Russian Grand Prix Betting Tips & Preview – Sunday 30th September 2018

Russian Grand Prix Track Guide

The clock is ticking for any potential title challenge by Sebastian Vettel. The Ferrari driver is now a full 40 points shy of his rival, and he can expect to struggle to win the title from here. This weekend’s Russian Grand Prix is make or break for the Scuderia, but can they edge out the in-form Hamilton or will he extend that lead once again?

The world champion is on a roll right now, and after his excellent form of late we struggle to see him falling short here. While Ferrari are up against it, it does feel like they have left it too late. They have had plenty of praise for their pace this season, but in spite of that the season has passed them by.

Top Tips

Lewis Hamilton to win @ 11/10

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Race Info

Russia was a gaping market for F1 for a long time, with brief races in the 1910s not being followed up. This weekend’s race in Sochi is the fifth of a seven year deal, with all of the Grands Prix taking place at the Sochi Autodrom. Last year’s race here was held in April, but the campaign returns much later in the season this time around.

RoundCountryCircuitRace Distance
16/21 Russia Sochi Autodrom 309km / 53 Laps


 DateStart TimeFinish TimeForecast ConditionsTV Coverage
Practice 1 Fri 28th Sept 09:00 10:30 Dry / 19° -
Practice 2 Fri 28th Sept 13:00 14:30 Dry / 21° -
Practice 3 Sat 29th Sept 10:00 11:30 Dry / 21° -
Qualifying Sat 29th Sept 13:00 14:00 Dry / 22° Sky F1
Race Sun 30th Sept 12:10 14:10 Dry / 22° Sky F1

Last Season's Result (2017)

Last year brought more success for Mercedes at this circuit, but it wasn’t for Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas claimed maximum points in Sochi last time out, and that dented early good form by leader Sebastian Vettel. That win kept the two Mercedes drivers and Vettel close in the standings, but over the season Hamilton came out on top.

Kimi Raikkonen had a strong year here last time out, but after a fifth placed finish in Singapore it’s hard to see a repeat in 2018. This race brought problems from the start for Hamilton, as he finished fourth in qualifying behind a Ferrari 1-2. However, that advantage didn’t work for the Scuderia, which is a worry going in to the weekend.

PositionDriverCarGrid PositionPoints
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 3 25
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1 18
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2 15
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 4 12
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 7 10
6 Sergio Perez Force India 9 8
7 Esteban Ocon Force India 10 6
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 8 4
9 Felipe Massa Williams 6 2
10 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 14 1

Race News: Ferrari Look to Future

Ferrari’s team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has claimed that they were forced to look towards the future by the changing face of F1. They have moved to bring in Charles Leclerc to partner Vettel next season, replacing Raikkonen after years of service. However, they did feel it was time for a change, and the Scuderia noticed a pattern elsewhere.

Ferrari pointed to Red Bull and McLaren’s moves to freshen up their drivers, while Mercedes previously received praise for moving to bring in Valtteri Bottas. Leclerc, a graduate of the Ferrari programme for young drivers, seems like forward planning for the Italian team. Meanwhile, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff made it clear that they have no plan in place to deal with their pile-up of talent, which includes rookie George Russell and Esteban Ocon.

Analysis: Unhappy Hunting Ground for Ferrari

Sochi has been a tough place for Ferrari in recent years, and they come here having seen Mercedes win all four of the races here in recent years. In fact, the two races held in 1913 and 1914 even saw the early Mercedes team claim a win, so history is certainly on their side.

Of the Grand Prix here, only one man has managed more than one victory: Lewis Hamilton. He secured wins in 2014 and 2015, and it’s going to be a hat-trick that he has his eye on. After some brilliant form across recent races, the Brit is the main contender here, as he looks to rack up points and get over the line in the title battle.

Final Verdict: Hamilton To Win

Hamilton’s form since the German Grand Prix has seen him pull away at the top, and Vettel just can’t keep up. The champion has won four of his last five races, claiming 118 points from a possible 125 in that time. That form has put him clear at the top, and now he’s looking to finish the job as we approach the final stretches of the 2018 campaign.

Hamilton can’t officially win the title yet, but if Vettel slips up here and falls down the standings then his hopes are all but done. Even if Hamilton only picks up a seven point advantage from this race, he’s still going to be 47 points clear with just five races remaining. The pace of the champion has brought him to the verge of another title, and we’re backing him to get maximum points here. Despite his recent results, Hamilton is well priced at 11/10 in this race. Given Mercedes’ record here, Bottas looks value to finish on the podium at 8/11, too.

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