Our Formula One insider is looking at Sebastian Vettel to star in qualifying as part of his best bets for the Chinese Grand Prix.
For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Super Seb to set the pace
Charles Leclerc was the talk of the paddock in Bahrain after dominating the weekend only to see his chances of a race win cruelly scuppered by an engine gremlin. He had the edge over long-time Ferrari team leader Sebastian Vettel on all three days but the four-time champion should not be underestimated and looks the value to bounce back in qualifying at least.
Vettel took pole position by a handy margin on this track last year and was on course to win the race easily before a late safety-car deployment handed the initiative to Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo.
Leclerc struggled as a Sauber driver at this race 12 months ago, finishing last of those who took the chequered flag, so may take time to find the groove as a Scuderia works pilot this year. Vettel had the better of Leclerc in the opening race weekend in Australia and looks the value to top the qualifying timesheets in China once again at 2/1.
Plenty to last the distance
There have only been four drivers not classified across the two completed races to date in 2019: three in Australia and one in Bahrain. And the Chinese Grand Prix last year saw all 20 drivers complete the 90 per cent of the winner's total distance needed to be deemed classified finishers.
The previous season saw only 15 of the 20 starters at this event run the required distance, but in 2016 we again saw a full complement of 22 finishers.
The Shanghai International Circuit features a long straight but is not regarded as especially punishing on machinery. The odds-against price on the over 16.5 line looks a fair bet given the F1 circus has now had a month to shake off any early-season reliability niggles.