Formula One Betting Tip: Lewis Hamilton looks the pick for pole position in Australian Grand Prix

The new Formula 1 season is getting underway with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne this weekend, and Lewis Hamilton is looking like the right pick for the pole position

Recommended bet: Pole Position – Lewis Hamilton @ 11/10 (2.10) with Sportsbet

The new Formula One season gets underway with the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne this weekend and with a number of rule changes in place, it should make for a fascinating year of F1 racing.

With World Champion and winner of the 2016 Australian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg, opting to retire at the end of last season, it adds to the intrigue in the first race of the year.

Lewis Hamilton was runner-up in last season’s race, having started from pole.  It’s also a race he has won twice previously, back in 2008 and then again in 2015.  The British driver is also starts the season as the favourite in both the Drivers’ Championship outright betting market and to win the season opening Grand Prix.

Mercedes has been the winning constructor at the last three Grand Prix at Albert Park (Hamilton’s victory being sandwiched between two for Rosberg).  Mercedes also went on to the Constructors’ Championship for the third consecutive season in 2016, winning a total of 19 of the 21 races held.

Unsurprisingly, Mercedes are hot favourites to retain that title, although Ferrari could mount a strong challenge and Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel could be strong challengers to Hamilton.

Raikkonen set the fastest time on the final day of winter testing on super-soft tyres, but that doesn’t take account of variables such as the fuel loads in the cars.

The Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas was announced as Rosberg’s replacement for the 2017 season, moving from Williams.  Last season saw a very competitive battle for the Drivers’ Championship between teammates Rosberg and Hamilton, with no love lost between the pair.  This season should see Hamilton as Mercedes’ main man, which should help his cause.

The three-time world champion Hamilton has said of his new-look Mercedes, “The car is amazing in terms of the speed we carry through the corners.  It is definitely the fastest I have ever been in F1.”

That’s certainly worth taking on board.  It’s tempting to back Hamilton to win the race itself at best odds of 11/10 (2.10), but perhaps backing him to take pole position at exactly the same price is a slightly safer bet at this early stage.