Russian Grand Prix Betting: Red Bulls Could Grow Wings At Sochi

Formula One has arrived in Russia under a dark cloud following the events of Suzuka. The entire paddock is united in sorrow over the crash at the end of the last race which left Jules Bianchi, a promising young racer backed by Ferrari's driver development programme, with serious head injuries.

Bianchi's Marussia team have made the trip to Sochi for the first Russian Grand Prix, although at the time of writing the extent of their participation in the grand prix remains unclear. Their rivals will race on, albeit with heavy hearts.

Hamilton closing on the crown

Under the circumstances there were no celebrations to greet Lewis Hamilton's third win in a row and his first at Suzuka. He has now won eight races this year, twice as many races as team mate Nico Rosberg, yet only holds a fairly slim 10-point lead in the championship. There are still 125 available to be won in the final four races.

Rosberg badly needs to hit back and the added variable of a new track could help him disrupt Hamilton's growing momentum. Nonetheless the championship leader remains the odds-on favourite, priced at 1.65, with Rosberg on 2.60.

Sochi looks like a Red Bull track

On the face of it the Sochi Autodrom has much in common with former F1 venues like Valencia and South Korea - tracks where the Red Bulls tended to go very well. The repeated braking zones and slow corners play to the strengths of the RB10, which were much in evidence around the similarly slow and tight Singapore street track.

Sebastian Vettel - who we now know is in his final four races with the team and cannot retain his championship crown - is priced very keenly at 15.00. He's enjoyed an upswing in form of late after a difficult start to the season, and beat his impressive team mate Daniel Ricciardo in the last two rounds. Ricciardo, the only driver left who can beat the Mercedes drivers to the championship, is on 12.00 to win the race - and very long odds of 76.00 to take the title.

Ricciardo has already won three times this year to Rosberg's four. You can get odds of 5.00 on them ending the season with the same number of wins, and 12.00 on Ricciardo out-scoring Rosberg in the victories stakes.

Williams boosted by upgrades

Williams had high hopes for the latest upgrade package they introduced on their FW36 chassis in Japan and they appear to have been justified. The two cars locked out the second row of the grid at Suzuka. For this weekend's race Valtteri Bottas has the shortest odds on pole position besides the Mercedes pair - 18.00 - with team mate Felipe Massa on 25.00.

Williams faded somewhat during the race in Japan, but that was largely down to them still not having a good wet weather set-up for the car. Bottas offers odds of 25.00 for victory this weekend, and Massa's odds are considerably longer on 36.00.

Although the Ferrari drivers do not look a good pick for outright success this weekend, there are interesting odds to be found on the red cars. Fernando Alonso has consistently beaten Kimi Raikkonen this year, to the point that there are now decent odds to be had on Raikkonen claiming a rare victory against his team mate. He's priced at 4.00 to out-qualify Alonso and 4.50 to beat him in the race, which has to be work a look as Alonso's retired from two of the last three.


Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic.