The 2018 Grand Prix season has started with plenty of drama – inclusive of gear box issues, a broken leg in the pits and Sebastian Vettel laying down an early gauntlet to pre-season favourite and reigning Champion Lewis Hamilton.
While two races into the season is too early for Vettel to even remotely think about beating Lewis Hamilton to five F1 Championship titles, Hamilton needs to start stamping his authority on the season if he doesn't want to give away more precious ground to his German rival.
This weekend's Chinese Grand Prix on April 15, 2018, at the Shanghai International Circuit looks the ideal location for Hamilton to reward his backers with an authoritative win, given both Mercedes' and the Brit's aptitude for the race track in recent seasons. What's more, doubling-up on Hamilton for pole position could reward Formua 1 betting fans at bigger odds.
The idiosyncrasies of Grand Prix race tracks often have an influence over driver performance, and Hamilton's dominance of the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit seems to hint that he loves his Far East adventures.
Betting on Hamilton to win the Shanghai Grand Prix at 6/5 with William Hill therefore has strong appeal, with him having won the race a record five times – hitting the top spot on the podium in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Such has been his grip on the race, that only two other drivers have ever won the contest more than once, since its inception in 2004 – namely Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg (two wins each). Unsurprisingly, China has been a happy hunting ground for Mercedes, with five wins from 14 runnings of the race. The team will be intent on making it six at the weekend.
While the Ferraris of Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen will be looking to continue to their solid shows of speed in the early season, Hamilton is hinting that he's ready to kick into gear.
Firstly, backers of Hamilton at the Chinese Grand Prix have frequently been rewarded by his excellent understanding of the track, something that he puts down to knowing how to handle the first three corners of the course, which require car balance and brake control to maximise speed and protect tyres – plus analysing wind speed down the long back straight into the corners towards the end of the laps.
Hamilton will come into the race with confidence from Bahrain, having done very well to finish third on the podium, despite having to overcome his down the grid starting position (thanks to the gearbox penalty picked-up after problems that started in Australia).
And with an urgent need to stop Vettel from making it three from three for this season, everything points to betting on Hamilton to give another Shanghai masterclass. The Mercedes cars are displaying good speed across the team, and they head to Shanghai with winning expectations and nothing else on their mind.
Lewis Hamilton's excellent Chinese Grand Prix performances have included him taking pole position a record six times, making betting on Hamilton to take pole at 4/1 with William Hill an attractive wager. The driver will be keen to close-in on the record of Michael Schumacher, who won the French Grand Prix eight times, and took the number one spot on seven occasions at both San Marino and Canada.
In taking pole in 2017, Hamilton broke the Shanghai record with a time of 1.31.678 ahead of Vettel and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas – and it's worth betting on him to put in another stellar qualifying effort to take pole. Last year in Shanghai, Hamilton lead from start to finish to win the race – something that he can be backed to repeat in a double at odds around 10/1 with online bookmakers.
Hamilton and Vettel are both looking to win their fifth F1 Drivers Championship, and neither will be wanting to lose the quest to join Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio on being second only to Schumacher's record of seven titles. With Vettel having made a blistering start to the 2018 Championship, Hamilton is already playing catch-up.
However, no one has mastered Shanghai like him, and with the team's cars showing good speed, another huge performance is expected. Back Lewis Hamilton to take pole position at 4/1 and win the Chinese Grand Prix at 6/5 with some of the top online F1 betting sites today.