2019 Bahrain Grand Prix Odds & Expert Betting Preview

Posted by Derrick Harper on March 29, 2019 in

Since the Bahrain International Circuit opened in 2004, there have been three different layouts used. The current Bahrain Grand Prix Circuit is 5.412km or 3.363 miles long, with 15 turns. In 2010 the longer Endurance Circuit was used, but that’s the only time that configuration has been used, while the current layout is 5 meters shorter than the version used for the first ever F1 race at Sakhir. Let’s take a look at the F1 Betting favorites to win this one.

2019 Bahrain Grand Prix Odds & Expert Betting Preview

Favorite of the Race

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas emerged as the top dog in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Can he keep up the momentum in Bahrain, or will teammate Lewis Hamilton and the rival Ferrari team bite back?

No one saw Bottas’ domination of the Australian Grand Prix coming. Ferrari had been fastest throughout the winter, but from the start of the race in Melbourne, it was clear that Mercedes actually had the car to beat. The margin between the two teams may have come as a surprise to everyone, including Mercedes itself, but now that the difference is known, it is incredibly difficult to imagine that Ferrari will be able to level things up in the two weeks between races.

A Year Ago

Last year, Vettel started the race from pole position and went on to seal his fourth Bahrain victory in seven years. He came under pressure from second-placed Bottas late in the race, but the Mercedes driver was unable to make the overtake. The German was struggling with tires in the final laps as Ferrari were unable to bring him in for a second pitstop due to an incident during Kimi Raikkonen’s second tire change. The Ferrari driver struck Francesco Cigarini while leaving his pit box, leaving the mechanic with a double leg fracture and the pit crew a man short.

Raikkonen’s retirement from the race meant Hamilton claimed the final spot on the podium despite having taken a five-place grid penalty due to an unscheduled gearbox change.

Vettel Territory

Bahrain is strictly Vettel territory, with the Ferrari driver winning four times in the last seven visits to this track, including the last two years with the Italian team. Hamilton is a two-time winner in Bahrain but hasn’t stood on the top step since 2015.

Bottas will be hoping to maintain his dominant form from Australia, and this is a good track for the Finn. He has out-qualified Hamilton since joining Mercedes, claimed his first career pole here and narrowly missed out on the win last year. As dominant as Red Bull were during Vettel’s four-year title-winning charge, the team has never had its best races at Sakhir.

The German is the only Red Bull driver ever to stand on the podium in Bahrain, doing so once in 2009 in addition to his back-to-back victories for the team in 2012 and 2013. Last year’s double DNF was Red Bull’s second in Bahrain after David Coulthard and Mark Webber both failed to see the checkered flag in 2007. Max Verstappen’s Bahrain record doesn’t bode well for Red Bull, as the Dutchman has finished just once in his four previous appearances at the Bahrain Grand Prix.