The 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix
The Brazilian Grand Prix took place on November 12th at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace with Sebastian Vettel taking top honours. It was only the German’s third victory at the track, a circuit where he hasn’t enjoyed much luck during the three previous outings and he was pleased to end the four year wait for victory in Sao Paolo.
Vettel didn’t have it easy and required a nifty manoeuvre to edge past Valtteri Bottas at the opening corner in order to secure his first title since the summer break and earn himself 15 points in the process. The Ferrari driver clocked up a time of 1:31:26.262 but despite this success, he must still be smarting from letting the 2017 driver’s championship slip through his fingers. With just a couple of races remaining, it lays down a marker ahead of next season with bookies such as Betfred pricing the German up as second favourite at 3/1 for the 2018 Championship.
Vettel’s failure to challenge Hamilton into the final weeks of the season weren’t helped by his crash in Singapore and his engine problems in Japan and he’ll be hoping to bounce back next season. He could salvage yet more pride at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which takes place on November 26th with Paddy Power pricing him up at 13/5 for success in the UAE.
The aforementioned Valtteri Bottas started in pole position and was leading for a large part of the race in Brazil but couldn’t hold off the challenge of Vettel who pulled out a terrific move to glide past the Mercedes driver. The Fin was just 2.7 seconds behind the German driver to pick up 2nd place for successive races. It was the 28 year old’s 6th 2nd place of the season which moved him onto 280 points and left him 3rd in the driver’s championship. He has been priced at around 14/1 with the majority of bookmakers to make an unlikely bid for the 2018 championship but any slip-ups from Vettel or Hamilton and Bottas could be waiting to pounce.
There were two Finnish drivers on the podium at the end of this years Brazilian Grand Prix with Kimi Raikkonen picked up third place coming in four seconds behind his countryman. Consistency has certainly been a strong point of the flying Finn’s season with a hat-trick of third place finishes as the season comes to a close. He is yet to win a race on this season’s calendar but remains fifth in the driver’s championship going into the final race of the campaign. He is a chunky 33/1 for next season’s title and best price 20/1 with 10Bet to finally get off the mark for the season in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.
Max Verstappen has a bright future in the sport and although this wasn’t his greatest afternoon, he did clock the fastest lap of the race. The Red Bull driver clocked up 1:11.044 finishing 5th overall and narrowly missing out on a podium position. The young Dutchman has been priced up as third favourite for the title next season and can currently be backed at 4/1 with Bet365 for next season’s championship with many Formula 1 punters expecting him to come on leaps and bounds ahead of the 2018 campaign.
The 20 year has had a relatively successful season this time around with victories in Malaysia and Mexico and many believe he will kick on and will be vying for the title in 12 month time.
Daniel Riccardo received a 10 place grid penalty ahead of this contest but despite this setback, he still managed to finish 6th in the Brazilian Grand Prix and can be pleased with his afternoon’s work. He is 14/1 for success at Abu Dhabi, this GP gets underway on November 26th.
Lewis Hamilton’s work is already be done this season after he wrapped up the world title in Mexico despite only finishing 9th. The Brit has enjoyed an exceptional season once again and has already been installed as the early favourite for next season’s Driver’s Championship. Betfred have priced the Stevenage-born driver at 6/4 to retain his title next year and this price is likely to shorten during the off-season.
Hamilton put in an exceptional performance in Brazil to finish 4th despite being handed a poor start. It may have been Vettel who picked up the prize but Hamilton stole the show with his dominant performance to creep through the field and almost steal a place on the podium.
Hamilton made an error in qualifying which he described as ‘horrible’ which saw him crash into the barriers and was forced to start the race from the pit lane as a result. He only finished a second behind Raikkonen and described his own performance as ‘actually more than I could have hoped for’ as he overtook the drivers one by one to creep up the field in an attempt to make up for his loss of control in qualifying.
There is very little to play for in the final few weeks although Hamilton will be keen to end the season with a flourish and has been priced up as favourite to take the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi where he is priced at 17/20 with 888Sport to pick up yet another victory.
He has 62 Formula One successes to his name and is second on the all-time list and admits it would be nice to overhaul Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 although it isn’t his sole target. He still has many more seasons left in him and he’ll be hoping to make 2018 another successful campaign.
There were many drivers who didn’t finish the race with Lance Stroll, Marcus Ericssen, Pascal Wehrlein and Pierre Gasly all failing to complete the circuit with the latter the 12/1 favourite to be the first driver to retire in Abu Dhabi as the curtain comes down on the 2018 Formula One season.