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Vettel worth a shot in Russia

| 30.04.2017

Hamilton has been expensive to follow

The F1 show rolls into Sochi this weekend for the Russian Grand Prix, where Mercedes will be looking to continue their dominance in this part of the world, and fire themselves back into contention for the constructors’ title.

Ferrari lead the way after three races, sitting atop the league table on 102 points, ahead of Mercedes on 99 and Red Bull showing 47. It is quickly shaping up as a three-horse race this year between the teams mentioned, but that’s not the way our sports traders see it panning out.

Britain's Hamilton pushed teammate Rosberg all the way and is the favourite for 2017 supremacy.

Mercedes dominant in Russia

Mercedes may just be warming into the season, but they go as 4/9 nailed-down favourites for the title, while followers of the value may prefer a go on the current leaders at 13/8. A line can be put through Red Bull’s chances however, and their decent start isn’t expected to amount to much, with a massive 40/1 on them speeding to the front.

It was a one-two for the Mercs last year, Nico Rosberg crossing the line ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, Kiki Raikkonen taking the third podium step. That pretty much sums up the way the entire contest went too, with Rosberg dominating from start to finish. There was a bit more to Hamilton’s work, as he battled through to take the runner-up spot.

The challenges of this Grand Prix seem to sit very well with the Mercedes team, they enjoy a 100 per cent record around here, but will the silver arrows continue that this weekend? 8/13 says they are again the winning car, but Ferrari have enjoyed a blistering start to the 2017 season, claiming two of the first three races. That stat’s sure to sit well with punters, who can have a tempting 11/10 on the reds strengthening their grip on the league table.

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Hamilton favourite, but should he be?

Rosberg isn’t around these days to defend his honour, so that leaves British racing pride Lewis Hamilton out in front to win the flag. The 32-year-old from Stevenage is 5/6 going into the weekend to clinch the Russian Grand Prix, improving a place from last year, while he’s 1/2 to end as fastest qualifier.

It has been a rather predictable tactic from the odds compilers to stick with Hamilton in the early part of this season, but he has been an expensive favourite to follow so far. He did as expected in the Chinese GP earlier this month, but was runner-up in Australia and Bahrain. Not quite the reliable source his price would suggest.

The man to catch at the minute is Sebastian Vettel. The German won around Albert Park and Sakhir, and heads the title race on 68 points. That makes him the form player of the field, and ensures our 6/4 price is taken very seriously pre-race.

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Frank Monkhouse