Wednesday 17 October 2018

US GP Betting Preview - Lone Star State

Appropriate to the Lone Star State, F1 therein has a lone star. Lewis Hamilton tends to be untouchable in his visits to Austin, Texas.

F1 races at Austin are usually about one man
Photo: Octane Photography
The numbers pay testimony. He's won five of F1's six Austin races. Taking it back further he's won six US Grands Prix of the last seven. Taking it instead to the most recent general form he's also won six of the last seven rounds anywhere. This weekend for the latest US Grand Prix he'll have the scent of a fifth world championship in his nostrils, so there'll be no shortage of motivation. He beams throughout his Austin weekends and it shows in his driving.

For the race win at least backing him seems what they call a no brainer. His odds are appropriately short, but still the 8/13 you can get on a Hamilton victory looks worth your wager.

As for pole position, Hamilton's 'only' got that twice before at Austin though those have been in the last two visits, and both have been fairly comfortable. Hamilton's odds for pole are 11/17 and likely are still worth backing, but if you fancy an upset then 17/2 for Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to take pole is a decent longer range punt.

At the very least it doesn't look promising to back anyone else - Sebastian Vettel hasn't taken pole since Germany in July while Red Bull self-admittedly won't be at the very sharp end on pace. Certainly not on Saturday. There may be rain around for qualifying but that is likely to play to Mercedes's and especially Hamilton's advantage too. Red Bull did not go at all well in the most recent competitive wet running, in Hungary's qualifying.

There are other ways you can take advantage of a potential Hamilton demonstration weekend. You can get 11/17 on the polesitter to win and 5/6 on a race winning margin of over six seconds. As for qualifying, you can back a pole winning margin of over a quarter of a second at 8/11. Hamilton's last two Austin poles have been by margins of just under that though so backing a pole margin of between 0.1 to 0.25s inclusive, at 9/4, may be more fruitful.

Can Brendon Hartley make good on
his pace shown at Suzuka?
Photo: Octane Photography
As for the rest, Max Verstappen has been in feisty form lately and persistently a close Mercedes irritant. His odds to get on the podium this Sunday look generous at 9/4.

Another local specialist is Renault's Carlos Sainz whose three Austin results read seventh, sixth, seventh - and that's with getting a pitlane speeding penalty in the first one and it being his debut Renault appearance in the last. You can back him to finish in the top six at a fat 20/1; even his odds to score this weekend look well worth your time at 2/1.

There may also be value in backing Toro Rosso for a good result, given it got a wind at Suzuka from its upgraded Honda engine. Brendon Hartley, driving for his future, looked quick in Japan in qualifying at least and is available at 11/2 to back for a points finish this time. Team-mate Pierre Gasly's odds to do the same are tighter at 11/10. You also can back a double Toro Rosso score at 9/1.

All odds quoted in this article were accurate on the Oddschecker website at 1700 GMT on Wednesday 17 October 2018.

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