The 2016 Formula One Season has once again seen the Mercedes team dominate the opening rounds, with German Nico Rosberg winning four of the first five races. He has overtaken his team-mate Lewis Hamilton – the 2014 and 2015 World Champion – as the sport’s leading man.
Another boost for Rosberg has been his ability to finish races in front of the Englishman, despite only having two pole positions so far – one fewer than Hamilton. This season he seems to have a greater self-belief in his own driving ability. In previous seasons he has seemed to be almost submissive to his fellow Mercedes driver, but as the coming together at the Spanish Grand Prix showed, he is no longer willing to play second fiddle.
That crash allowed 18-year-old Dutch driver Max Verstappen to win his maiden Grand Prix on May 15th – he is the youngest ever winner of a race. Despite this victory that shows his vast potential, he is probably a few years too young to show the required consistency to win the World Championship title.
The current top ten in the standings are:
- Nico Rosberg 100 points
- Kimi Raikkonen 61
- Lewis Hamilton 57
- Sebastian Vettel 48
- Daniel Ricciardo 48
- Max Verstappen 38
- Felipe Massa 36
- Valtteri Bottas 29
- Daniil Kvyat 22
- Romain Grosjean 22
With a title race that is likely to be the closest in years, and could go down to one of the last races of the season, more betting markets are opening for the 2016/17 season. Coral are offering numerous betting options for the current season, including on the Drivers’ Championship, Constructors’ Championship and the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix, which is taking place on 29th May.
According to Coral, the upcoming Monaco race sees both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg unsurprisingly put as favourites – they are both 6/4 to be the race winner. Their nearest challenger is rated as Sebastian Vettel, the German who won four titles during his time at Red Bull. Now at the ever-improving Ferrari, he is at 9/1 to win the race on the Principality.
Looking forward, Rosberg is out ahead as clear favourite to win his first World Championship – he is rated at 4/6 to be named as champion by the final race, which is in Abu Dhabi on 27th November. Hamilton is quite rightly at 6/4 due to already being 39 points behind, mainly due to a number of reliability issues.
The Constructors’ title seems to be heading to one team only – Mercedes – as they are at 1/25, and if their cars finish a race they are inevitably both in a podium position, barring any errors. Last year the team won 703 points as Hamilton romped to the World Championship.
As this is the longest ever Formula 1 season, with 21 races altogether, it is looking like being one of the most entertaining title fights in recent years. Whilst it seems most likely that Mercedes will be the car that the eventual winner will be in, the identity of the driver is less clear. On current form, the new and improved Rosberg is the favourite, but Hamilton will not want to relinquish his titles easily and will certainly run him close.