RACE DEBRIEF

    The F1 circus returns to Melbourne this weekend for the first race at Albert Park since 2019. But with Red Bull and Ferrari at a win apiece so far this season, who will get their nose in front Down Under?

    188BET's odds are presented in decimal form: for every $1 wagered you would win the figure represented by the odds; so if Verstappen is favourite at 1.50, you would win $1.50 for every dollar bet.

    The odds for the win

    Fresh from his victory in Saudi Arabia last time out, where he charged past Charles Leclerc on track in a brilliant display of overtaking prowess, it is no surprise that the odds have Max Verstappen as favourite in Australia.

    READ MORE: What's the weather forecast for the 2022 Australian Grand Prix?

    But there are some unknowns, with Albert Park having gone through a transformation since F1 last raced here, with corner changes and four DRS zones combining with the new generation of cars to promote closer racing.

    Can Mercedes take advantage and finally get into the fight up front? The odds aren’t too kind to the Silver Arrows, which is unsurprising given this isn’t Lewis Hamilton’s best track on paper…

    Max Verstappen 2.20
    Charles Leclerc 2.50
    Carlos Sainz 9.00
    Sergio Perez 15.0
    Lewis Hamilton 17.0
    George Russell 21.0
    Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, Lando Norris, Mick Schumacher, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas 151
    Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda 301
    Zhou Guanyu 601
    Alexander Albon, Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, Sebastian Vettel 901

    1390003238
    Can Red Bull get two cars onto the podium this weekend?

    The odds for who will be fastest in qualifying

    Lewis Hamilton might not have the best record of winning Down Under, but he has always been supremely quick here over one lap. The Mercedes man was on pole every year between 2014 and 2019, with two further pole positions from his McLaren days to boot.

    But he’ll have his work cut out this time around to maintain that record, with Verstappen and Leclerc unsurprisingly the favourites for pole this weekend.

    READ MORE: ‘It’s like arriving late to school’ says Vettel, as he prepares for first race of 2022 in Melbourne

    Sergio Perez grabbed a sensational P1 grid slot in Saudi Arabia, but the odds prefer Carlos Sainz to the Mexican, despite the Spaniard having yet to score a pole in F1…

    This is what the odds say…

    Max Verstappen 2.20
    Charles Leclerc 2.35
    Carlos Sainz 8.00
    Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez 15.0
    George Russell 26.0
    Mick Schumacher 67.0
    Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda 151
    Zhou Guanyu 301
    Alexander Albon, Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, Sebastian Vettel 901

    1388008441
    Hamilton might struggle to keep his qualifying streak going in Melbourne

    The odds for a podium finish

    With no data to draw on from the past two seasons, you have to go all the way back to 2019 to look at the last Australian podium, which comprised Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, with Sebastian Vettel the one to just miss out. But two of those four are driving for different teams these days, not to mention the fact that the midfield have closed right up this year.

    READ MORE: Ricciardo 'a big bundle of excitement' ahead of Melbourne return

    Ferrari had both drivers on the podium in both races so far, while Red Bull have just one podium to show for their efforts this season – but will the midfield get in the mix in Melbourne?

    Haas have gone well here in the past, but based on early season form so far, home hero Daniel Ricciardo might struggle to break his podium duck in Melbourne – Ricciardo having been stripped of his P2 here back in 2014.

    Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen 1.30
    Carlos Sainz 1.80
    Sergio Perez 2.10
    Lewis Hamilton 3.50
    George Russell 5.50
    Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas 17.0
    Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda 26.0
    Sebastian Vettel, Zhou Guanyu 201
    Lance Stroll 301
    Alexander Albon 601
    Nicholas Latifi 901

    1390020767
    All smiles for Ricciardo as he returns to his home track, even though he has yet to score in 2022

    The odds for fastest lap

    Will the bonus point for fastest lap prove crucial this season? So far, the indications are that there isn’t much in it at the top between Ferrari and Red Bull, so those bonus points could wind up influential.

    Leclerc has two from two this year, but tyre degradation in Melbourne will be an unknown with no data to draw from. Will anyone risk a late stop to grab the point, or will the pack be too close together to make that risk worthwhile?

    READ MORE: Vettel’s return and a reworked track – 5 storylines we’re excited about ahead of the Australian GP

    The midfield haven’t gotten involved in the bonus point fights just yet, but they may well fancy their chances with every indication that the battle for P4 in the championship is wide open in 2022.

    Who's favourite to take the bonus point in Australia?

    Max Verstappen 2.35
    Charles Leclerc 3.00
    Carlos Sainz 5.00
    Lewis Hamilton 11.0
    Sergio Perez 11.0
    George Russell 29.0
    Mick Schumacher 67.0
    Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas 151
    Alexander Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, Lando Norris, Nicholas Latifi, Sebastian Vettel, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu 301

    1390021936
    How will Vettel fare, after sitting out the first two rounds of the season?

    What are the odds for which team will take the most points?

    Ferrari lead the constructors’ by a healthy margin thanks to two double-podium finishes, while Mercedes remain second, with Red Bull hot on their heels.

    Haas have often been competitive in Australia, but it is Alpine who are fourth in the standings at the moment and in Fernando Alonso, they have a driver with a wealth of experience of this track. But which team will score the most on Sunday?

    Ferrari, Red Bull 2.00
    Mercedes 8.00
    AlphaTauri, Alpine, Haas 51.0
    Alfa Romeo, McLaren 151
    Aston Martin 601
    Williams 901

    WATCH: Relive the action from an exciting 2019 Australian Grand Prix

    The odds for a Safety Car appearing during the race

    The Safety Car has been called on in both the first two races of the season, but will it be three from three in Melbourne?

    Yes 1.40
    No 2.75

    Odds supplied by 188BET – odds are in USD$ and timestamped April 06 2022, 12:22 GMT.