The 2019 Formula One season heads to Spielberg in Styria, Austria this weekend for the 9th round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The 2019 Austrian Grand Prix is slated to take place on June 30, 2019, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. The race will be the 32nd edition of the auto race which was first run in 1963 at the Zeltweg Airfield circuit in Styria. This year’s race will be at the 4.318 km Austria circuit now known as the Red Bull Ring with a race distance of 306.452 km or 71 laps around the Hermann Tilke-designed race track.

The circuit is the race’s second home after the Zeltweg Airfield circuit was declared too dangerous. It was first called as the  Österreichring which is literally translated as “Austrian Circuit”. The track was refurbished in 1995-96 and was renamed as The A1-Ring. Then after Red Bull purchased the circuit and had it rebuilt, they changed the name to Red Bull Ring.

In the history of the Austrian Grand Prix, McLaren has the most victories among constructors with a total of six. Ferrari is next with five triumphs in Spielberg while Lotus and Mercedes are tied for third with four wins apiece. When it comes to drivers, Alain Prost is the only driver to have won the race three times, doing so in 1983, 1985 and 1986.  Ronnie Peterson, Alan Jones, Mika Hakkinen, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg each have two wins in Austria.

Among the current drivers, only Lewis Hamilton (2016), Valterri Botas (2017) and Max Verstappen (2018) have won the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. Last year, Verstappen won the race from Grid 4, finishing 1.504 seconds clear of second placer Valtteri Botas who started at pole position. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel completed the 2018 podium in third place, 3.181 seconds off the winning time.

This year, the defending race champion Verstappen is currently in fifth place in the F1 betting odds at +200 to become the first repeat winner since Nico Rosberg in 2014-15. Fellow former Austrian Grand Prix winners Hamilton and Bottas are on top of the odds board at -145 and +300, respectively.

Here are the completed odds to win the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix. Odds were taken from as of 6/25/19:

Driver Odds
Lewis Hamilton -145
Valtteri Bottas +300
Sebastian Vettel +500
Charles Leclerc +550
Max Verstappen +2800
Pierre Gasly +25000
Lando Norris +100000
Daniel Ricciardo +100000
Carlos Sainz +100000
Kimi Raikkonen +150000

“Racing" Who Are the Favorites?

The Mercedes drivers are on top of the current odds board and that is no surprise after how the two have dominated this year’s Formula One championship. Hamilton and Bottas have finished 1-2 either way in six out of the first 8 races of the season. The Silver Arrow drivers held the top two spots of the first five races of the season before Ferrari’s Vettel claimed second in Monaco and Canada, relegating Bottas to third and fourth in both races, respectively. But Bottas bounced back with a strong performance at the Circuit Paul Ricard last weekend to edge out Charles Leclerc of Ferrari for second place behind Hamilton.

As for Hamilton, his dominance continued at the French Grand Prix as he claimed his fourth consecutive win of the season. Hamilton has not finished lower than 2nd place in any of the first 8 races of the 2019 F1 season and he’s won a total of six races already. As a result, he’s running away in the Drivers Standings with still 13 rounds to go.

Just take a look at the current Drivers standings after the 2019 French Grand Prix:

1 Lewis Hamilton 187 points
2 Valtteri Bottas 151
3 Sebastian Vettel 111
4 Max Verstappen 100
5 Charles Leclerc 87
6 Pierre Gasly 37
7 Carlos Sainz 26
8 Kimi Raikkonen 16
9 Daniel Ricciardo 16
10 Niko Hulkenberg 16

Hamilton’s win in France was his 79th career win and as we said earlier, he’s won six of eight races including four in a row. And if that’s not impressive enough, he finished second in the two races he didn’t win. The five-time world champion is now 36 points ahead of his teammate Bottas and a huge 79 points clear of chief rival Sebastian Vettel who is a far third.

Last weekend, Hamilton stamped his class at the Circuit Paul Ricard, taking pole position and winning the race by a wide 18 seconds from Bottas and 19 seconds from third-placer Charles Leclerc. Hamilton dominated the race from the get-go as Bottas could only hang with Hamilton in the opening laps. By the time they completed the pit stops, it looked as if Hamilton was in a different race from the field. Hamilton’s dominance, not just last weekend but during the entire year, has put him on top of the odds board again for this weekend’s race in Spielberg. He won here in 2016, finished 4th in 2017 and retired in 2018 due to fuel pressure.

Valtteri Bottas finished second to Hamilton in France and it was the sixth time this season that he’s finished 1st or 2nd. In a year dominated by Mercedes, Bottas has been Hamilton’s top rival so far this season. But if last weekend’s race was any indication, even Bottas may be too far from Hamilton’s brilliance this year. As for the Austrian Grand Prix, Bottas has finished in the Top 10 of this race in all but one race at the Red Bull Ring. Last year, his car suffered hydraulic problems which forced him to retire. Bottas is one of three current drivers to win this race, having done so in 2017.

Sebastian Vettel looked like he was getting his groove back with back to back second place finishes in Monaco and Canada. But the German fell off a podium finish in France, finishing 5th. Vettel has three Top 4 finishes in Spielberg but he also failed to finish the race in two instances. Vetter was third in the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc has shown flashes of brilliance but the Monegasque’s highly talked about rookie season has also had plenty of disappointment as he’s had to play second fiddle to Vettel in some of the early races. However, Leclerc is coming off his third 3rd place finish of the season and is coming off back to back podium finishes after failing to finish the Monaco race.

Max Verstappen is fifth in the odds board despite the fact that he is the defending race champion. He’s finished in the Top 10 of the Austrian Grand Prix in three of four starts including a win last year. The only time he didn’t finish in the Top 10 was in 2017 when a clutch problem caused him to collide with Fernando Alonso resulting in both drivers unable to finish the race. Verstappen was 4th in France last weekend and he has finished in the Top 4 in seven out of the first eight races of the 2019 season.

“Racing" Who Wins?

The only reason why I don’t like Lewis Hamilton is his price. At -145, he’s the only driver whom you will have to bet at a premium. But with how he’s dominated the race tracks this year, there’s no question he’s the best pick to win this race. When it comes to betting value, I like how Max Verstappen is priced because he’s a guy who’s won this race before and who’s finished in the Top 10 in the races he’s completed at the Red Bull Ring. The pressure would be high on him though as he is racing in his team’s turf. But knowing how he delivered last year, I think he will be the dark horse in this race.

Valtteri Bottas also has a good track record at the Red Bull ring, he’s a former winner here and he’s had a good season. I think he has the best chance of beating Hamilton in this one as well. When it comes to picking a winner though, there is no doubt that Lewis Hamilton is the obvious choice. Prediction: Lewis Hamilton

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