Race No. 2 of the 2019 Formula 1 season comes from Bahrain and it looks like Mercedes will continue on from where they finished up in Australia a fortnight ago … well clear of the pack.
Hamilton could not show his true form there with damage to his all-important aerodynamic floor (which is more of a skirt before the back wheels) but his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, did the job finishing almost a minute ahead of Sebstian Vettel. It was actually Red Bull’s Max Verstappen that finished third (22sec behind the winner) but, as no Red Bull driver has finished on the podium here in Bahrain since 2013, his team has little chance this weekend. With this in mind, Hamilton is a strong fancy this weekend at 13/8 with William Hill.
However, it’s the safety car and total classified finishers where the firms have got it badly wrong.
There’s been 17 or more finishers here for nine of the past ten years and with cars arguably more reliable than ever, the line at 15.5 is wrong and it’s a clear buy at 4/5. However, I'm going to play slightly smaller stakes at the line of 16.5 (effectively one more finisher) at 7/4 with Bet365.
And as there have only been three ‘safety car’ appearances amongst the 14 times this race has been staged, its very unlikely we will get one on Sunday. Given this track has no tight corners, wide run-off areas and no gravel traps, it is actually massively improbable. So nap material here, back the ‘No Safety Car’ scenario at 11/10 with Bet365 & select others.