Will Design Changes and Upgrades Help Ferrari Bridge the Gap to Mercedes?

For the past few years, the Mercedes team has dominated most of the races inF1 Betting each of the last four Formula 1 seasons. At the start of the 2019 season however, testing seemed to suggest that both Ferrari and Red Bull had made real strides to closing the gap between themselves and Mercedes but once the season got underway, it was a familiar story.

Four races in and Mercedes drivers have finished first and second in each of the four races so far. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have claimed two wins and two second-place finishes apiece to ensure that the Driver’s Championship is a very close battle, but in the Constructor’s Championship, Mercedes are already massively in front in the race between the teams. They are already 1/7 on with bet365 Sport to land the constructor’s title and there are still over ¾ of the races of the season still left to be concluded.

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As such, if you fancy a flutter with bet365 Sport on who will win the constructor’s title, then you are not going to get great value odds if you back Mercedes, but the driver’s championship race looks to be far more exciting. Currently bet365 have odds on all the drivers with Lewis Hamilton leading the way at present. If you fancy a punt on that market, or indeed any of the races remaining in the season starting in Spain this weekend then bet365 is the place to head.

That’s because the site offers a wide range of betting on Formula 1 throughout the season as well as superb In Play betting on each of the races. New customers signing up with the current bet365 Sport New Player Bonus can earn a little extra cash when they start betting on the site too, which is always a great way to start betting with a new company.

Let’s now take a look at how the F1 season has gone so far and just how dominant the Mercedes team have been.

F1 Season So Far

Australia – Bottas takes win and point for fastest lap.

The Flying Finn was a comfortable winner as he led from pole to claim victory in the opening race of the season, netting a bonus point for the fastest lap in the race, a new innovation in the F1 season for this year. He finished over 20 seconds ahead of teammate Hamilton in second with Verstappen in the Red Bull third and the two Ferrari’s of Vettel and Leclerc fourth and fifth almost a minute behind the winner.

Bahrain – Hamilton clinches tight win over Bottas

In Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton won his first race of the year and claimed maximum points with a win of just under 3 seconds over his team mate. Bottas remained top of the Driver’s Championship thanks to his fastest lap in the first race. Charles Leclec of Ferrari was third and he claimed the bonus point for the fastest lap here. Verstappen finished fourth with Vettel fifth.

Shanghai – Hamilton doubles up as same top five dominate

It was the same top five in Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, the third race on the calendar. Sixth place Pierre Gasly nabbed the point for the fastest lap but above him it was the same five drivers, Hamilton winning from Bottas, with Vettel this time third, Verstappen fourth and Leclerc in fifth.

Azerbaijan – Bottas returns to the top spot on the podium

Yet again, the same five drivers dominated the top five positions in Baku, Bottas this time claiming the win and with it the Driver’s Championship lead by a single point over Hamilton who finished second. Vettel, Verstappen and Leclerc rounded out the top five once again for the fourth race in a row, setting up an interesting weekend in Spain.

Why the Spanish Grand Prix could be a turning point in the season

What make the Spanish Grand Prix a key race in the season is that it is the first race that takes place in what is traditionally viewed as mainland Europe (Azerbaijan is a new addition to the calendar and although technically part of Europe it is still seen by teams as part of the opening four race Australian/Asian leg of the season).

Traditionally, teams that have been working on design improvements to their cars and engines that were not quite ready for the start of the season, tend to have them ready to go by the Spanish Grand Prix and these tweaks and modifications can have a big impact on how a car and driver performs. Ferrari will certainly be hoping for a positive result to any tweaks they make ahead of the race on Sunday.

Let’s now take a look at the current standings for the Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships before we bring you more details on the race on Sunday, including our tips to win the race outright.

Driver’s Championship – Top 5

  • Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 87
  • Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 86
  • Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) – 52
  • Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 51
  • Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 47

After this the next best drivers are Sergio Peres, Pierre Gasly and Kimi Raikkonen who each have amassed 13 points in the season. Only four drivers remain pointless after four races, both Williams Driver’s George Russell and Robert Kubica, Haas’s Romain Grosjean and Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi.

Constructor’s Championship – Top 5

  • Mercedes – 173
  • Ferrari – 99
  • Red Bull Racing – 64
  • McLaren – 18
  • Racing Point BWT Mercedes – 17

Only Williams Mercedes is yet to claim a point this season out of the ten constructors’ teams.

The Spanish Grand Prix

  • Dates – 10th – 12th May
  • Race Start – 2.10pm on Sunday 12th May
  • Qualifying – 2pm – 3pm on Saturday 11th May
  • Circuit – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya first held a Grand Prix back in 1991 and this year’s race will be contested over 66 laps of the 4.655 kilometre long circuit. The current lap record is held by Daniel Ricciardo, who set the record back in 2018 when driving for Red Bull of 1.18.441.

The track is made up of a long straight at the start which is where DRS is usually activated and then there follows 16 bends across three sectors in what is a challenging race for drivers and the cars. It is a familiar track for them however as it is used for winter testing .

Spain Grand Prix Tips

The teams may be looking to bring out some new technology to help their drivers close the gap on Mercedes, but the German team will also have a few developments of their own and in truth, it is hard to see Ferrari and Red Bull being able to bridge that gap here. Ferrari did test well here in the winter so I think they should be closer to Mercedes, but I still feel that the winner is most likely to come from either of the two Mercedes drivers.

Lewis Hamilton has a decent record here, winning three times in total in 2014 as well as the past two years and he is 1/2 to make it three in a row. He may not be the best odds, but I think if you are backing a driver to win, then Hamilton is the smart choice for Sunday.

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