Formula One betting: Back Sebastian Vettel to make the podium in the Australian Grand Prix

Look for a win from Sebastian Vettel as Formula 1 racing kicks off at the Melbourne Grand Prix this weekend.

Recommended Bet

Sebastian Vettel (each-way) @ 11/2 BetVictor

The new Formula One season gets underway this weekend from it’s usual starting point, Melbourne, Australia.  This is a race normally associated with a high attrition rate – just 11 of the 18 starters finished the race last year and 13 of 22 cars were deemed finishers in 2014.

The non-finishing cars are normally associated with mechanical breakdown as opposed to accident or incident as this is the first time new equipment, necessitated by new regulations or simply the need for speed, compete at full-tilt for an entire race distance. But winter testing showed two things:  Both the Ferrari and particularly the Mercedes teams have developed a car which is massively reliable. Secondly, the gap between the two current superpowers of the sport has come down.

Many believe there is now less than two-tenths of a second per-lap between them. This is despite Ferrari topping the timesheets in testing, as the Mercedes cars were clearly not tuned-up to their full capabilities.  Consequently you cannot look beyond Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton or Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel this weekend.

Race favourite, Hamilton, won this race last season. Rosberg benefited from Hamilton’s engine problems to collect the trophy in 2014. However, Vettel, who won here in 2011, has the best overall record finishing on the podium four times in five years.

Of course the regulations have changed aplenty during five years and you cannot read too much into previous results.  Generally speaking the off season testing times from Barcelona show all cars to be faster in 2016.  New regulations do see some small changes to 2015 car design and qualifying procedure which is where there could be some freakish results.  With no major mechanical changes it is hard to envisage any huge movers ‘n groovers though.

Conceivably the qualifying changes will play into the hands of Vettel most with Hamilton’s team famously losing him last season’s Monaco Grand Prix by needlessly calling him into the pits when leading.  The driver himself forfeited pole position in the 2014 British GB by aborting his qualifying lap in another bad decision.

Sunday’s race will be very informative as to the pecking order of the teams.  It looks like Mercedes ahead of Ferrari with a gap back to Williams and then Red Bull.  It’s also not a race to get too involved in and so, under the circumstances, the best play is to take some of BetVictor’s 11/2 (6.50) about Sebastian Vettel at their each-way terms of 1/3rd the odds places 1-2.

The German is hyper reliable, retiring from just one of his last 31 races and he finished in the top-two six times last season. With an additional seven third placed finishes, he will be the one to pick up the pieces if either Mercedes driver falters on Sunday.