Formula 1 championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will lock horns for another epic duel at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend.
This will be the penultimate race in a gripping season. Verstappen still leads Hamilton by 8 points in the battle for the Drivers’ Championship, but Hamilton has won the last two races and cut the deficit significantly.
He is surging with momentum and he appears to have the faster car right now, so this fight could possibly go right down to the wire.
Formula 1 Futures Odds
The sportsbooks now make Hamilton the favorite to win the Drivers’ Championship for a record-breaking eighth time. He is best priced at just +150 with Caesars Sportsbook, while Unibet will only go to -182. Verstappen has now drifted out to plus-money, with BetMGM offering the best price of +125 on him seizing glory.
The winner of a race gets 25 points and the runner-up is awarded 18. There is also 1 bonus point available for the driver that earns the fastest lap in each race. Red Bull’s Verstappen is 8 points ahead of Hamilton, with just two races to go – this weekend’s Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia, and the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the following weekend.
If Hamilton were to crash out of this race, Verstappen could be crowned champion, so the stakes will be extremely high. Hamilton already holds the record for the most Grand Prix wins, and he is level with Michael Schumacher on seven Drivers’ Championship titles apiece.
If he overhauls Verstappen in the final two weeks of the season, he will become the most successful driver in Formula 1 history by every conceivable metric.
An “Insane” Track
We have no historical data to go on, as this will be the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. It will be held at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on the banks of the Red Sea. It will be the second-longest track on the Formula 1 calendar, behind only Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
It has also been dubbed the “fastest street track” on the calendar, with cars simulated to have average speeds in excess of 250 km/h (160 mph).
“We have worked closely with the team at Tilke [the designer] and with the promoter to ensure we have a track that provides exciting wheel-to-wheel racing for our fans and challenges all of the drivers,” said Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn.
“The design brings out the best of a modern street circuit but also has fast-paced free-flowing areas that will create fast speeds and overtaking opportunities. The setting is incredible, on the Red Sea, and we can’t wait to see the cars on track in December.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the circuit looks “insane” and will set the stage for “excitement and drama”, while former F1 champion Damon Hill questioned the safety of the “high risk” track.
Horner compared the track to Suzuka, which hosted the Japanese Grand Prix from 2009 to 2019. That could be good news for Hamilton, as his Mercedes team won the Grand Prix six years in a row from 2014 to 2019. Hamilton won at Suzuka in 2007, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Hamilton is the clear favorite to win the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. He is priced at -195 with FanDuel to pull it off, which is the best price on the market. PointsBet is offering a market-leading +260 on Verstappen, while Bottas – Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate – is at +1400 with DraftKings.
There is a sense of inevitability about Hamilton winning this race and going on to clinch the title in Abu Dhabi the following weekend. Verstappen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, but Hamilton has emerged victorious there five times, making him the most successful driver in the race’s history.
Hamilton to win this race at -195 and the championship at -150 represents a lot of juice, but sometimes it is worth squeezing, and Hamilton looks likely to deliver.
Formula 1 Pick: Lewis Hamilton +150 with Caesars Sportsbook