Round 1 of the 2019 Formula One season is in the books and now we’re looking ahead at the next race on the calendar and that is the 2019 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix which will be held on March 31, 2019 at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain.
Here are the schedule of activities for the 2019 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix:
|Friday, March 29||Practice 1||12:00-13:30|
|Friday, March 29||Practice 2||15:00-16:30|
|Saturday, March 30||Practice 3||13:00-14:00|
|Saturday, March 30||Qualifying||16:00-17:00|
|Sunday March 31||F1 Race||Startgrid 16:10 GMT|
Where They Stand After Round 1
Knowing current form of th drivers could form a big part of how we bet in races, so let’s take a look at how the 20 drivers rank after the first race of the 2019 Formula One season:
|1||Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)||26 points|
|2||Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)||18|
|3||Max Verstappen (Red Bull)||15|
|4||Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)||12|
|5||Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)||10|
|6||Kevin Magnussen (Haas)||8|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)||6|
|8||Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)||4|
|9||Lance Stroll (Racing Point)||2|
|10||Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)||0|
|11||Pierre Gasly (Red Bull)||0|
|12||Lando Norris (McLaren)||0|
|13||Sergio Perez (Racing Point)||0|
|14||Alex Albon (Toro Rosso)||0|
|15||Antonio Giovanazzi (Alfa Romeo)||0|
|16||George Russell (Williams)||0|
|17||Robert Kubica (Williams)||0|
|18||Romain Grosjean (Haas)||0|
|19||Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)||0|
|20||Carlos Sainz Jnr (McLaren)||0|
You should know by now that Mercedes had a 1-2 finish in the first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, which was held this weekend. Valtteri Bottas opened his season with a faultless ride that led to a 20 second victory over pole-sitting teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas zoomed in front of Sebastian Vettel into the first corner and jumped ahead of teammate Hamilton throughout the entire race. Max Verstappen of Red Bull completed the podium as he overtook Vettel into third place. Ferrari’s ace finished in fourth place, ahead of his highly touted teammate Charles LeClerc.
But more than the disappointment of Ferrari missing the podium and finishing four and five was hometown hero Daniel Ricciardo who was forced to retire after 31 laps in his first race with Renault.
In the end, Bottas takes the fastest lap and an 8-point lead over Hamilton in the Drivers’ standings. Mercedes picks up 44 points against 22 by the Prancing Horse. Ferrari was highly touted during the Testing and were expected to challenge the Silver Arrows but they were very off on race day with Vettel 51.7 seconds off Hamilton for that matter. Perhaps things will change an end up differently in two weeks time with Round 2 in Bahrain. Or will it?
Let’s take a look at the odds to win the 2019 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Odds taken from bet365 as of 3/18/19:
Despite finishing second in the Australian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton is the odds-on-favorite to win the 2019 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix at +140. The Brit came in second to teammate Valtteri Bottas who came back at +200. It was the fourth straight time that Hamilton finished 2nd in Melbourne. Last year, Hamilton also took pole position but lost to Sebastian Vettel in the final race.
Hamilton finished third in last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix after starting at 9th place. Who could forget that sequence early in the race when Hamilton passed three cars effectively in one move? Sebastian Vettel won the race and Valtteri Bottas finished second last year. Hamilton has won the Bahrain Grand Prix twice, winning back to back in 2014 and 2015.
Last year’s runner-up Bottas enters this race with the momentum of his victory at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix. Vettel took his first ever pole position in 2017 but finished third behind Vettel and Hamilton during the final race.
Vettel comes in third in the oddsboard at +275. The German Ferrari ace has won the Bahrain Grand Prix the last two years and has won the race a total of four times, having also won back to back in 2012 and 2013 when he was still racing for Red Bull-Renault. Vettel missed a podium finish in the just concluded Australian Grand Prix and one can look for him to bounce back after a disappointing start to the season by Ferrari and the underperformance of their much hyped SF90 engine.
Max Verstappen comes in fourth at +900. Red Bull’s Verstappen came in third in Melbourne behind the Silver Arrows. Looking at past performance though, Verstappen hasn’t finished three out of his four races at the Bahrain Grand Prix and his best finish ever was 6th place in 2016.
Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff said Bottas’ winning performance in Melbourne reminded him of the young boy who asked him for a meeting in 2008. Wolff recalls Bottas dominated Formula Renault Europe the following season sometimes by wide margins. As for Bottas, he feels he has turned a corner and said right away after the victory that he can’t wait for Bahrain. No question the Finn has the momentum heading to Bahrain and should be heavily considered.
But even after that flawless performance,we can’t just look past Lewis Hamilton who took pole position only to lose the edge after suffering a damage to his car in the fourth lap. Despite his struggles, Hamilton came in second to Bottas and after dominating the second half of last year’s Formula One Drivers Championship, I think Hamilton is still the man to beat here.
Then of course you can’t overlook Sebastian Vettel either, who has won the Bahrain Grand Prix four times in the last six season including the last two. You can say what you want about how the Prancing Horse performed in Melbourne, but I expect Vettel to be back with a vengeance.
I like how the Silver Arrows started their season but I expect Ferrari to be back. It was just one race, you know. I’m picking Sebastian Vettel to continue his mastery of the Bahrain Grand Prix with a win on March 31, 2019.