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Lewis Hamilton Remains Favored in Updated Drivers Championship Odds Ahead of 2021 Formula 1 Season

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in Racing

Updated Mar 23, 2021 · 11:33 AM PDT

Formula 1 Drivers Championship odds - Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, left, celebrates with second placed Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands on the podium after the Eifel Formula One Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racetrack in Nuerburg, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Wolfgang Rattay, Pool via AP)
  • Lewis Hamilton opens the 2021 Formula 1 season perched as the clear favorite to claim a record eighth F1 Drivers Championship
  • Max Verstappen is poised to challenge Hamilton’s dominance, and should get a lift from the arrival of new Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez
  • We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends as the 2021 F1 season gets underway

As the countdown continues toward the start of the 2021 Formula 1 season later this week, Lewis Hamilton continues to lead the way as a clear -182 favorite in the 2021 Drivers Championship odds to claim an unprecedented eighth career F1 title. The 36-year-old Englishman dominated the circuit last season, taking home the checkered flag in 11 of his 16 race appearances with Mercedes. However, with the German automaker producing disappointing results in F1 pre-season testing, could Hamilton be facing a challenging test against Red Bull in Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez?

Here’s a look at all the odds and trends as the F1 season gets underway.

Odds to Win 2021 Formula 1 Drivers Championship

Driver Winner Top 3
Lewis Hamilton -182 -2000
Max Verstappen +390 -500
Valtteri Bottas +1200 -155
Sergio Perez +1600 +110
Daniel Ricciardo +4000 +300
Charles Leclerc +6000 +500
George Russell +6000 +500
Sebastian Vettel +6000 +500
Pierre Gasly +8000 +1400
Lando Norris +8000 +1400
Fernanado Alonso +10000 +2000
Esteban Ocon +10000 +2000
Carlos Sainz +10000 +2000
Lance Stroll +10000 +2000
Yuki Tsunoda +10000 +2000
Antonio Giovanazzi +30000 +5000
Kimi Raikkonen +30000 +5000
Nicholas Latifi +200000 +75000
Nikita Mazepin +200000 +75000
Mick Schumacher +200000 +75000

Odds taken Mar. 23 at DraftKings

Hamilton’s Last Hurrah?

It should come as no surprise that Hamilton is set to open the season as a heavy favorite in the F1 futures. Victorious in an incredible 33 total races over the past three seasons, Hamilton now sits as the most successful driver in Formula 1 history, with a record 95 wins, but his long-term future in F1 remains in doubt.

Following protracted negotiations, he finally agreed to a one-year deal with Mercedes, but speculation over whether this will be his final campaign on the circuit. If that is the case, that adds extra urgency to Hamilton’s bid to extend his epic reign as F1 champion.

Poor Preseason Testing Causing Headaches at Mercedes

However, Mercedes’ disappointing performance in F1 preseason testing has raised doubts as to whether Hamilton and the Silver Arrows can maintain their dominance. With Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas adding a pair of wins, Mercedes outclassed the rest of the pack by a wide margin last season, and opened as a heavy favorite in the Formula 1 Constructors Championship odds to claim an eighth straight title.

Limited by technical issues, and unanticipated spin outs on the track, Mercedes completed the fewest number of laps of any team in last week’s preseason testing in Bahrain. The Silver Arrows’ new W12 also lagged behind Red Bull on short runs, further raising hopes among fans of Max Verstappen that his time may now have come.

Verstappen Poised to Take Next Step

Max Verstappen has emerged as a clear threat to Hamilton’s dominance. The 23-year-old has finished third in the F1 standings in each of the past two seasons, and reached the podium in 10 of the 11 races he finished in 2020. Now pegged as a +250 second favorite to claim his first career title, Verstappen should also benefit from personnel changes at Red Bull, with Sergio Perez joining the team in place of Alex Albon.

Unlike Hamilton, who enjoyed steady support from teammate Bottas, Verstappen was often left to fend for himself on the track last season, including multiple duels with the Mercedes duo. However, with Sergio Perez now in the fold after powering to fourth place in the standings last season, the proverbial playing field has now been leveled.

Perez’ Arrival Good News for Red Bull

Uncertain as to whether he would have a ride in Formula 1 this season after enjoying a personal best campaign in 2020, Perez closes out the front of the pack, closely trailing Bottas as a +1800 bet.

The 31-year-old Mexican made steady progress last season, earning his first career victory at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. While the 2021 F1 Drivers Championship may be too much to expect from Sergio Perez, the upgrades he will enjoy this season in both his ride and teammate make him an attractive +110 bet to crack the top three this time around.

Russell Not Ready for a Drivers Championship Trophy

Further down the Formula 1 Drivers Championship odds, Daniel Ricciardo gets set to make his McLaren-Mercedes debut as a +4000 bet. However, the driver attracting the most attention this time around is George Russell. Listed alongside Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel at +6000, the talented young Englishman made headlines when he took over for Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix while the champion recovered from COVID-19.

YouTube video

The 23-year-old looked destined for his first career win before a massive error by the Mercedes pit crew, and a subsequent tire puncture, forced him to settle for ninth place. But while it is clear that Russell possesses great promise, he cannot be considered a serious championship threat while continuing to drive for Williams Racing.

Once the dominant force winning nine F1 Constructors Championship over an 18-season period in the 1980s and 1990s, Williams is now a much weaker F1 team. That is reflected in the team’s distant +200000 odds to win this year’s Constructors title.

The Picks: Lewis Hamilton to win (-182), Sergio Perez to finish top three (+110)

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