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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W14 and Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 battle for track position into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit on April 02, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202304020277 // Usage for editorial use only // f1

Formula 1 battle for third place this season is intense

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W14 and Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 battle for track position into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit on April 02, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202304020277 // Usage for editorial use only // f1

We may only be part of the way into the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship campaign that’s run through the Middle East, Down Under, western Asia, and the east coast of the United States to name a few places, but the writing is well and truly on the wall.

In alternating fashion, Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez have traded the top spot of the podium, with Red Bull boasting gold and silver in all but one race. Therefore, we’re looking at the battles for the best of the rest places where the battle for best of the rest and the final step of the podium is intense.

One of the best places to look for a clear-cut view of where experts think results will land is the Formula 1 betting markets. At Paddy Power, we can see that the Betting Without Max Verstappen market has Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso tied at 10/1.

Equally important, in Betting Without Red Bull, Aston Martin and Mercedes are tied at 13/10, with Ferrari out at 13/5. Now, more often than not, Paddy Power News  suggests Alonso will secure a Podium Finish, usually alongside Russell or Hamilton. So, it’s not a surprise that the front-runners of the rest are Mercedes and Aston Martin.

Even with these odds, however, what’s becoming clearer with each passing race is that one driver looks to be the best suited to meet the Red Bull racers with some champagne after each Grand Prix. Also, one team has a far better chance of climbing the Formula 1 Constructors’ table than the other, especially if strong gains are made during upgrade week.

One driver versus two for second-best honours

Given where the team was last season and the massive edge that Red Bull has, perhaps the most impressive driver of the year so far has been Fernando Alonso. In with a new team at Aston Martin, the veteran Spaniard has taken the proverbial bull by the horns to power to four third-place finishes in five races, landing fourth in Baku.

As The Race details, Alonso was, again, a big winner at the Miami Grand Prix and even managed to hold pace with Pérez throughout the early stages. Perhaps some fine-tuning to the Aston Martin car will give him what’s needed to truly scalp some points from whichever Red Bull driver starts to fall behind the other.

The issue with Aston Martin, however, is that it’s currently, more or less, a one-driver team. Alonso’s teammate is yet to make it to the podium, landing in the points just three times in the opening five races. Over at Mercedes, there are two very capable drivers and a somewhat unexpected team ethic driving them onwards.

Formula 1 teammate battles are also proving to be intriguing this season

Mercedes W14 developments coming through already

In Miami, with George Russell picking up steam and racing well, the call came over the radio requesting Hamilton to let his teammate past. The former world champion obliged, saying that he’s “not backing off, though,” but did ultimately pave the way to a finish in sixth. Thanks to his compliance, Russell finished fourth.

If this kind of dynamic can hold up, with both racers always in the mix for the best of the non-podium points, and some podiums throughout the season, Mercedes boast a clear edge over Aston Martin in the World Constructors’ standings.

Red Bull and its two classy drivers are already running away with the titles, but it’ll be interesting to see if Alonso and his Aston Martin can stay on form for long enough to land the Spaniard third.