The 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix (also known as Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix 2020) is scheduled to take place on Sunday, as the penultimate event of the season. It’s the second race on the Bahrain International Circuit, which played host to the recent Bahrain Grand Prix.
The race will mark the first running of the Sakhir Grand Prix in F1, making it that much more exciting for the drivers, those betting online, and the F1 fans alike.
Unlike last week’s race, the Sakhir Grand Prix will use the “Outer Circuit” layout at the Bahrain International Circuit, which will provide the drivers with plenty of opportunities to push their cars to the max. With that change, the Sakhir Grand Prix lap times are expected to be under one minute. That effectively means the upcoming race could become the first race since the 1974 French Grand Prix with sub-one minute lap times.
Making his debut will be a Brazilian racer Pietro Fittipaldi, who is set to replace Romain Grosjean after his horrific crash in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Additionally, Lewis Hamilton will not be participating after he tested positive for COVID-19.
With Mercedes’ star out of the race, the Sakhir Grand Prix will serve as an excellent opportunity for some of the fringe drivers to lock in valuable points before the curtain falls on the 2020 F1 season. While it’s anyone’s guess who will come out ahead when making your F1 picks, we have put together a list of four drivers everyone should look out for.
Max Verstappen +140
For the first time, Max Verstappen will enter a race billed as the favorite among the F1 odds, largely due to Hamilton’s absence and Valtteri Bottas’ poor form. Without those factors, Verstappen is not a driver to be underestimated since he has had a fairly successful season despite Red Bull’s engine problems.
“Mad Max” enters following an impressive runner-up finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where he came only 1.254 seconds short of passing Hamilton. With that, he secured his 10th podium finish and 189 points, which sits him only 12 behind Bottas.
Bridging the gap won’t be an easy task for Verstappen. However, due to Bottas’ recent struggles – 14th in Turkey and eighth in Bahrain – Verstappen looks like a solid pick on the outright market.
Valtteri Bottas +140
Bottas has not been looking too sharp of late. Despite his successful performances throughout the early stages of the season, the Finn has seemingly hit a slump and struggled to finish on the podium in each of the last two races.
Nevertheless, we can expect a stronger performance from Mercedes’ No. 2 this time out, as he looks to prove he can be more than just a supporting role to the seven-time F1 champion. With Verstappen breathing down his neck, Bottas can’t afford to drop the ball once more, which should add some motivation. However, it remains to be seen whether he can get back to his winning ways in time.
Sergio Perez +2300
Although far from one of the favorites, there is no denying Sergio Perez has enjoyed quite a solid campaign for Racing Post. He sits in fifth place in the drivers’ championship and enters as one of the most in-form drivers.
An important thing to note here is that Racing Post is known for possessing one of the fastest cars, which should benefit Perez on the faster track layout. A win for the Mexican driver is anything but guaranteed. But if he enters with the same fire he has shown in Turkey (runner-up), there is a world where Perez locks in another podium finish and makes big F1 news.
Alexander Albon +3000
With Hamilton out of the race, we can safely explore the possibility of one of the underdogs taking the glory. And while there are many candidates that have it in them to steal the spotlight, we can’t look past Alexander Albon.
The British-Thai driver has yet to win a race this season. But that does not take away from his solid performance last week when he finished in third place.
Albon has solid odds to finish on the podium, which is fairly generous considering he has already proven his worth on this track once before and worth taking a look at when making your betting picks.