sunday.
Odds to Record Fastest Lap
Racing Point Well Positioned to Reclaim Third Place
While the spotlight is squarely on Russell heading into the weekend, the race for third place in the F1 Constructors Standings is heating up. With last weekend’s 4-5 finish by Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, McLaren vaulted past Racing Point into third place by a 17-point margin. Renault trails the Pink Mercedes by just 10 points, while Ferrari remains mathematically in the hunt, 40 points off the pace.
— McLaren F1 Nation (@McLarenF1Nation) November 30, 2020
Racing Point’s slide has not been helped by Lance Stroll’s recent dismal performance. However, Racing Point’s Pink Mercedes should be well suited to exploit the lengthy straightaways at this weekend’s event. That has fueled Racing Point’s strong -225 odds of outpacing McLaren, along with -160 odds of finishing ahead of Renault.
Picks: George Russell top three finish (-190); Max Verstappen fastest lap (+150); Racing Point both drivers record points (-125)
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