The 2020 Formula One World Championship finally gets underway this weekend as the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix opens things up on July 5, 2020, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

The 2020 Formula One season was originally booked to start last March but after the coronavirus pandemic halted the entire sports world, the 2020 Formula one World Championship was postponed until July. Now that most sports have returned, The Formula One World Championship is also back and the first two races will be held at the Red Bull Ring.

The Austrian Grand Prix is a 71-lap race with a total distance of 306.452 km or 190.42 miles. Jo Siffert and Alain Prost have won this race three times each while the likes of Ronnie Johnson, Alan Jones, Mika Hakkinen, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosenberg, and Verstappen have won the race twice.

The defending race winner is Max Verstappen of Red Bull who has won this race in the last two years. Verstappen and defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton are the odds on favorites to win the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix.

Here are the odds to win the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix. These odds were taken from Bovada as of 06/29/2020:

Driver Odds
Lewis Hamilton +150
Max Verstappen +200
Charles Leclerc +425
Valtteri Botas +600
Sebastian Vettel +650
Alexander Albon +2000
Sergio Perez +4000
Lance Stroll +10000
Carlos Sainz +15000
Lando Norris +25000

“Trophy" Who Are the Favorites?

Lewis Hamilton is the six-time Formula One world champion who has won the Drivers Championship in the last three years and in five out of the last six seasons. The 35-year old from England is one of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One and considered by some as the greatest ever. Hamilton is coming off a dominating season where he won 11 races and finished outside the podium only four times. When it comes to the Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton won the race in 2015 but his last three races there have yielded finishes of 4th, retired, and 5th. He is eyeing to tie Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 world titles this year and there would be no better start than to win at the Red Bull Ring on July 5th.

Max Verstappen is the Red Bull ace who won this race in the last two years. The 22-year old son of former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen is the youngest driver to ever win a Formula One race. He finished the 2019 championship in 3rd place, behind the two Mercedes drivers but in front of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. Verstappen loves the Red Bull Ring and in his four appearances here, he has finished 2nd, retired, 1st, and 1st. He is coming his best season ever and is only getting better. If there is someone who can beat Hamilton in this race, it’s Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc will try to open his second season for Ferrari with a win. The 22-year old Monegasque finished 4th the 2019 Drivers Championship with 264 points. Leclerc had a total of 10 podium finishes including two won races in 2019 and he never finished outside the Top 5 in a race that he completed. The Ferrari driver won pole position in the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix and finished second to Max Verstappen. Leclerc had the lead with barely two laps to go last year when Verstappen overtook him in the 69th and held on to win. One year wiser this year, Leclerc looks to complete the job this year.

Valtteri Bottas is Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes and last season, he ended up being Hamilton’s chief rival for the world title. Bottas won a career-high four races last season and finished in the podium 15 times last season including 9 in the first 10 races of 2019. He finished with 326 points and came in second place behind his teammate Hamilton in the Drivers Standings. Like Verstappen, he is coming off his best season in Formula One.

Sebastian Vettel was supposed to be Lewis Hamilton’s main competitor last season but the four-time world champion had one of his worst seasons ever as he finished in 5th place with only one race won, his fewest since 2016 when he was winless. The 32-year old from Germany finished 4th in the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix and his best finish here was 2nd place in 2017. Vettel is set to leave Ferrari at the end of the season and there is no question that he wants to prove himself after a dismal season in 2019.

“Trophy" Who Wins?

Given the way he started and finished 2019, Lewis Hamilton is, without doubt, the man to beat in this race. He is coming off a dominating season and Mercedes looked good in the preseason testing last February. Hamilton is chasing history this season and this is one race that has eluded him since 2016. If there’s one driver who’s looking to start hot, it’s Hamilton.

When you look at the track record, it’s Max Verstappen who has the best record here as he has finished 2nd or better in three out of his four starts here, with wins in each of the last two seasons. This is Red Bull’s track and Verstappen is trying to defend the home track for his team. Like Verstappen, I like Charles Leclerc here because he did very well here last season. Leclerc started from the pole and had the lead late before Verstappen took the led in the 69th lap and held on for the win.

All things considered, I think that Lewis Hamilton is the safe bet here. If you want better value, then Charles Leclerc provides that at +500.

Prediction: Lewis Hamilton, but I won’t blame you if you pick Charles Leclerc instead. l

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