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Russian Grand Prix Betting Preview

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Friday 28th September 2018

Russian Grand Prix Betting Preview

Round 16 of the F1 2018 season takes place this weekend with the drivers travelling to Sochi in Russia.

Lewis Hamilton heads to the roads around the Olympic Park with all the momentum in to the world behind him after unexpected wins in Italy and Singapore that have put him 40 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the title race. If there was a time to start a fightback in the championship, then Sochi is the best place for Ferrari to start this.

Coming into this race, things are not going to plan for Ferrari. They were meant to win in Italy, but Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes did after Vettel was spun out in the opening lap. They were meant to win in Singapore but Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes game plan worked exceptionally and they won again. On form, this weekend isn’t set to get any easier for the Italian team as they arrive at a track where Mercedes have been unbeaten in all four races since Russia was included on the calendar. Hamilton won the first two Russian Grands Prix in 2014 and 2015, before Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas finished first for the Silver Arrows in 2016 and 2017. If this is anything to go by then it could be a long weekend for Vettel and teammate Kimi Räikkönen.

Further down the gird one team that could struggle this weekend is Red Bull. It’s extremely likely that both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will receive grid penalties at this weekend, with team boss Christian Horner revealing after Singapore that the team were to run new ‘Spec B’ Renault engines in Russia rather than the more powerful but more but unpredictable ‘Spec C’ that both drivers used in Italy and Singapore.

That aside though, Russia is a bit of a bogey track for Red Bull. Their highest finish is fifth here and you can expect them to be behind the Mercedes and Ferraris this weekend.

A series of roads, built around four of the venues used for the 2014 Winter Olympics at 5.7km, Sochi is in fact the fourth longest circuit on the calendar. Only Spa, Baku and Silverstone beat the Russian circuit in length. History suggests though that a one-stop strategy is the way to go in Sochi. No driver has ever finished in the top four at the Russian Grand Prix after doing two or more pit stops. The timing of this stop at the front will be crucial and could potentially be the deciding factor in this race.

The soft, ultrasoft and hypersoft tyres were used in Singapore, and the same selection will be available to teams for the Russian Grand Prix. There yet to be a wet Russian Grand Prix, and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be one in 2018 either. There is barely any chance of rain across all three days of running in Sochi, so the dry conditions will put Hamilton and Vettel on an evening playing field as they get set to do battle again this weekend.

Recommended bet: Lewis Hamilton win at 11/10 with Ladbrokes - BET HERE

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