Lewis Hamilton has said in the build-up to the Mexican Grand Prix that he wants to win the world title in the ‘right way’. He may want to clinch it with a race victory, but the Brit does not even need to make the podium this Sunday.
Having stood atop the podium for the ninth time this season at the United States Grand Prix last weekend, Hamilton is understandably favourite to win in Mexico. Fifth will be enough for the title, however, and Mercedes’ main man may have to settle for that.
Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari is expected to be the fastest car in Mexico City. The altitude favours the Italian team, despite the layout of the track seemingly lending itself to the outright speed of the Mercedes. Vettel has – as you would expect – refused to throw the towel in, and is at 9/4 to win the Grand Prix. A very good value price if the early suspicions of their speed are to be proven true.
Mercedes had earmarked this as a race that they could struggle in. Ferrari dominated at the other circuits that demanded high-downforce trim, and are expected to do so here, too. The markets will react to the practise times that we see at the circuit, so it’s well worth putting your bets down before then.
Hamilton is – again – the massive favourite to conquer qualifying. It’s understandable given his sheer brilliance on Saturdays in the second half of the season. With the aforementioned Mercedes concerns, the 11/20 price is way too low. Hardly worth contemplating, in fact.
Qualification value has to be from the Red Bull pairing of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo is at 5/4 to qualify in the top three, which is a price certainly worth backing.
When it comes to the race, the Red Bulls are again the standout. Verstappen’s 1/2 to return to the top three is on the low side, however, due to his stellar drive in the States. Ricciardo, though, has finished on the podium in four of the last six races. He, somehow, sits out at 5/2 to make the top three this time around.
The reviews of the Mexico City track were pretty poor last year. Vettel was underwhelmed with a track that is far more about the spectacle and atmosphere than the actual driving. While that may not bother the majority of fans, we might see this Grand Prix axed unless the drivers change their tunes.
Hamilton will almost certainly claim his fourth world title this weekend. Vettel’s challenge is to force him to finish in the top five by winning the race himself. If it was not for the recent form of the pair, Vettel would easily be favourite for this one. As a result, he has to be the pick this weekend.
If Hamilton can pull off a magical Saturday flying lap again, though, an inspired drive could see him win his title the ‘right way’.
Vettel at 2/1 to get pole and 9/4 to win the race are two of the best F1 prices we have seen this season. Hamilton might be the one really celebrating come Sunday night, but the German could add another win to his already fantastic record.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*