The second race of the 2015 Formula 1 takes place on Sunday at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia and many fans and commentators are already coming to the conclusion that, whatever happens there, it looks like being another season of Mercedes dominance.
Lewis Hamilton won the opening race in Australia with relative ease a couple of weeks ago, never looking in any danger of surrendering the lead he had from starting on pole onwards. His teammate Nico Rosberg was second, just over a second behind, but there was a gap of over 30 seconds to the third place driver, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Given that there already seems to be a gulf in class between the Mercedes cars and the rest, especially McClaren who are struggling badly for the necessary speed to give themselves a chance of competing, we think the Constructors Championship will be sewn up in record time. Four-time world champion Vettel looks to have found a new lease of life in his new Ferrari this season, but it remains to be seen whether they can close the gap on the Mercedes men.
Hamilton is certainly well placed to triumph in Malaysia on Sunday having won last year’s Grand Prix there, but given that Vettel won three of the previous four races in Kuala Lumpur, he might well fancy his chances, especially if Hamilton’s car keeps encountering the mechanical problems that plagued the first two practice sessions.
With the season still in its infancy, technical problems are likely to play a significant part in the coming races as teams try to hone their cars and eke out every last bit of power. As such, Betfair’s betting offer on the race could prove very fruitful for those looking for a bit of insurance for their F1 bets. The bookie is offering to refund losing bets on a driver to win the race (as a free bet of up to £25) if your driver fails to finish.
The offer applies to pre-race single win bets and the win part of each way bets, and will not apply if you cash out or lay off your bet on the Betfair Exchange. Free bet tokens will be valid for seven days and they will be credited within 12 hours of your bet being settled if the man you back doesn’t make it to the finish.
Taking Betfair’s offer into account we feel that backing Hamilton to win the race effectively becomes a bet to nothing. If he finishes the race we are supremely confident he will win; if he fails to finish, you’ll have your stake refunded as a free bet of up to £25. At current odds of just 4/7, a £25 bet on Hamilton isn’t going to make you rich, but profit is profit. If you prefer something at longer odds, we’d certainly opt for Vettel at an attractive price of 14/1. He’s been there and done it in Malaysia and clearly likes the track. If he gets in amongst the Mercedes cars and/or one or both of them crash out or retire, the German has a very decent chance of success.