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Hamilton already favourite for 2019 title

Hamilton already favourite for 2019 title

News


Hamilton already favourite for 2019 title

Hamilton already favourite for 2019 title

With the 2018 Formula 1 season drawing to a close and championships secured for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, the bookies are already making their verdicts on 2019, with five-time world champion Hamilton priced as the immediate favourite to retain his title and move within one of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.

Formula 1's V6 Hybrid era is fast becoming Hamilton's era, with four titles going his way in the past five years, and Sky Bet already have the 33-year-old an even-money favourite to take championship number six next year.

Hamilton has taken each of the last two titles for Mercedes ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who is 10/3 second favourite with Bet365.

Next up is Red Bull's Max Verstappen, available at a best price of 9/2 with Sky Bet, having been 5/1 before his victory in Mexico and near-miss in Brazil on Sunday.

Those three drivers' team-mates round out the top six in the betting, with punters already getting behind Ferrari new boy Charles Leclerc as the most likely challenger at 9/1.

"Leclerc has been the most popular choice for value-seeking punters," said a Sky Bet spokesman. "Hamilton and Verstappen have also both seen support but the money suggests Leclerc's mature performances in a midfield car have captured fans' imaginations."

Valtteri Bottas, winless with a race to run in in 2018 as Hamilton's partner at Mercedes, is 12/1 with Ladbrokes, while Pierre Gasly is available at 25/1 to mark his maiden season at Red Bull with the world title.

The man Gasly will replace at Milton Keynes, Daniel Ricciardo, looks to be facing an uphill battle to be competitive at Renault - the Australian is 50/1 to take the crown in his first year with the French marque.

Nico Hulkenberg, driving the sister Renault, is 100/1, while the German's former team-mate, Carlos Sainz, is 125/1 to win the title for McLaren.

US Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen, ousted from Ferrari to make way for Leclerc, is a best-priced 250/1 to take an unlikely crown in the colours of Sauber, the team where he started his F1 career in 2001.

Sergio Perez is also listed at 250/1 with the man expected to join him at Force India, Lance Stroll, a 500/1 shot.

Haas pair Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are each at 250/1, while British newcomers Lando Norris (McLaren) and George Russell (Williams), Sauber's Antonio Giovinazzi and Toro Rosso returnee Daniil Kvyat can all be backed at 500/1 or bigger.

MORE: Hamilton relishing Verstappen fight in 2019
MORE: Verstappen is on course to be a world champion

All prices correct at time of publication.

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