F1 Insider: Betting preview and tips ahead of the new 2018 Formula One season

Our F1 Insider looks ahead to the 2018 season
Our F1 Insider looks ahead to the 2018 season

Our F1 Insider is all about Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes with his best bets for the 2018 season.

The new Formula One season kicks off in Australia this weekend, with defending champion Lewis Hamilton favourite to win his fifth drivers' title.

Here our F1 Insider, who will also preview every Grand Prix throughout 2018 (click here for his Aussie GP tips), brings you his best ante-post bets.

Drivers' straight forecast: Lewis Hamilton/Valtteri Bottas at 7/1

The outright speed of the Mercedes package is only one of the reasons behind their success over the last four years of the 'hybrid' era. The other less-heralded but equally important factors are reliability and operational savvy. It's a testament to the quality of the engineering team led by James Allison that the Brackley team prevailed comfortably in both championships despite Ferrari having had the quickest car on raw pace on many circuits. Allison's team have now tamed their 'diva' for 2018 and it appears to have the legs of the opposition on the timesheets too - their reliability and strategic nous should ensure that translates to a comfortable double championship triumph.

Valtteri Bottas to win over 2.5 races at 5/6

Bottas performed creditably as a last-minute replacement for outgoing world champion Nico Rosberg in 2017, winning three races and playing a solid role in Mercedes fourth successive constructors' title. He outperformed Hamilton in a number of races before the three-time champion got comfortable with the car, hit his straps and made it four. A mid-season dip sullied the Finn's record slightly but he recovered to finish only 12 points behind Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standings. With a full year in F1's benchmark team under his belt, Bottas should easily be able to match last season's win tally.

Valtteri Bottas celebrates
Valtteri Bottas celebrates

Formula One 2018: Grand Prix schedule

March 25: Australia (Melbourne)
2017 Winner
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

April 8: Bahrain (Sakhir)
2017 Winner
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

April 16: China (Shanghai)
2017 Winner
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

April 29: Azerbaijan (Baku)
2017 Winner
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

May 13: Spain (Barcelona)
2017 Winner
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

May 26: Monaco (Monte Carlo)
2017 Winner
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

June 10: Canada (Montreal)
2017 Winner
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

June 24: French Grand Prix (Le Castellet)
2017 Winner NA

July 1: Austria (Spielberg)
2017 Winner
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

July 8: Britain (Silverstone)
2017 Winner
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

July 22: German Grand Prix (Hockenheim)
2017 Winner NA

July 29: Hungary (Budapest)
2017 Winner
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

August 26: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
2017 Winner
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

September 2: Italy (Monza)
2017 Winner
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

September 16: Singapore (Marina Bay)
2017 Winner
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

September 30: Russia (Sochi)
2017 Winner
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

October 7: Japan (Suzuka)
2017 Winner
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

October 21: USA (Austin)
2017 Winner
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

October 28: Mexico (Mexico City)
2017 Winner
Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

November 11: Brazil (Sao Paulo)
2017 Winner Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

November 25: United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)
2017 Winner
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

How the 2017 season finished

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 363pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 317
  3. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 305
  4. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 205
  5. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 200
  6. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 168
  7. Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 100
  8. Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 87
  9. Carlos Sainz (Spa) Renault 54
  10. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 43
  11. Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams 43
  12. Lance Stroll (Can) Williams 40
  13. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 28
  14. Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 19
  15. Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 17
  16. Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren 13
  17. Jolyon Palmer (Gbr) Renault 8
  18. Pascal Wehrlein (Ger) Sauber-Ferrari 5
  19. Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 5
  20. Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari 0
  21. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 0
  22. Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Haas F1 0
  23. Brendon Hartley (Nzl) Scuderia Toro Rosso 0
  24. Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren 0
  25. Paul di Resta (Gbr) Williams 0

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