US Grand Prix Betting: Odds rise on rivals to record-smashing Vettel

Sebastian Vettel continues to make Formula One history and this weekend he could break one of the oldest records of all time.

It's 60 years since Alberto Ascari won seven consecutive world championship races, a feat later equalled by Michael Schumacher, but one that has never been beaten. Vettel could do it on Sunday.

At this stage in the championship the greatest threat to Vettel's success is more likely to be an error by his team than one of his rivals seizing the initiative.

Abu Dhabi showed that even though team mate Mark Webber can still keep Vettel honest in qualifying, sustaining that challenge over a race distance is another matter entirely. Vettel's lead exceeded 40 seconds at one point.

As we've seen several times this year, Red Bull can be their own worst enemy. Vettel lost a likely win in Silverstone due to a gearbox problem. Webber retired from second in India when his alternator failed. Some of the RB9's performance has come through taking greater liberties with reliability - a trait common to many cars designed by Red Bull's chief technical officer Adrian Newey. Another similarity, of course, is that they often win a lot of races.

As a result, Red Bull's odds on achieving further success this weekend are extremely short. A Red Bull on pole is priced at 1.07 and a Red Bull race victory is 1.10 - the shortest odds for qualifying and race results we've seen all season.


Lotus hit by Raikkonen exit

However the odds on Red Bull's rivals are now very long. Mercedes, for example, despite having taken pole position eight times already this year, are on at 7.00 to do so at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday. The odds of Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton winning the race are 12.00.

Lotus's prospects this weekend have been struck a serious blow following Kimi Raikkonen's decision to miss the final two races while he has surgery on his back ahead of his 2014 move to Ferrari.

Losing the 2007 world champion, who's won twice for them in the past 12 months, can only harm Lotus's hopes of beating Ferrari to third place in the constructors' championship. Raikkonen revealed in Abu Dhabi that Lotus haven't paid him all year, which can only have weakened any bargaining position the team might have had.

Nonetheless the E21 is a competitive racer and Romain Grosjean has finished in the top four in the last four consecutive races. Pole position for Lotus is a long shot at 15.00, but their race victory odds match Mercedes at 12.00.


Magnussen a long, long shot?

The F1 rumour mill is rife with claims McLaren will drop Sergio Perez after a single season and replace him with the promising but untried Kevin Magnussen.

The Danish driver, son of former F1 racer Jan Magnussen, won the junior Formula Renault 3.5 category in impressive style earlier this year.

If you think Magnussen's got what it takes to go all the way you can back him before he's even started his first F1 race. Unibet are offering odds of 6.50 for him to win a race by 2018 and 25.00 for him to win the championship by then.

McLaren don't put rookie drivers in their cars unless they are certain of their potential. The last driver to get such treatment, Lewis Hamilton, almost won the title in his first year and did deliver it on his second attempt. With a major new tie-up with Honda coming in 2015, this audacious gamble may well pay off.

Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic