The 2020 Formula One season travels to Bahrain for the final two races for your online betting before the season’s culminating event in Abu Dhabi. The first race on the schedule – the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix – is slated for Sunday, which will mark the 16th Bahrain Grand Prix in the history of Formula One World Championship and the 15th race of the season.
The race was originally set to take place on March 22 but ended up being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its place, an esports Grand Prix was held, which featured F1 drivers, celebrities, and esports players. The participants raced on a virtual track, with Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou winning the race, followed by Stoffel Vandoorne and Philipp Eng in third.
It was not until August when the Bahrain Grand Prix was officially confirmed to return to the F1 schedule. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, there will be no live audience. Local authorities have given special dispensation, which will allow local health workers to attend the race with their close family members.
As we look ahead to the Bahrain Grand Prix, the race for the drivers’ championship has already ended, with Lewis Hamilton lifting his seventh trophy in Turkey last week. Meanwhile, the constructor’s championship was sealed long ago, which suggests the remaining teams will do their best to rack in as many points as possible, meaning a more aggressive approach is likely on the cards.
A tighter race in the middle of the field is expected, but the question remains: Can anyone break away from the pack and challenge Hamilton? Or will the newly-crowned seven-time F1 world champion secure his fifth consecutive win of the season?
Lewis Hamilton (-300)
By winning his seventh F1 World Championship title, Hamilton has now caught up to the legendary Michael Schumacher.
The Brit has proven time and time again that he is a level above his competition. That was especially obvious last week when he started the race in sixth place but still managed to claim the checkered flag with more than 31 seconds to spare.
His impressive form alone is enough for us to consider Hamilton as the main favorite in the F1 betting odds to win the Bahrain Grand Prix, but there is more to that.
Hamilton has not finished outside the top three at the Bahrain International Circuit since 2013. In the past seven years, he has claimed three victories (2014, ’15, and ’19), one runner-up finish (’17), and two bronze medals (’16, ’18).
If that run is any indication, it will be up to the remaining drivers to show up if they want to spoil Hamilton’s plans.
Valtteri Bottas (+325)
If the betting odds are to be trusted, Hamilton should win with Valtteri Bottas close behind, which is something that could easily happen since it already has numerous times this season. Perhaps Bottas’ chances to impress in Bahrain are a bit lower after his poor performance in Turkey, where he qualified in ninth and ended the race in 14th place.
By finishing lower than sixth, Bottas allowed Hamilton to win the championship. That, however, can hardly be regarded as a disaster since Bottas had little to no chance of stealing the spotlight from Hamilton.
Like Hamilton, Bottas historically does well on the Bahrain International Circuit, where he has finished inside the top three for the past three years. That run includes two silver medals from 2018 and ’19, as well as a third-place finish in ’17.
Max Verstappen (+550)
Max Verstappen enters with 170 points in the drivers’ standings, which places him 27 points behind Bottas. As things stand, Verstappen looks set to repeat his success from 2019 and secure a bronze medal.
However, we don’t expect him to settle for that and instead push for a higher finish. And who are we to doubt his ability to do so?
Verstappen has enjoyed quite a solid season and has finished inside of the top three in all races he has finished – except for the Turkish Grand Prix, where Mad Max managed only sixth place.
It’s also worth noting when doing your online wagering that Verstappen has never finished on the podium in Bahrain, but his best placement (fourth) came last year, so perhaps that is a sign of good things to come.
Charles Leclerc (+6000)
While we can’t deny Verstappen, Bottas and Hamilton are the favorites to finish on the podium, there are other drivers that can potentially achieve that feat as well, and Charles Leclerc is definitely one of them.
The Ferrari driver was furious for letting a top-three finish in Turkey slip between his fingers, so we can be sure Leclerc will be eager to prove himself in Bahrain. Despite finishing fourth, the Monegasque drove well, which has been a trend for the last couple of races.
Leclerc enters this race with an average finish of 4.33 in the last three races, including a fifth-place finish at Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and two fourth places from Portugal and Turkey. The 23-year-old has also proven that the Bahrain track suits him when he finished third in 2019, so he should not be ignored on the top-three market when making your betting picks.