|What’s the F1 betting odds?
On face value Lewis Hamilton is a four-time World Champion. The most successful British Formula 1 racer of all time and well on course to break Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins.
But while a picture paints a thousand words, people do forget that Lewis Hamilton could so easily have landed five World Driver’s titles at this point in time.
Back in 2007, Hamilton’s debut season which consisted of just 17 races, the young Brit failed to become World Champion by a single point. In a calamitous season finale in Brazil, the McLaren driver finished seventh but a Kimi Raikkonen victory saw the Finn take the title by that single point. Amazingly Hamilton’s teammate, Fernando Alonso, shared runner-up spot.
And just five points robbed Hamilton of another F1 title in 2016. Victorious in ten of the seasons 21 races with two retirements as opposed to Nico Rosberg’s one was the death-knell to his fourth title. The key ‘DNF’ (Did Not Finish) came in Malaysia when Stevenage’s favourite son was leading the race but succumbed to engine failure.
So what are the chances of bad luck striking down the 32-year-old in the 2018 Formula One season? And what is the likelihood of Red Bull, Ferrari or even McLaren (with their new engine provider upping their game) providing us with a driver capable of spoiling Lewis Hamilton’s relentless march towards Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles?
According to Freebets.co.uk, who provide the best free bets in the UK from leading brands, there is a better likelihood of Hamilton not taking his World Drivers Championship haul to five in 2018 than actually doing so. That’s because their research shows online bookmakers, more pertinently their customers, make Hamilton’s odds of lifting the title in 2018 a 6/4 chance (or 2.50 in decimal odds).
More Unlikely than Likely
For the uninitiated 6/4 equates to 40% ‘probable’. Therefore the remaining drivers chances combined are 60%. The big question is, who exactly can give Lewis Hamilton the most to think about in 2018 and what is their likelihood of prevailing?
Unquestionably Sebastian Vettel was let down badly by his equipment in 2017. Until the start of September and the Italian Grand Prix the 30-year-old, himself a four-time World Champion, led the points standings and was the bookmakers favourite to take the title.
But unrequited love, thwarted opportunities, barren bonds, dashed hopes and broken hearts is the steadfast diet Ferrari’s fans have become accustomed to and that is underlined by the German’s price of 7/2 (4.50) for World Championship glory in 2018. That price equates to a 22% likelihood.
Ferrari’s designated sacrificial lamb, following in the footsteps of other fall guys such as Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello, is Kimi Raikkonen and if you want to back him you must be either brave, foolhardy, or ultimately, rich. He is 33/1 for 2018 glory.
Indeed it is the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo that the public believe will be Lewis Hamilton’s thorn in either side.
Despite Ricciardo faring best of the garage mates in 2017, it is the younger driver, Verstappen, that is considered most likely to become World Champion in 2018.
The Dutch pilot is best priced 4/1 (5.00), and his Australian counterpart is 7/1 (8.00). That represents a 20% and almost 15% likelihood respectively.
Naturally, combined that is 35% meaning there is – according to bookmakers and their clients whose money makes these betting markets/forecasts – a one in three chance that Red Bull will have their first World Driver's champion since Sebastian Vettel in 2013.