Here’s something that does not bode well for challengers to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes next season: the odds for the 2018 season were remarkably similar to those at the start of the 2017 season, with a few exceptions of course.
Moreover, the odds for the beginning of the 2019 season, while still months away, again could be almost a carbon copy of the past two seasons. In short, bookmakers believe – just as they did in 2017 and 2018 – that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will land the Drivers’ Championship and Constructors’ Championship with room to spare.
A quick rundown of the Drivers’ Championship odds from Coral sees Hamilton at 8/11 to retain the title, with both Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel coming in at 7/2. Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly are a fair distance behind their team-mates at 16/1 and 33/1 respectively. Charles Leclerc, who will be dealt with in more detail below, gets an interesting price of 15/2. Daniel Ricciardo has been pushed out to 50/1 – seemingly unlikely given Renault have struggles that even a name change won’t fix.
Mercedes odds-on for sixth consecutive title
The Constructors’ Championship odds from Coral, as you might expect, are heavily in favour of Mercedes, who come in at a price of 8/15. However, with respect to the Drivers’ Championship odds above it seems that bookies are expected Hamilton to do the lion’s share of the points for Mercedes, otherwise Bottas would be lower down the odds.
For that reason, it might be worth giving Ferrari a second look at 5/2, especially when you can grab all the Coral betting offers to use on F1 next season. Red Bull are, like last year, probably given a bit too much respect, coming in at a price of 7/2 for the Constructors’ Championship. Why a team that has failed to finish races 24 times in the last two seasons has been given such low odds is a question only the bookmakers can answer.
So far, pretty much like last year. However, it’s probably a bit harsh to say bookies are pointing towards another predictable season, because there are certainly factors that have changed. To start with, there is the addition of Charles Leclerc to Ferrari, which has prompted bookmakers to go all in with lots of special betting markets on Ferrari‘s ‘next big thing‘.
Special markets for talented Leclerc
For a start, Coral have offered odds of 4/11 that he wins any race in 2019. More interesting, might be the 11/10 odds that he finishes on the podium for Ferrari in Melbourne in the first Grand Prix of the season. If you don’t believe in the young Monegasque man’s talents, you can get odds of 11/4 that Leclerc does not win a Grand Prix in 2019.
Individual race odds will not be released until closer to the time, but you would imagine that Hamilton will be a firm favourite to take glory in Australia and get his season off to a flying start. Of course, things could always change between now and the springtime, but it seems that bookies often ignore the rumours that emanate from team testing tracks. Unless something drastic changes, Hamilton and Mercedes will stay at the top of the odds. It’s up to the other drivers and teams, not the bookies, to change that narrative.