Buckle Up! Get ready racing fans for the 2020 Formula One World Championship is about to start.
The 71st season of the Formula One World Championship opens with the 2020 Australian Grand Prix which is the first of 22 races in the Formula One Calendar. The race will be held at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia on March 15, 2020. It is the second oldest auto race in Australia after the Alpine Rally.
This year’s edition of the Australian Grand Prix is the 84th installment of the race and is sponsored by Rolex. The race was first held in Phillip Island in 1928 and has been held in a total of 23 venues in its long history. Since moving to Melbourne in 1996, it has been the first race in the Formula One calendar every season except 2006 and 2010.
Australian Lex Davison and German legend Michael Schumacher are the winningest drivers in race history with four wins apiece. Among the current drivers, Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari is the most successful with three wins while current Drivers Champion Lewis Hamilton has two victories in Melbourne.
Despite finishing in second place last year, Hamilton is the odds on favorite at +110 to win the race while Bottas is a close second at +350. Here are the odds to win the 2020 Australian Grand Prix. Odds were taken from the online sportsbook MyBookie.ag as of 03/03/20:
- Lewis Hamilton +110
- Valtteri Bottas +350
- Max Verstappen +350
- Charles Leclerc +550
- Sebastian Vettel +700
- Alexander Albon +4000
- Sergio Perez +15000
- Carlos Sainz +20000
- Lando Norris +25000
- Lance Stroll +30000
- Daniel Ricciardo +30000
- Esteban Ocon +40000
- Pierre Gasly +50000
- Kevin Magnussen +100000
- Daniil Kvyat +100000
Who Are the Favorites?
Lewis Hamilton is the reigning World Champion and one of the greatest drivers of all-time. The 35-year old from Stevenage in England has won the Drivers Championship six times and is one away from the record of the legendary Michael Schumacher. Hamilton has won the last three Formula One titles and he is a two-time winner at the Australian Grand Prix. His last win came in 2015 and he has finished second in each of the last four years at Melbourne. Hamilton won a total of 11 races last season including eight out of the first 12. He finished in the podium in all but four races all-season long in 2019. After a dominant win in 2019, he is expected to rule the tracks again this season and as such, he is the odds on favorite to win the 2020 Australian Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas is Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes who finished second in the Drivers Championship behind the Briton. The 30-year old Bottas won the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, edging out his teammate who started from pole position. That win was the first of a career-best four races won ( in a season ) for the Finnish driver. In six Australian Grand Prix races joined, he’s finished twice in the podium.
Max Verstappen is the son of former F-1 driver Jos Verstappen and is the youngest Dutch driver to win a Formula One race. The Red Bull ace finished 3rd in the 2019 Formula One World Championship behind Hamilton and Bottas. He won a total of three races last season and recorded a podium finish in a total of nine races. Verstappen is coming off his best season ever as he finished in the Top 5 in all but four races.
Charles Leclerc made his Formula One debut in 2019. The 22-year old Monegasque driver won a total of two races ( back to back at that ) last season and finished 4th in the 2019 Formula One World Championship. Leclerc played behind four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari but he outplaced his more popular teammate in the final standings. Leclerc had a total of 10 podium finishes last year and he was 5th in his second-ever Australian Grand Prix appearance.
Sebastian Vettel was supposed to give Hamilton a run for his sixth Drivers Title but the four-time world champion had a disappointing 2019 season. The 32-year old German won just one race last season, his fewest since 2016. Vettel only had nine podium finishes in 2019 and he finished 4th in the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Vettel has won three times in Melbourne, doing so in 2011, 2017, and 2018.
Lewis Hamilton has taken the pole in Melbourne a total of eight times. However, he’s won the race only twice and has finished as the bridesmaid in the last four installments of the race despite starting the race from the pole. The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit is designed such that overtaking is difficult hence the pole position should’ve given Hamilton a big edge over his rivals. For some reason, he’s won only 25% of the times he’s started from the pole.
Valtteri Bottas is the defending race winner and he is coming off his best season yet in Formula One. He finished second to Hamilton in the 2019 Drivers Championship and is looking to continue his success this season. Max Verstappen finished third behind Bottas and Hamilton in the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. He is also coming off his best finish in a Formula One season at 3rd behind the two Mercedes drivers again. LeClerc did better than Vettel last season but when it comes to betting value, it’s the German who is the dark horse here.
Vettel is coming off a bad season and he will be eager to prove that he still has the goods. Among the current drivers, he has the best resume in Melbourne with three wins.
Sebastian has finished outside the Top 4 in Australia only once since 2010 and that was in 2014 when he retired with engine problems. At +700, Vettel is a tempting pick here. However, if you want to go with a sure bet, the favorite is almost always the best pick. Lewis Hamilton is certainly on top of the Formula One world and he has not shown any signs of slowing down.
Prediction: Lewis Hamilton (he’s the best driver in the world right now) but I won’t blame you if you pick Vettel at +700.