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Hamilton’s F1 Championship Odds Shorten Again After Monaco GP; Is Anyone Else Worth Betting?

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in Racing

Updated Mar 27, 2020 · 10:30 AM PDT

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is coming off his worst performance in almost six years, but remains perched as a strong favorite to return to his winning ways at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Photo by Jen_ross83 (Wikimedia Commons).
  • With wins in four of the first six races of the season, Lewis Hamilton has emerged as a clear -450 favorite to capture his sixth Formula One Drivers’ Championship
  • Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas have benefited from Ferrari’s early struggles
  • Bottas has emerged as the lone real threat to Hamilton’s dominance this season

Lewis Hamilton continued his domination of this year’s Formula One circuit, powering to victory at least weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. With four victories in the first six races of the season, Hamilton now sits atop the Formula One driver standings with 137 points, 17 ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton’s victory also solidified his perch atop the F1 Drivers’ Championship odds as a heavy -450 favorite.

2019 Formula One Drivers’ Championship Odds

Driver 2019 F1 Drivers’ Championship Odds
Lewis Hamilton -450
Valtteri Bottas +425
Sebastian Vettel +3500
Charles Leclerc +5000
Max Verstappen +7000
Pierre Gasly +50000

*Odds taken 05/29/19

Hamilton Taking F1 Dominance to a New Level this Season

A five-time Formula One champion, Hamilton has taken his driving to another level over the past year. The 34-year-old Englishman has reached the podium in eight straight races dating back to last season’s Brazilian Grand Prix, and has captured the checkered flag in 12 of his past 17 races.

Hamilton and Bottas have clearly benefited from what threatens to become a lost season for their principal rivals at Ferrari. The Italian squad opened the season amid high expectations after enjoying considerable success in preseason testing with their new ride, the SF90.

Ferrari Failing to Live Up to High Preseason Expectations

However, Ferrari’s impressive preseason performance has failed to translate into success on the circuit, with the team of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc combining to earn just three total third-place finishes through the first six races of the season. That has left Vettel lagging 55 points back of Hamilton on the F1 driver standings heading into next week’s Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. Leclerc now sits in fifth place, a full 80 points back of Hamilton.

Those numbers are reflected on the odds to win the Formula One Drivers’ Championship, with Vettel lagging at +3500, well ahead of Leclerc, who now sits at a distant +5000.

With 15 races remaining in the season, time theoretically remains for Ferrari to right the ship, and for Vettel and Leclerc to close the gap on Hamilton in the standings. However, this season’s struggles have led to friction in the Ferrari camp.

Disgruntled Leclerc Unhappy with Ferrari Team Orders

Unhappy with team orders that have favored Vettel so far this season, Leclerc has led it be known he will only obey team orders moving forward “depending on the situation”. The 21-year-old rising star made good on that assertion in Bahrain, where he overtook Vettel in defiance of orders, and looked to be on his way to victory before a mechanical failure doomed to a third-place finish and his only trip to the podium this season.

Leclerc has led it be known he will only obey team orders moving forward “depending on the situation”.

Leclerc’s struggles continued last week in his hometown of Monte Carlo. Clearly unhappy with the team’s decision to leave him in the pits during the final stages of Q1 qualifying, Leclerc started the race in Monaco from 15th on the grid, and ended with a collision with Nico Hulkenburg for which he has been highly criticized.

Max Verstappen has made impressive gains this season, with the Red Bull driver finishing no worse than fourth in each of this year’s six races to maintain firm control of fourth place on the standings with 78 points, and respectable +7000 odds to claim his first F1 title.

Bottas Emerging as Lone Threat to Mercedes Teammate Hamilton

However, with Mercedes now perched as massive -10000 favorites to claim a sixth straight F1 Constructors’ Championship, it has become little more than a two-horse race for the top of the F1 driver standings, with Bottas sitting second to Hamilton as a +425 bet.

After failing to claim a checkered flag throughout the 2018 Formula One season, Bottas has enjoyed a resurgence this season, posting wins in Australia and Azerbaijan to go along with a trio of second-place finishes.

Lagging just 17 points back of Hamilton in the standings, the 29-year-old Finn heads to Montreal as a close +225 second-favorite to claim victory in Canadian Grand Prix.

Despite his lengthy winless drought, Bottas has also produced steady results, finishing no worse than fifth in each of his past 18 races, but with Hamilton clearly in the driver’s seat in terms of experience and team orders, it will likely take unforeseen circumstances or an all-out feud between the Mercedes teammates for Bottas to have any chance to keeping pace with Hamilton.

Pick: Lewis Hamilton (-450)

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