Saudi Arabian Grand Prix betting tips: Verstappen gearing up for first title
Preview and odds for Sunday’s race
Max Verstappen could win his first Formula One drivers’ world championship this weekend as his thrilling title scrap with Lewis Hamilton nears its conclusion.
Hamilton’s back-to-back wins in Brazil and Qatar have cut Verstappen’s lead at the top to eight points ahead of the penultimate race of the season in Saudi Arabia.
A win or second place at the inaugural race could be enough for the Dutchman to clinch the championship depending on Hamilton’s result.
Such has been Hamilton’s turnaround in form, however, that despite trailing he is 4/7 favourite to win the championship.
The British seven-time world champion is 4/9 to win at Jeddah as we look at some Saudi Arabian Grand Prix betting tips.
Could be all square ahead of final race?
The needle between Red Bull and Mercedes has ramped up as the title battle has intensified.
Team principals Christian Horner and Toto Wolff have gone toe-to-toe in recent weeks, with Verstappen’s aggressive defence against Hamilton in Brazil and Horner’s suspicions about Mercedes’ sudden pace increase fuelling the tension.
There was no stopping Hamilton in Qatar, converting his pole position into a routine race win, but Verstappen will have been pleased to limit the damage by battling from seventh on the grid following a penalty to finish second.
Jeddah is another track expected to suit Hamilton and Mercedes, with the street circuit expected to offer a top speed of around 322 km/h and an average lap speed of over 250 km/h.
If he is able to make it three wins in a row, Verstappen’s lead could be wiped out heading to Abu Dhabi, even if he finished second once again.
Verstappen has his work cut out and is 5/2 to claim the race win.
If he could climb the top step of the podium, he would win the title if Hamilton were to finish seventh or lower – or sixth or lower if the Dutchman also records the fastest lap.
Second for Verstappen could also seal the title if Hamilton finishes outside the points, or 10th if the Red Bull driver claims that fastest lap point.
Wingmen can shape title destination
If Hamilton is set to dominate again with his new-found Mercedes speed around Jeddah, the onus for the team is on Valtteri Bottas to extract the same pace from his machinery and put himself between the British champion and Verstappen.
Bottas had a nightmare in Qatar, slipping down the field at the start before ultimately having to retire from the race following a puncture and subsequent damage.
That helped Verstappen rise rapidly up to second, with his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez also climbing the field from 11th to fourth.
The two title protagonists have stood on the top steps of the podium for the last four races but one of their team-mates disrupting that pattern could prove pivotal to who holds that title aloft.
All odds and markets correct at the time of publication