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The Russian Grand Prix takes place for the seventh successive year in Sochi this weekend and Lewis Hamilton is a strong betting favourite to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins in Formula One.
Rather like at Monza on September 6th, there was chaos in the Tuscan Grand Prix two weeks ago but the result was far from unusual as Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas occupied the first two places.
Hamilton was a 1/2 shot before qualification two weeks ago, and he is an even shorter price to triumph in Russia on Sunday at 2/5. The short price is hardly surprising, given the narrative around the event and the fact that the Brit has won four times in six Sochi races.
Bottas is also a former winner at the Sochi Autodrom, having edged out Sebastian Vettel in 2017. The price for the Finn to come out on top is 10/3, and he could certainly do with a victory in order to close the 55-point gap between him and Hamilton. Just the one win so far in this campaign will disappoint the 31-year-old.
Rounding out the top three at the Mugello Circuit a fortnight ago was not the Red Bull driver that we are used to seeing on the podium. Max Verstappen did not complete the session, and Alex Albon came as high as third for the first time in his career.
As a result, Albon has been given more respect in the top 3 finish market this week. You are looking at 4/1 now, whereas for previous races this month there were 14/1 quotes.
Despite Verstappen’s retirement in each of the races in Italy, his odds to win remain around the same heading into Sochi. You can get a best price of 13/2 with 888sport, while a podium finish is odds on at 8/13. It is 1/2 for both Red Bull drivers to finish in the points.
The Red Bull duo are the closest to the Mercedes pair in the fastest lap market despite the fact that McLaren have managed the feat more times than Red Bull this season. Verstappen and Bottas (both 3/1) each have one to their name this year, and so do Lando Norris (50/1), Carlos Sainz (70/1), and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo (20/1).
Hamilton can be snapped up at 5/4 to record the fastest lap for the third consecutive race and fifth time overall this term. Having managed his maiden podium last week, Albon is a 20/1 chance to follow that up with his first fastest lap of 2020.
As far as outsiders for the race win are concerned, it is the usual suspects piled up behind the three short-priced guys in the market. Sergio Perez is 40/1 on a track in which he has never finished outside of the top 10, and came third in 2015. A podium finish for the Mexican, which is of course a more realistic prospect, is 4/1.
A man with less impressive course form is fellow Racing Point driver Lance Stroll, who has never earned a point in Sochi. Priced at 2/5 for the top 10, he is expected to end that unwanted streak this week, and he should be fine for that unless issues arise that cannot be legislated for. Having said that, 6/1 for a podium is plenty big enough.
Ricciardo falls into the same price bracket as Stroll, and having finished fourth for the third time in 2020 last time out, surely a first podium for Renault in this turbo-hybrid era will come before he departs for McLaren.
Sainz and Norris are both 125/1 to win, but interestingly it is the Spaniard who commands shorter odds in the other markets. He is 8/1 for the top three compared with Norris’ 10/1, and 8/11 for top 6, as opposed to the 15/8, offered on the youngster.
Haas, as usual, lead the first car retirement market at 10/3, with Ferrari next at 9/2.