Nico Rosberg can clinch his first Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship at this Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, but will the German ace leave the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as the new world champion or will Lewis Hamilton make him wait a little longer?
Rosberg’s title quest looked to be going up in smoke when Hamilton’s red-hot run of form began at the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year. The defending world champion won five of six races to overhaul his Mercedes team-mate in the standings prior to the mid-season interval, but momentum swung back in the favour of Rosberg when the season resumed in Belgium, with the German winning four of the next five races to storm clear as Hamilton was hit by a series of technical problems.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win in the United States. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Hamilton desperately needed a victory last weekend to keep alive any hopes he has of winning the Drivers’ Championship for the third season running, so the timing of the United States Grand Prix could not have been any better.
Hamilton is the most successful F1 driver in the history of the Austin, Texas circuit and he made it four wins in five years by taking the chequered flag, but he admitted afterwards that he could not enjoy his return to winning ways.
“All I could think about was the car making it to the end and nothing else,” he told reporters. “It was the longest afternoon I can remember in my whole career.
“You are feeling all the vibrations. I was trying to do fewer gear shifts to make the gearbox go longer than perhaps it wanted to. Same with the engine, I wasn’t doing 100& throttle down the straight. I was pulling it back to 90, trying not to stretch it. For whatever reason a problem is more likely to happen on my car, so I was just trying to do everything to nurse it home.”
Hamilton may have won the race, but Rosberg limited the damage by coming in second and that means he takes a 26-point lead into this weekend. Hamilton concedes he is unlikely to overhaul that deficit with three races to go and the pair go into Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix knowing Rosberg has an opportunity to be crowned world champion for the first time in his career.
For the German star to become the new F1 king he has to win Sunday’s race and have Hamilton either fail to finish or fail to finish in the points. The Briton has a couple of retirements on his record this season, but in every race he has finished he has collected points so there is a good chance Rosberg will be made to wait a little longer.
But who will win Sunday’s race? Hamilton is the Even money favourite with Ladbrokes
and it is easy to understand why. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain with just three races on the calendar, and out of the two Mercedes drivers he is the one who simply has to go all out at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Rosberg knows that the world championship will be heading his way as long as he continues to finish races and pick up points, so you know he will not be taking any unnecessary risks that could take him out of the race blow the championship battle wide open once again. Hamilton will be driving hardest in Mexico and it should that will result in him taking he chequered flag at this circuit for the first time in his career.
Daniel Ricciardo. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
My other recommendation is to back Daniel Ricciardo to finish on the podium at 11/10 with bet365
. The 27-year-old Australian delivered an 11/10 winner with his podium finish
a week ago, and as a result I have now had at least one winning bet on 14 of the 18 races so far this season.
Ricciardo has been a model of consistency this season, finishing in the top six 15 times, and he has now stood on the podium after six of the last eight races. That is form that simply cannot be ignored and if Red Bull can close that gap between themselves and Mercedes in the future, Ricciardo could well be a future world champion.
Back Daniel Ricciardo for a Top 3 Finish @ 11/10 bet365