Home World Sporting Events Formula 1 Vettel must be wary of stung Mercedes
Vettel must be wary of stung Mercedes

Vettel must be wary of stung Mercedes

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Sebastian Vettel will seek to become the first Ferrari driver to win the first two races of the season since the great Michael Schumacher in 2004 when the teams head to Bahrain this weekend.

The German got “a bit lucky” in Australia and will need some good fortune again if he is to take the chequered flag.

The Scuderia took full advantage of an error by Mercedes to open up an unassailable lead Down Under and win the season-opening race, an outcome that had seemed unlikely given how dominant Lewis Hamilton had been up to that point.

While Mercedes looked the fastest car on the Albert Park circuit, the power-friendly track and hot conditions in the desert this time around could give a helping hand to Ferrari.

The Italians have good history at the Sakhir race circuit, with five wins, while Vettel has three victories to his name and is priced at 3/1 to add a fourth.

With Hamilton once again the odds-on 5/6 favourite, his German rival certainly offers better value in a race likely to be dominated by Ferrari and Mercedes again.

One area where Mercedes are the ones to back is fastest qualifier given one of their cars has started from pole in 71 of the 80 races held during the V6 hybrid era. Hamilton is 20/33 to take pole while Valtteri Bottas is 15/4.

The Silver Arrows claimed in the wake of the Melbourne debacle that their sizeable advantage over the majority of the field had been erased during the winter, pointing to Bottas’ problems navigating the field in Australia as an indicator.

Could that open the door to Red Bull to secure a podium? Their best chance of a top-three finish in the opening two races was probably in Australia given the limitations of their Renault power unit.

While it is still likely Red Bull will secure a points finish, potentially even a top-six spot, there is a value to be had looking at those cars powered by Ferrari or Mercedes engines.

Ferrari-powered Haas F1 were excellent in qualifying in Australia and looked set for the top-10 before two pit-stop mistakes cost them. Romain Grosjean is 6/5 to make up for lost time with a top-six finish while team-mate Kevin Magnussen is 23/20.

Force India are also worth looking at for a points finish despite disappointing in Australia. Sergio Perez, who started from 18th on the grid in Bahrain last year before finishing seventh, is 1/1 while Esteban Ocon is 13/10 to at least match his 10th-placed finish of 12 months ago.

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Chris Rivers An experienced journalist, Chris is very knowledgeable on a host of different sports and often focuses on NFL, boxing and Formula One. Chris is also a regular at the Emirates Stadium, which adds to his knowledge of top flight and European football.