It’s something that we have been longing for and finally, we have an F1 season where it’s September and sportsbooks don’t have a ridiculously short-priced favourite to win the Drivers’ Championship.
Max Verstappen has a three-point lead over defending champion Lewis Hamilton and the odds are looking good for a title race that could go down to the wire.
Of 13 races this season, Red Bull have won eight of them with Hamilton winning four in his Mercedes. It’s been good to see Alpine win a race this year. The Constructors’ Championship is close too with Mercedes 12 points ahead of Red Bull.
This is just what the sport needs. Too many times in recent years, we have seen Mercedes run away with race and race. Instead of wondering what the odds were on Verstappen crashing again, the pretender to the throne is now winning plenty of races.
That’s not the case for Lewis Hamilton. At this time of the year, we are usually asking in which race he’ll clinch the title. On May 9, the British driver won the Spanish Grand Prix. That was the fourth race of the new season and Hamilton had won three of them. Sportsbooks were again offering short odds on him winning yet another title. He’d already been knighted, when will he become a Lord?
However, since that race in Spain, Hamilton has won one out of nine. Hamilton won the British Grand Prix delighting his thousands of fans. It was an adulation not seen again until the Dutch Grand Prix. Verstappen winning that race must have delighted Dutch gamblers considering the wild celebrations that took place.
Five of the last seven races have been won by Verstappen. Only the races in Great Britain and Hungary have slipped out of his fingers. Just how has the tide turned in F1 racing? The odds are looking good for Verstappen to win the title if he can carry on with his excellent form. Perhaps Red Bull might be able to beat the odds and take the Constructors’ Championship away from Mercedes?
The past couple of races have not been great ones for Mercedes. Hamilton has earned 11 points less than Verstappen, handing back the advantage to his title rival. That began at the disastrous Belgian Grand Prix, a farce that should never happen again.
Just one lap on a soaking track was enough to declare a winner. Sportsbooks must have been wondering what was going on as they had to pay out on Verstappen with Hamilton back in third. With the title race so close this year, we have to hope that we won’t all be left saying the title might not have been won by the champion if we’d had a proper race in Belgium.
Not all US states have decided to legalize sports betting. One that has taken this step is Illinois. There are some great sportsbooks where you can bet on F1. Take a good look to see whether it’s Hamilton or Verstappen who according to pointsbet odds will win the title.
It was never going to be easy for Lewis Hamilton in the Netherlands. The home fans were at fever pitch throughout the weekend. It got worse for the defending champion when his Mercedes had an engine problem that saw him miss nearly all of the second practice session.
Not the preparation any driver wants, especially when racing in the home nation of your top rival.
Again, the main problem for Hamilton was that the Red Bull cars were just too fast for Mercedes to cope with. Lewis Hamilton said that “today needed everything perfect to even have the slightest chance.” Sadly, 2021 has been a year where “perfect” hasn’t really happened a great deal for the British driver. When that is the case, the odds on being able to retain your title aren’t that good.
Mercedes will take heart from the fact that they finished second and third in the race. A few more races like that may see Hamilton lose his title but Mercedes can keep their Constructors’ title.
The rest of the season will likely see the race between Hamilton and Verstappen ebb and flow. Some circuits will be to the advantage to Mercedes and others to Red Bull.
Monza is up next weekend, and the odds are that Mercedes can fight back on a circuit where Red Bull haven’t had the best of results in recent years. Mercedes will be on lower downforce and sportsbooks will likely make Hamilton the favourite to win and regain the lead in the F1 title race.
Lewis Hamilton knows just what has to be done if he is to again become champion. “We are ahead in the teams’ championship, which is great, but we need to pick up some speed if we want to be able to win races in future.”
Leader Max Verstappen says it is important to “look at the realistic pace and not always the result.” He also wants to see some more speed in his car. “I feel like we still need a bit more but it is heading in the right direction,” said Verstappen.
F1 fans have so much to look forward to in the coming months. There’s bound to be more controversial moments and possibly harsh words between Hamilton and Verstappen. The odds are it might even go down to the last race, now there’s a rare occurrence.