Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have so far dominated the Formula One season and there is little reason to believe that will change at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix 2020 (Race: 9.10am ET, Sunday).
So where to find the value in having a wager? As part of our F1 Russian Grand Prix predictions, USAbetting offers a trio of advised picks at value betting odds. Read on to discover them.
Hamilton steered clear of the carnage behind him to convert pole position into his sixth win in nine races at the Tuscan Grand Prix two weeks ago, leading home Valtteri Bottas to open up a 55-point lead over his teammate at the top of the drivers’ championship.
Mercedes hold an even more convincing lead in the constructors’ standings. They have taken pole position in each and every Grand Prix to date and have gone on to top the podium in seven of the nine races. A realistically unassailable 152 points separate them from Red Bull in second.
The history of the Russian Grand Prix suggests that another Mercedes victory should be expected on Sunday. They have won all of the six races held at the Sochi circuit since its introduction to the calendar in 2014, including four one-two finishes, two of which have come in the last two years. Hamilton has won four of the six, including each of the last two, and there is little value to be found in backing either him or Mercedes this weekend.
Alexander Albon grabbed the first podium finish of his career by coming third behind the two Mercedes cars in Tuscany. He took advantage of his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen getting caught up in one of the various accidents in a race that featured two red flags and subsequent restarts.
Red Bull have always been more solid than rapid in Russia, with Mercedes and Ferraris filling the podium places in each of the last four runnings. With Ferrari some way off the pace this year, it therefore feels like there could be a chance for another team to get themselves onto the podium on Sunday.
Racing Point are the primary candidates. They have already had one podium finish this year in the hands of Lance Stroll, but it is Sergio Perez who arguably has the better chance of getting them another in Russia.
Perez finished fifth in Tuscany, behind Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault, and has a strong previous record in Russia, having finished in the points in each of the six Grand Prix held in Sochi. That includes a third-place finish for the team under their previous name of Force India in 2015. If everything falls into place for him, a repeat of that result isn’t out of the question.
Ricciardo has driven very well for Renault this year, getting much more from the car than his younger teammate Esteban Ocon and securing four top-six finishes, three of which have come in the last three races. The team seem to be heading in the right direction and Ricciardo has frequently got the most from the package.
Ocon has shown decent pace at times and does have two top-six finishes to his credit, along with three further eighths. He has also gone well in Sochi in each of his previous two Grand Prix there, finishing seventh and ninth for Force India in 2017 and 2018 respectively. He was just behind Perez the first time and just ahead of him on the second occasion.
There seems to be some tempting value with the bookmakers in backing Ocon to get himself into the top six on Sunday.
It was Lando Norris who took sixth for McLaren in Tuscany, ahead of the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat, Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo and the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. The last named driver will replace Perez at Racing Point, soon to be known as Aston Martin, in 2021.
Norris has put together an impressive season that sees him sitting fourth in the drivers’ championship on the back of eight points-scoring finishes, including five top-six finishes. While his teammate Carlos Sainz does appear to have suffered more misfortunes, that cannot explain all of the 20+ points that separate them in the standings.
Norris finished eighth at last year’s Russian Grand Prix. In a McLaren that is much more competitive this time around, he has a solid chance of making the top six on Sunday.
These are USAbetting’s F1 Russian Grand Prix predictions and betting picks for this preview: