What do we know about the Sochi Circuit?
It’s a street circuit built around the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia. Formula1 added it to the calendar in 2014 and it has reminded them ever since. Mercedes have won on every occasion they have raced at this track. Three wins for Hamilton, one win for Bottas and one win for the now retired Nico Rosberg. It’s a 3.6-mile-long track with nineteen corners and two long straights. The fastest lap is currently held by Bottas with a 1.35.861 second lap.
Lewis Hamilton +173
Charles Leclerc +238
Sebastian Vettel +300
Valtteri Bottas +600
Max Verstappen +2038
Alex Albon +10390
Rest of Field +10000
Where is the Value?
It’s very hard to look beyond the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, but in saying that their domination in recent races hasn’t been what it used to be. They won the opening eight races of the season and only took the victory in two of the last seven Grands Prix. There have been five races at Sochi, and all won by Mercedes. The value lies with both Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc at +238 and Sebastian Vettel at +300.
We must presume they are going to continue this streak of domination for the rest of the season. We usually never see Lewis Hamilton at odds as high as +175, and odds this high usually scare me into making a wager on him, the books usually call it right on Hamilton. I like his teammate Valtteri Bottas at +900 to make pole position in Sochi for a second year in a row he hasn’t had a good season so far and needs to prove himself to stay at a top team in the future. I also believe there is a slight edge on betting Max Verstappen to make the podium at +300, he has made six podiums this season and five, fourth places.
It will be difficult this weekend with Ferrari being so strong and Mercedes looking to get back to dominating the races, but one simple mistake, crash or wrong strategy could set Verstappen up to capitalize. I can see some small value on team Williams both cars to classify NO at odds of +333. The last race in Singapore was the first all season that they had a retirement and I think the trend could continue in Sochi on Sunday.
My Favorite Prop Pick for the Race
First constructor retirement, Team Haas at odds of +600 with Bet365. Let’s just break this down very simple, Romain Grosjean has retired in two of his previous four races on this track and retired in six of fifteen races so far this season.
Although the other Haas driver Kevin Magnussen has only retired twice this season and never at Sochi, he has however been involved in a few first lap crashes and managed not to sustain enough damage to initiate a retirement. They tend to qualify between 10th and 17th on the grid, which is prime position to get yourself involved in a crash on a Formula1 grid. If you just want to get on Grosjean to retire from the race at any time, he is available at +225 also with Bet365.
Sochi Favorite Pick and Best Bet
My favorite pick for the race on Sunday is Leclerc to get back to winning ways at +238 with Pinnacle
When looking at the best bets its very tempting to take Bottas to qualify on pole position at +900 at Bet365, he did it last year and could manage it again this Sunday.