Mother Russia is the venue for this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix and unsurprisingly, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg go into the race as 6/5 favourites.
Whilst more commonly remembered as playing host to the 2014 Winter Olympics, this season’s fourth race takes place at the much-maligned circuit based in Sochi. As always, we preview all the action before qualifying kicks off on Saturday afternoon and try and find some betting value in the process.
Picking up where he left off from last season, German driver Nico Rosberg has made himself the man to beat after recording his third straight victory in the Chinese Grand Prix two weeks ago. After winning the final three races of the 2015 F1 campaign, Rosberg is now on the verge of making history with his 6 consecutive victories just three behind all-time record holder Sebastian Vettel.
As expected, Rosberg and Hamilton have contributed to Mercedes’ already gaping 53 points lead at the top of the Constructors’ Championship. With the gap between the two Mercedes drivers also widening, English driver Hamilton will be hoping he can end his team mate’s purple patch of form on the track this Sunday.
Where does the betting value lie?
Local boy Daniil Kvyat is undoubtedly the one to watch after he recorded a shock podium in the Chinese Grand Prix a fortnight ago. The Russian driver steamed home to third in Shangai, sending a stern message to his Red Bull bosses of where his future lies next season amid the rumours that 18-year-old whiz kid Max Verstappen was set to replace him.
His 3rd placed finish didn’t come without its price however – just moments before his podium celebrations following the race, the Russian was confronted by Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel who took exception to his ‘aggressive’ driving on turn 1 which was arguably responsible for the German’s collision with his own team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Despite his spat with the former World Champion, Kvyat has maintained that his attitude won’t change going into this Sunday’s race.
“I have my point of view; he gave his point of view. I believe my point of view is right; I don’t know what he believes at the moment,” the 22-year-old told the press.
“Me and him will always treat each other with all our respect and to be honest it is all okay. Honestly there are no problems at all and I would do it all over again.”
Buoyed from a podium finish which was the first in his career, we’re backing Kvyat to repeat his Chinese heroics with another podium in front of his native crowd.