We are four races down in the 2019 Formula One season and there is one constant: Mercedes.
In another impeccable display of control and skill, Mercedes won for the fourth straight race this season. Valtteri Bottas drove a perfect race as he won the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday. Lewis Hamilton finished second as Mercedes went 1-2 for the fourth straight race. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel came in third, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari first-year man Charles Leclerc.
It was a sweet victory for Bottas who was leading in Baku when a tire puncturing caused him to lose the race. It was an even sweeter win for Mercedes who finished the race one-two for the fourth consecutive Grand Prix, giving the Silver Arrows the best star by a Constructor team to a season, passing the three straight 1-2’s by McLaren in the 1992 season.
With the win, Bottas now takes the lead in the 2019 Formula One driver standings by a solitary point over his teammate Hamilton. Both Mercedes drivers are now at least 34 points ahead of their closest pursuer which is Sebastian Vetter of Ferrari. Below is the latest Drivers Standings, with points from the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix included:
|1||Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)||87 points|
|2||Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)||86|
|3||Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)||52|
|4||Max Verstappen (Red Bull)||51|
|5||Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)||47|
|6||Sergio Perez (Racing Point)||13|
|7||Pierre Gasly (Red Bull)||13|
|8||Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)||13|
|9||Lando Norris (McLaren)||12|
|10||Kevin Magnussen (Haas)||8|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)||6|
|12||Carlos Sainz Jnr (McLaren)||6|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)||6|
|14||Lance Stroll (Racing Point)||4|
|15||Alex Albon (Toro Rosso)||3|
|16||Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)||1|
|17||Antonio Giovanazzi (Alfa Romeo)||0|
|18||Romain Grosjean (Haas)||0|
|19||George Russell (Williams)||0|
|20||Robert Kubica (Williams)||0|
It’s slowly looking like another year for Mercedes as they have pulled off the most dominant start ever to a Formula season and they’ve done so with excellent control and savvy racing. Ferrari disappointed again in Baku and they now look forward to the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix to get another shot at toppling the reign of the Silver Arrows.
The 2019 Spanish Grand Prix is scheduled from May 10-12, 2019 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. It is one of the oldest races being contested as it celebrated it centenary in 2013. Lewis Hamilton is the defending champion of the Spanish Grand Prix as the Briton has won the race in the last two years.
Here is the race schedule for the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix. Times listed are track times:
|Friday, May 10||Practice 1||11:00-12:30|
|Friday, May 10||Practice 2||15:00-16:30|
|Saturday, May 11||Practice 3||12:00-13:00|
|Saturday, May 11||Qualifying||15:00-16:00|
|Sunday , May 12||F1 Race||15:10-17:10|
Here are the odds to win the 2019 Spanish Grand Prix. Odds taken from bet365 as of 4/29/19:
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+100000|
Who Are The Favorites
Lewis Hamilton has finished first or second in the last six Grand Prix races so despite finishing second in the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, there’s still a strong reason to back him as the favorite. Hamilton has won two out of the first four races of the season and in Barcelona, he has won three out of the last five editions of the Spanish Grand Prix including the last two.
Hamilton was just 1.54 second off Bottas in Baku and while he was happy with his second place finish, he wanted to win that race but lost out in a duel with his teammate who simply rode a flawless race. We know what happened, the last time Bottas beat Hamilton. The Briton bounced back to win the next two races.
Sebastian Vettel is coming off yet another third place finish in Azerbaijan.The Ferrari ace has not finished higher than third place in the first four races of the season. Vetter has back to back third place finishes in Shanghai and Baku but his team’s inability to stop the Mercedes dominance is a bit alarming already. Vettel has finished at least fourth in the last six installments of the Spanish Grand Prix although he’s not won the race since 2011.
Valtteri Bottas is off to his best start in Formula One. After winning the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Bottas has now won two out of the first four races of the season while finishing second in the other two. As a result, he is currently on top of the Drivers Standings with 87 points although he is just a solitary point ahead of teammate Hamilton. Bottas finished second here in Barcelona last year and he has finished in the Top 5 of the Spanish Grand Prix in four out of the last five years.
Mercedes’ start to the season is unprecedented, even better than the fabled 1992 McLaren team. Finishing 1-2 in four straight races is already very impressive but winning them convincingly is another thing. 3rd place Vettel was over 10 seconds behind the second Mercedes car in Baku while the German was over 13 seconds behind the winning Silver Arrow in Shanghai. Bahrain was the closest with Leclerc just over six seconds off Hamilton while Bottas was 22 seconds ahead of 3rd place Verstappen in Australia. So can anyone stop Mercedes now?
Unless a freak accident derails one or both of them, I’m not expecting the results to be different. Mercedes has run a perfect season so far and there are no indications that Ferrari or even Red Bull are closing the gap. It seems that we may be destined to get the same results over and over again. As for F1 betting, why bet against the trends with Mercedes dominating like no other?
Unless Ferrari or Red Bull actually does it in the race track, I will continue to back Lewis Hamilton who has won two out of the first four races of the season. Mercedes has won all four races this year so if you want to back another drive, it might be good to pick Hamilton’s teammate because this is without a doubt the best start Valtteri Bottas has had in his career. The inability of Vettel to win in Spain since 2011 is also a consideration here. Prediction: Lewis Hamilton but I won’t mind backing Valtteri Bottas who has good betting value