We are already six races into the 2018 Formula One season and three men are in contention to win the Drivers’ Championship. Defending champion Lewis Hamilton has a 14-point lead over closest rival Sebastian Vettel whilst Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo is a further 24 points back.
With 15 races remaining, there are still plenty of chances to pick points up here and there – all three drivers are capable of winning the title.
Ricciardo has played down his chances of claiming a maiden world championship but Vettel and Hamilton have praised the Australian for his recent efforts; the Red Bull man was first past the line at the Monaco Grand Prix last time out.
With a trip to Canada fast approaching before a return to the European circuit, we may have a better indication as to whether this really is a three-way battle for supremacy or a straight up dogfight between Hamilton and Vettel once again.
Slow Starting Hamilton Edging Towards Best
The four-time world champion is sitting pretty at the top of the standings but it has been far from plain sailing for Hamilton so far this year.
Mercedes failed to win any of the first three races before Hamilton secured back-to-back victories in Baku and Barcelona and those two triumphs were enough to move the Briton back to the summit.
He has to be the favourite to go on and secure a fifth world title in 2018 but 1/2 is very short indeed considering Mercedes’ struggles in the early stages of the season.
Hamilton will have concerns over whether his car will continue to perform effectively; the team may need to do further work on his vehicle at a later date. It is hard to back Hamilton at that price.
Crafty Vettel The Value Pick At 7/4?
Ferrari will be quietly confident of success this year – Vettel’s car has performed consistently throughout the opening few months.
The German has won four world titles but all four of those came with Red Bull and Ferrari will be hoping that he can claim a fifth in the coming months. The last Ferrari driver to win the Drivers’ Championship was Kimi Raikkonen back in 2007.
Plenty of punters will fancy Vettel at a very appealing 7/4. Ferrari were victorious in the first two races of the season but that top spot on the podium has eluded them in recent weeks.
It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Vettel celebrating with champagne sooner rather than later and the Ferrari man will fancy his chances ahead of the Montreal Grand Prix despite his poor record in the race.
Dark Horse Ricciardo Must Be Respected
20/1 for Ricciardo to win the world title looks like a huge price considering recent results. He won the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix in some style and that makes it two wins already this year after the Australian romped home in April’s Chinese Grand Prix.
Ricciardo is a fan favourite and plenty of supporters will be backing the Red Bull man at that price. He has played down his chances of snatching the world title but it would be foolish to write him out just yet.
The European circuits should suit the Red Bull car and Ricciardo could close the gap between himself and Hamilton in the coming months.
If nothing else, he deserves to be considered as a genuine contender for his continued efforts in recent times – even with a destructive teammate like Max Verstappen often getting in his way.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*