Canadian Grand Prix Betting: Forget what Mercedes say, the odds say they're still Championship favourites

Mercedes say they aren’t the favourites – the odds say otherwise

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff lamented the claim his team are no longer the championship favourites following the Monaco Grand Prix.

“It’s painful, but we are not the favourites for this year’s championship,” Wolff admitted ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. “At the moment it’s Ferrari.”

That may be his view but at the moment the betting says differently. Ferrari may hold a 17-point lead over their title rivals, but Mercedes remain favourites to take their fourth title in a row, on 1.65. Ferrari trail them, for now at least, on 2.00.

You can write off the competition, however. Red Bull have been somewhat of a disappointment this year and are on odds of 201.0. The rest of the field, few of which have the finances to compete with the top teams, are on 2501.0 or higher!

So there’s not much interest in the championship betting. But the odds for Sunday’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve are more promising.

Again, Mercedes are the favourites. Five-times Canadian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton is the top pick on 2.10. Ferrari’s championship leader Sebastian is on 2.30. As usual, it’s their teammates who supply the more promising odds.

Favour the Finns

Valtteri Bottas in particular is very keenly priced at 7.50 for the win. His breakthrough win at Sochi, where he took on the Ferraris and beat them single-handedly, put to rest any questions about whether he’s ready to win a race. He’s proving to be an increasingly strong match for Hamilton in qualifying too: the score line between the pair reads 3-3 after six races.

Mercedes are clearly happy for Bottas to rival Hamilton. But the last race raised questions over whether the same is true at Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen led the opening stint of last week’s Monaco Grand Prix but lost the lead to teammate Sebastian Vettel through the pit stops. Some interpreted this as Ferrari employing team orders by stealth to give an advantage to Vettel, who is their best bet as far as the championship goes.

(This is not a view this author subscribes to: Ferrari had no qualms about using team orders when they were illegal, why would they have hesitate to use them now they’re permitted?)

So if you fancy taking a shot at Raikkonen to win at 12.00 – and those are great odds for a driver who will probably have the quickest car at his disposal next weekend – be warned that the tip comes with an asterisk.

Verstappen for pole

Looking further ahead, are Red Bull ever going to get back to their 2016 level of form? They’re having to be patient as Renault ready a badly-needed power upgrade.

Once that happens they could have a crack at pole position at a circuit like Singapore in the second half of the year. That makes Max Verstappen’s odds of 4.50 to take at least one pole this year a bet worth examining. 

Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic