RACE DEBRIEF

    Formula 1 returns to the Circuit Paul Ricard for the first time since 2019, as we prepare to kick off 2021’s first triple header with the French Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes triumphed at the 2018 and 2019 editions of the race – but has that record skewed the betting for this weekend? Let’s check out the odds, provided by 188BET.

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

    The odds for the win

    So dominant have Mercedes been since the return of the French Grand Prix to Paul Ricard in 2018 that no other team has even led a session here since then – while Hamilton has also led every lap since 2018 bar one.

    Despite that record, following a poor run of races for Hamilton and Mercedes, the seven-time champion is only narrowly the favourite for victory this weekend, heading Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the betting, while behind Valtteri Bottas is just ahead of Sergio Perez.

    READ MORE: Why Red Bull’s Barcelona beating by Mercedes could prove ominous ahead of Paul Ricard

    That’s despite Perez having won his first Grand Prix for Red Bull last time out at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, while Bottas has now gone two races without scoring.

    • Lewis Hamilton 2.20
    • Max Verstappen 2.40
    • Valtteri Bottas 9.00
    • Sergio Perez 11.0
    • Lando Norris 29.0
    • Charles Leclerc 34.0
    • Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo 67.0
    • Pierre Gasly 101
    • Sebastian Vettel 201
    • Yuki Tsunoda 251
    • Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll 601
    • Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell, Kimi Raikkonen, Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi, Nikita Mazepin 901
    GettyImages-1157784336.jpg
    Hamilton won from pole in 2018 and 2019

    The odds for pole position

    We've seen two shock pole positions from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the last two races – Monaco and Baku – but the Monegasque driver has played down his team's chances here in France. However, he also played down Ferrari's chances in Baku...

    READ MORE: Leclerc says Ferrari expecting to go ‘back to reality’ in France after Monaco and Baku highs

    So will Leclerc produce another shock or will Hamilton continue his streak and achieve a third pole position in his third appearance at Paul Ricard since 2018?

    And what about Max Verstappen, who has taken just one pole position this season – in the season opener?

    Here are the odds.

    • Lewis Hamilton 1.90
    • Max Verstappen 2.30
    • Valtteri Bottas 8.50
    • Sergio Perez 13.0
    • Lando Norris 29.0
    • Charles Leclerc 34.0
    • Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo 81.0
    • Pierre Gasly, George Russell 101
    • Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll 151
    • Yuki Tsunoda, Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Mick Schumacher 301
    • Antonio Giovinazzi, Kimi Raikkonen, Mick Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi, Nikita Mazepin 901
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    It's been two races since either Hamilton or Verstappen took pole

    The odds for a podium finish

    The most common podium combination in F1 history is Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen – but we haven't seen those three land on the podium together for the last two races.

    Instead, Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly, and Azerbaijan winner Sergio Perez have all taken podiums – with neither Mercedes driver having landed on the rostrum since Hamilton won the Spanish GP.

    READ MORE: ‘I know the ups are on the way’ says Bottas, as he insists reports he will leave Mercedes are ‘speculation’

    Will wee see a shock this weekend? The odds show that Leclerc and Norris are certainly in the mix, as are their respective team mates...

    • Lewis Hamilton 1.25
    • Max Verstappen 1.25
    • Valtteri Bottas 1.65
    • Sergio Perez 2.40
    • Lando Norris 4.00
    • Charles Leclerc 4.30
    • Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo 10.0
    • Pierre Gasly 11.0
    • Sebastian Vettel 26.0
    • George Russell, Yuki Tsunoda 34.0
    • Lance Stroll 67.0
    • Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso 81.0
    • Mick Schumacher 126
    • Antonio Giovinazzi, Kimi Raikkonen, Nicholas Latifi, Nikita Mazepin 901
    1322159047
    Gasly, Vettel and Perez occupied the top three positions in Baku

    The odds for fastest lap

    Fans of symmetry will appreciate the fact that the Fastest Lap bonus point has been earned in this order over the last six rounds: Bottas, Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Hamilton, Verstappen.

    Will the French GP see that pattern get disrupted as another contender nails a lap of Paul Ricard on new tyres, or will we see one of the front-runners take that crucial point for their team?

    GOOD LAP vs GREAT LAP: Valtteri Bottas shows us how to ace a lap of Paul Ricard

    Hamilton and Verstappen are neck-and-neck as favourites according to the odds below.

    • Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen 2.60
    • Valtteri Bottas 5.00
    • Sergio Perez 7.00
    • Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc 26.0
    • Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz 51.0
    • Pierre Gasly 67.0
    • George Russell 81.0
    • Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda 126
    • Sebastian Vettel 151
    • Lance Stroll 201
    • Esteban Ocon, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell, Kimi Raikkonen, Nicholas Latifi, Nikita Mazepin 301
    DHL Fastest Lap Award - France 2019

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

    Mercedes may have the run of Paul Ricard but they're 26 points behind Red Bull in this nailbiting Championship battle, so which one of those teams will score the most in France this weekend?

    Furthermore, the midfield is closer than ever with Ferrari two points ahead of McLaren and AlphaTauri two points in front of Aston Martin.

    • Mercedes 1.70
    • Red Bull 2.00
    • McLaren 23.0
    • Ferrari 26.0
    • AlphaTauri 81.0
    • Alpine, Aston Martin, Williams, Alfa Romeo 301
    • Haas 601

    The odds for a Safety Car appearing during the race

    Tough one to call, this, as out of the two Grands Prix at Paul Ricard in 2018 and 2019, only one featured a Safety Car deployment. The odds lean towards a Safety Car coming out during the Grand Prix this weekend.

    • Yes 1.60
    • No 2.20

    Odds supplied by 188BET are in USD$ and timestamped May 17 2021, 1714 GMT+1 in UK.