For the better part of a decade, we watched Lewis Hamilton dominate the proceedings in Formula One. In 2021, we saw one of the most dramatic endings to a season in the history of the sport, with Max Verstappen winning it all and stopping Hamilton from setting the record for World Championship wins in the process. It was a win that was steeped in controversy, with fans very much split on the legitimacy of Verstappen’s championship. He put that talk to rest last season with a dominating championship win that he picked up with plenty of time to spare. Whether or not he can repeat that performance remains to be seen, but it all starts this weekend in Bahrain with the opening race of the 2023 season in Bahrain.
Let’s take a look at the current F1 betting lines for this race.
F1 Betting Odds, Analysis and Prediction for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix
Max Verstappen (-119)
Winning a world championship should have been a watershed moment for Verstappen, but given the nature of how it all ended, he went into last season feeling as though he still had something to prove. He did that by delivering one of the greatest single season performances of all time, winning 15 races and racking up a staggering 454 points, over 50 points more than he won the previous year. While he is the obvious favorite, this is a race he has not won. Furthermore, he was a disappointing 19th last year. I’d be very surprised if he did not improve on that this weekend.
Charles Leclerc (+360)
In the early part of the 2022 season, it looked as though Leclerc might be about to seriously challenge Verstappen for the World Championship. He jumped out with 2 wins and a 2nd place finish in the opening 3 races of the year, but it was a pace that he simply couldn’t maintain. He only had 1 more win after that start, and while he ended the year in 2nd place overall, he was roughly 150 points back of Verstappen when all was said and done. He might be worth a look this weekend, as he did win this grand prix last year.
Sergio Perez (+850)
Perez has seen his career flourish since moving over to Red Bull Racing to become the teammate of Max Verstappen. The big question now, though is whether he can push on and challenge or whether he is destined to suffer a similar fate to Valterri Bottas, who played second fiddle to Hamilton when they were teammates at Mercedes. Perez had his best season in regards wins, with 2 last season, as well as nabbing his best overall finishing, coming in 3rd in the driver standings. He has not had a ton of success in Bahrain, though.
Lewis Hamilton (+860)
Was last season the beginning of the end for Hamilton as a serious World Championship contender or does he still have something left in the tank? Given his odds heading into the opening race of the year, the bookies seem to think that the end might be near. The signs are certainly there, as 2022 was the first ever season that Hamilton had without a win. He did still land on the podium in Bahrain last season, so he might be worth a look on Sunday.