- Lewis Hamilton continues to top the odds to win the F1 Drivers Championship despite falling from the top of the standings
- In the wake of consecutive dismal performances, Hamilton now sits four points back of first-place Max Verstappen, who has emerged as an attractive +100 bet to claim his first title
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends as the 2021 F1 season kicks into high gear
Max Verstappen has emerged as a legitimate threat to reigning champion Lewis Hamilton’s dominance of Formula 1. With victories in two of the first five races of the season, Verstappen has vaulted to the top of the F1 Drivers Championship standings for the first time in his career. However, the talented 23-year-old has failed to gain similar traction in the updated odds to claim the 2021 F1 title, where he lags behind Hamilton as a +100 second favorite.
With Verstappen now doing the best driving of his career, is now the time to back him at the sportsbooks? Or can Hamilton bounce back from consecutive disappointing outings to reclaim his familiar perch atop the standings, and bolster his position as a narrow -125 favorite.
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Here’s a look at all the odds to win the Formula 1 Drivers Championship, and the drivers to watch as the 2021 F1 season enters its second quarter.
2021 Formula 1 Drivers Championship Odds
|Driver||Odds at DraftKings|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+50000|
Odds as of June 9
Red-Hot Start Halted in Baku
Verstappen saw a spectacular start to the 2021 F1 season derailed last weekend in Azerbaijan. Well on his way to claiming consecutive wins for the first time in his career, Verstappen saw his day end when the rear driver’s side tire on his Honda-powered car failed in spectacular fashion. Fortunately for Verstappen, Hamilton was unable to capitalize on the opportunity to claim the lead, spinning during the subsequent restart of that race, on his way to a 15th-place finish.
— Cllr Sam S Collins (@NorthHertsSam) June 6, 2021
With Hamilton completing a race out of the points for the first time since 2013, Verstappen looks to the upcoming French Grand Prix with a narrow four-point lead over the defending champion. However, there are plenty of reasons for fans of the Belgian-born driver to be excited about his prospects for winning his first ever world title.
Verstappen a Familiar Podium Presence
Verstappen’s fearlessness behind the wheel has produced feast-or-famine results. The Belgian-born driver finished on the podium in 10 of the 11 races he finished last season to finish third in the standings for a second straight year but was also forced to retire from five races during the 2020 campaign.
— Channel 4 F1® (@C4F1) June 6, 2021
This time around, a more mature Verstappen has benefited from the arrival of veteran teammate Sergio Perez. Unable to count on support from past teammates Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon, Verstappen regularly found himself alone in challenging Hamilton and his teammate Valtteri Bottas, at least up until now.
Perez Providing Much Needed Support
The Mercedes duo remained a steady presence at the front of the pack last season reaching the podium on a combined 25 occasions, and proved effectively at countering challenges by Verstappen to their dominance. However, the tables have now turned. A slow start has landed Bottas in the German automaker’s doghouse and dumped him to a +15000 futures bet, while Perez has fulfilled the promised in his Red Bull debut. That was particularly evident last weekend in Baku, where Bottas stumbled to a 12th-place finish, while Perez effectively held Hamilton at bay as Verstappen extended his lead.
And unlike previous years, when the hopes of Red Bull fans would quickly fade when Verstappen was knocked out of a race, “Checo” answered the call in Azerbaijan. Perez seized the lead in the wake of his teammate’s misfortune, forcing Hamilton to attempt a risky maneuver that ultimately sent him to the back of the pack.
Checo Key to Red Bull’s Constructor Title Hopes
With his victory in Baku, Checo has now finished top five in five of six outings this season, and has seen his two career F1 victories come over his past eight-race appearances. That is sensational news for Red Bull, which remains pegged as an attractive second favorite in the F1 Constructors Championship odds despite building a 26-point lead over second-place Mercedes.
Red Bull finally get Perez up there to support Max. Meanwhile, at Mercedes we go live to Bottas down in 10th… pic.twitter.com/QL4aSEU7d7
— Chris Donald (@ChrisDonald92) June 6, 2021
Perez’s strong start has also lifted him to third place in the F1 Drivers Standings, just 36 points back of Verstappen. Barring unforeseen circumstances that force Verstappen and Hamilton off the track, it is tough to see him emerge as a threat for the crown. However, if Checo can continue to support his Red Bull teammate the way he did in Baku, Verstappen is well-positioned to end Hamilton’s seven-year reign as F1 champion as he offers great value in the updated Drivers Championship odds.
The Pick: Max Verstappen +100
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