Formula 1 preview: Can Hamilton return from Russia with Love?
Lewis Hamilton has once again dominated the Formula 1 circuit and just like last year is well and truly in the driving seat.
With eight wins so far this season, he is a clear odds-on 8/15 price with Coral to win the Russian Grand Prix. In Japan last time out, he won from second on the grid, while also claiming the fastest lap and is evens to do so again.
As Sochi prepares to play host, it is no stranger to big events, with the town having hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. That was fast, furious and high octane as well, though instead of zipping down a mountainside at mach three, protagonists will be screeching around a track.
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg was close behind the Brit last time out, finishing in second and is 11/4 to go one better, while Sebastien Vettel who claimed third place, though won before that in Singapore, could be good value at 8/1 for another victory. The German Ferrari driver is currently tied with compatriot Rosberg with three wins apiece.
While Hamilton won in Russia last year, to clinch the Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes, though Rosberg has said that he is not giving up hope of beating the 30-year-old despite a considerable points gap between the two.
“I’m not backing down and in my mind it’s not over yet,” Rosberg said. “The gap on [Lewis] is quite big. But the way the whole team has performed this year – from the factories to the garage – has been just incredible. I have the car I need to get back to the top step.”
The best value bet though, could be German Nico Hulkenberg to repeat his top six finish from last time out, with the Force India driver 10/3 to do just that and the 28-year-old is encouraged by his result in Japan.
“The result in Suzuka was just what I needed after a few unlucky weekends,” said Hulkenberg. “We had good pace, we did our homework and we achieved all we could from the race. It was very satisfying to see how competitive we were and that’s given me a confidence boost for the races to come.”
Coral’s top tip: Hulkenberg top six finish @ 10/3 with Coral