F1 2019 Odds: The Frontrunners
March 4, 2019
Who else loves hearing David Croft bellow ‘It’s light out and away we go’? Well, we don’t have to wait too long until we hear those words come shouting out of our TV screens. The wait is over and the first F1 2019 race is set to commence on 17th March and as usual, we will be going down under in Australia for it.
Heading into the new 2019 F1 season, there are various talking points to cover and fans can’t wait to see their beloved racers take to the track with one thing on their mind – the Championship trophy. Just like last year, we will see the race for the title take place over 21 different Grand Prixs, with this season scheduled to finish on the 1st December.
The opening Formula One Race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, is nearly upon us and I’m here to take you through the latest Formula 1 odds and racers who look destined to compete for the Championship this year.
Lewis Hamilton Odds
Where else to start?
Heading into the new F1 2019 season, the bookmakers are inevitably expecting the reigning champion to prevail once more. The world of Formula One in the 21st century has grown accustomed to seeing one man dominate the rankings. From the all-time great in Michael Schumacher to his fellow German in Sebastian Vettel, fans of the sport are used to seeing serial winners of the Championship. Over the last five years however, the one man who has had a strong hold on the reigns of the division has been Lewis Hamilton.
Boasting four Championship trophies across the last five years, the Englishman has embarked on a determined journey to assert his name in the F1 history books in being not just one of the greatest racers of all time, but the greatest ever. The only over racer in history to get their hands on more Formula One Championships than the 34-year-old is the aforementioned Schumacher, with Hamilton having that magic number seventh title closely in his sights.
First though, the Englishman will have to make it six times a charm in 2019. The bookmakers have him down as the clear outright favourite to do so in the F1 odds, and this won’t come as a surprise to fans. He did, of course, make history last year with the most points ever scored in a singular season with 408. With eleven race wins to his name, Hamilton rarely looked like slipping up throughout the season, with eight of this victories coming in the second half of the season.
When the stakes are raised, the 34-year-old just simply seems to get better. From Germany until Japan, Hamilton won all but one of the seven races, with this scintillating form being a large factor behind his Championship parade. For the second successive year, the eventual victory came in Mexico, as despite finishing fourth in the country’s capital, he wrapped up the rankings title with two races to spare. Room to slow down? Not a chance. Hamilton finished the season with a triumph in Brazil and Dhabi.
Given his emphatic showing in 2018, there really wasn’t going to be anybody else to top the F1 odds this year other than Hamilton. The Englishman does hold some value though – he is currently 1/1 with Betfair to run out eventual winner.
Vettel The Most Likely Challenger
A man who is never usually too far behind Hamilton is Sebastian Vettel. If the number one ranked man in the F1 odds didn’t surprise anybody, we are sure the number two won’t either. Last year’s Championship runner-up in Vettel is currently valued as Hamilton’s most likely competitor, coming in at 7/4 with Unibet.
Despite the German losing out to the dominant victor in 2018, it was still quite a comfortable season for the four-time world champion, who finished 71 points ahead of the third-placed Kimi Raikkonen. His position in the top two was rarely questioned, but in the ‘Fight for Five’, Hamilton won the Championship by a monstrous 88 points – the largest margin that Vettel has lost the trophy to whilst being the runner-up.
Second prize means nothing to the once ruling champion, who has now gone five years without finishing on the top podium spot. In Scuderia Ferrari colours, the German is yet to stand tall as the F1 champion, finishing 3rd, 4th, and 2nd twice in the last four years. The term ‘close but no cigar’ is rather fitting here, but can Vettel resurrect from Hamilton’s shadow and prevail in 2019?
To do so, he will need a similar start to last season, where he ran out victorious in Australia and then Bahrain. The early storm to the top of the Formula One rankings pushed Vettel ahead in the betting markets, but consistency was the German’s eventual downfall.
Despite starting in China in pole position, the Ferrari driver was caught in a collision and finished the race in 8th place. Pole position was where Vettel consistently found himself in the first stage of the season, but his repeated failure to capitalise on such a valuable spot meant that he couldn’t substantially pull away early in the rankings.
2013 was the last time that we saw the all-time great stand on top of the podium with champagne in his hand at the end of the season. It was a year that earmarked a period of supremacy from the German, but those days seem a thing of the past. Vettel will be a prominent figure throughout the 2019 season, but does he have enough to beat Hamilton? He, like every other racer, will know that finishing above the Englishman in the table all but guarantees a golden medal being placed around their neck.
2019 – The Year Of The Prodigy?
The two frontrunners amongst the F1 odds won’t have come a surprise to anybody, not even those who don’t religiously follow the sport. So, who are the underdogs for the Championship and what realistic chance does any other racer have of lifting the trophy come the end of the season?
Down the years, Formula One has produced some unforgettable moments, particularly for younger drivers. From Hamilton winning the title on the very last lap in 2008 as a 23-year-old, to Vettel achieving pole, winning and setting a fastest lap record at the British Grand Prix at just 21 years of age, the sport is the perfect stage for a prodigy to shine in the spotlight. Going into the 2019 season, the two hyped racers to watch out for are Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
The former, in particular, has already become a familiar name with Formula One spectators. In fact, we have already explored the talents of the Dutch phenomenon in our 2018 recap, to which Verstappen nearly claimed a top three finish in the rankings table. Despite only being 21-years-old, the Red Bull racer has actually been around since 2015, where he officially became the youngest F1 racer of all time in Australia. In fact, Jos Verstappen’s son holds numerous many records for a young racer, but he isn’t just here to make up the numbers.
Last year can be seen as a milestone for Verstappen, to which we may look back on as his official breakthrough year in the sport when he inevitably wins his first ever Championship. This isn’t me stating that this victory is destined to come in 2019, but if history tells us anything in Formula One, it is that these sort of hype jobs usually live up to expectation. Amongst the F1 odds, Verstappen holds strong value at 9/1 with Coral, particularly considering his form in the second half of the 2018 season. He claimed podium finishes in the last five races – can he upset the favourites and become the new champion this year?
To the surprise of some though, the official third ranked contender amongst the F1 odds is Charles Leclerc. The 21-year-old finished 13th in the table last year but now with a Ferrari team behind him, the Monaco born driver is fancied amongst the betting markets this season. Leclerc’s arrival will see him try and fill the shoes of Kimi Raikkonen, who is moving over to Sauber for the 2019 season. Undoubtedly seen as a long-term star from the Italian team’s perspective, the new driver would be hailed if he could grant his team their first Championship since 2007. Unibet have him at 5/1 to do so this season.
The new season is nearly upon us and where there is a piece of sporting action, there are betting opportunities. Betting on the Formula One is a popular market with fellow punters, as the races are always filled with drama, excitement and most notably, unpredictability. Who will you be backing when its ‘lights out’ in Australia?
Take a look at the best bookmakers offering the latest F1 odds and betting markets here.
As an experienced sports writer, Josh has been published across various different platforms, writing about his beloved club Manchester United and other footballing topics. He also covers a range of other sports, specialising in UFC and Formula One.