- Lewis Hamilton (+135) will try to recapture the F1 Drivers Championship from Max Verstappen (+275)
- The schedule currently sits at 22 races after the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix
- The opening race of the Formula 1 season will take place in Bahrain on March 20.
While the hardcore fans may see it differently, there’s a lot of momentum around the sport right now with the Netflix series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” bringing in thousands of new viewers. Unfortunately, for those viewers, last year’s F1 World Champion Max Verstappen has refused to participate in the show moving forward, accusing the producers of “faking storylines.”
Will the suddenly camera-shy Verstappen go back-to-back in the 2022 racing season or will seven-time champ Lewis Hamilton return to the winners circle on the strength of a Mercedes team that has won a record nine F1 Constructors’ Championships?
Let’s check the Drivers Championship odds before the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend, and here’s where you can find the top betting sites for Formula 1 in 2022.
2022 Drivers Championship
The Rivalry Resumes
Lewis Hamilton (+135) admitted he was struggling to “tame” Mercedes’ new W13 car at pre-season testing on Friday. He also said Ferrari would finish 1-2 at the season-opening Bahrain GP if it took place this weekend. The comments echoed those of his new Mercedes teammate George Russell (+650) – but Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz isn’t buying what the Brits are selling, saying the comments were “typical Mercedes… just hype up the others and then come to the first race and blow the competition away”.
Still, given F1’s new technical regulations that aim to even the playing field, the early testing results certainly add intrigue to the upcoming season.
🗣️ "We are fighters out there, there's no friends on track."
Lewis Hamilton discusses his relationship with Max Verstappen. pic.twitter.com/M79D1DLmm4
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 11, 2022
Sainz moved Ferrari back to the top of the timesheets on the second day of F1’s final pre-season test in Bahrain on Friday, nearly half-a-second clear of Verstappen (+275). The Red Bull driver ended Hamilton’s bid for an eight-straight Drivers Championship last year in a controversial season-ending race at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that ended up getting race director Michael Masi fired.
The Dutchman will bring #1 back to the F1 track for the first time since fellow Red Bull champ Sebastian Vettel’s final title defence in 2014, but many wonder if his Honda car can keep up with the redesigned Mercedes W13.
Is Ferrari for real?
Charles Leclerc (+600) said he was “trying to guess” where his Formula 1 rivals were “hiding” after he and teammate Carlos Sainz (+1200) had another superb day of pre-season testing on Friday. Ferrari hasn’t captured a Drivers Championship since 2007 (Kimi Raikkonen) or a Constructors Title since 2008, but they certainly look like they’ll be competitive.
After a miserable 2020 that saw them record their worst season in 40 years, the Scuderia finished third in the Constructors’ standings last year. And Leclerc believes five race wins might be enough to win a championship if Mercedes and Red Bull don’t turn the season into two-horse race yet again.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) March 11, 2022
Let’s face it – Lewis Hamilton is the best bet at +135 because chances are Mercedes again will have the fastest car despite F1’s biggest rule changes in 40 years. And odds are slim that George Russell (+650) becomes the lead dog for the Silver Arrows anytime soon.
However, a hedge with the handsome Leclerc at +600 might be in order if you believe early testing results are real. Either way, we’re about to find out at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: