RACE DEBRIEF

    The 2022 season gets under way in Bahrain this weekend, the same starting venue as last year. Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen to the flag in 2021, but who is heading into this one as favourite?

    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

    With Red Bull and Ferrari both looking strong in testing, it is not a surprise to see them near the front – nor Hamilton, as the seven-time world champion once again sets about chasing history.

    READ MORE: An uncertain pecking order and question marks over Mercedes – 5 key storylines ahead of the Bahrain GP

    Red Bull haven’t won in Bahrain since 2013 when they had Sebastian Vettel at the helm, but could this be the year they return to the top of the podium? Mercedes have won the last three races here that were held on the traditional circuit, and Ferrari have also performed well at this track.

    The odds are just about leaning towards the reigning world champion…

    • Max Verstappen 3.00
    • Lewis Hamilton 3.35
    • Charles Leclerc 6.00
    • Carlos Sainz 9.00
    • George Russell 11.0
    • Sergio Perez 19.0
    • Lando Norris 26.0
    • Daniel Ricciardo, Esetban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Pierre Gasly 67.0
    • Kevin Magnussen, Alex Albon, Lance Stroll, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda 151
    • Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi, Zhou Guanyu 301
    1384175258
    Verstappen has never won in Bahrain – can he change that in 2022?

    The odds for who will be fastest in qualifying

    Max Verstappen grabbed pole here last year, but that didn’t end up translating to the race win. Indeed, that P1 grid slot has proven tricky to predict, with five different drivers grabbing pole at the last five races here – including the two that were held in 2020.

    READ MORE: 15 Formula 1 records that could be broken in 2022

    With no one revealing their full hand in testing, just who has the pace over one lap when it matters? This is what the odds say…

    • Max Verstappen 2.50
    • Lewis Hamilton 4.00
    • Charles Leclerc 5.50
    • Carlos Sainz 8.00
    • George Russell 9.00
    • Sergio Perez 26.0
    • Lando Norris 34.0
    • Daniel Ricciardo 67.0
    • Esetban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Mick Schumacher, Pierre Gasly 151
    • Kevin Magnussen, Alex Albon, Lance Sroll, Yuki Tsunoda 301
    • Nicholas Latifi, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu 601
    1384240324
    Leclerc was on pole here in 2019, but wasn't able to convert that to the win

    The odds for a podium finish

    Last year, Hamilton shared the podium with his title-rival Verstappen and team mate Valtteri Bottas. But with the Finn having departed for Alfa Romeo, will George Russell step up and grab a podium for his new team?

    It was in Sakhir that the Englishman deputised for Hamilton back in 2020 and came close to winning on his Mercedes debut before bad luck wrecked his chance. He has now stood on the podium, in the rain-affected race in Spa last season, but would no doubt relish the opportunity to score a top three on his ‘proper’ debut for the Silver Arrows.

    READ MORE: Hamilton warns rivals he's as 'dangerous' as ever ahead of 2022 season kick-off

    As for Carlos Sainz, can he pick up where he left off last season and grab a spot on the rostrum for Ferrari, or is his team mate more likely to start his season in style?

    • Max Verstappen 1.30
    • Lewis Hamilton 1.60
    • Charles Leclerc 2.00
    • Carlos Sainz 2.50
    • George Russell, Sergio Perez 3.00
    • Lando Norris 6.00
    • Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly 15.0
    • Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso 21.0
    • Lance Stroll 34.0
    • Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda 51.0
    • Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen 81.0
    • Nicholas Latifi, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu 151
    Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix 2020
    Russell made his Mercedes debut in Bahrain in 2020, and led for much of the race but missed out on the podium

    The odds for fastest lap

    The fastest lap bonus point – awarded to the driver who sets the fastest lap of the race and finishes in the top 10 – led to some very interesting strategic decisions last season, and who knows, perhaps it will prove crucial in deciding the world championship in 2022.

    PODCAST: Carlos Sainz on hunting that elusive first win, as Beyond The Grid returns for 2022

    One thing is for sure, anyone in the top 10 who has fresh tyres towards the end of the race is certainly going to go for it, and even if it doesn’t prove crucial up front, those extra points could make all the difference in what is looking a very tight midfield.

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

    • Max Verstappen 2.20
    • Lewis Hamilton 3.10
    • George Russell, Sergio Perez 9.00
    • Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc 11.0
    • Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly 67.0
    • Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll, Mick Schumacher 151
    • Nicholas Latifi, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu 301
    1372576638
    Ricciardo has recovered from Covid-19, but he is short of lap time heading into the opening race

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

    Mercedes might have clinched the constructors’ championship last season, but they will have a fight on their hands to retain it with plenty of very strong driver pairings this season. Ferrari and McLaren both have line ups that are the envy of much of the field, Red Bull boast the world champion and a seasoned campaigner in Sergio Perez, while the Silver Arrows have yet to discover how Russell will match up against his illustrious team mate.

    So who is going to score the most points as a team in Sakhir?

    • Mercedes, Red Bull 2.50
    • Ferrari 4.00
    • McLaren 21.0
    • Alpine 34.0
    • AlphaTauri, Haas 51.0
    • Aston Martin 81.0
    • Williams 101
    • Alfa Romeo 151

    READ MORE: F1 return ‘a dream come true’ says Magnussen ahead of Bahrain GP

    The odds for a Safety Car appearing during the race

    The Safety Car made an appearance in Bahrain last season, on the very first lap after Nikita Mazepin spun his Haas into the barriers. But will it make another appearance in 2022?

    Yes 1.30
    No 3.20

    Odds supplied by 188BET – odds are in USD$ and timestamped March 16 2022, 1230 GMT.