Free Picks: Formula One 2014 Australian Grand Prix Preview

Richard O'Hagan

Sunday, March 2, 2014 8:09 PM GMT

Sunday, Mar. 2, 2014 8:09 PM GMT

The 2014 Grand Prix season begins in Melbourne on March 16th? Can anyone stop Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull from retaining the titles they have won for the last three years?

Each new Formula 1 season brings with it a raft of changes, but this year’s starts with teams trying to get to grips with more alterations than ever before. It is not just the switching of drivers which inevitably takes place each close season, or the introduction of double points for the closing races, which have caused teams to think this year. The move from 2.4 litre engines to 1.6 litre hybrid ones has hit some teams hard.

Most affected seem to have been reigning constructor champions Red Bull. Their cars, piloted by champion driver Sebastian Vettel and new second driver Daniel Ricciardo, have struggled to complete anything like the number of test laps each team is allowed and have appeared sluggish and off the pace when they have made it around the track. Whilst other teams have had their own problems, seeing the one that has dominated the sport for so long battling so many problems has given heart to the rest of the field.

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More importantly, those struggles mean that there has never been a better time to back Vettel and the Red Bull team. Whilst the race in Australia may come too soon for him to be truly competitive, at odds of 4.0 with BetVictor you will struggle to find better odds on him winning the title for a fifth straight time, whilst Red Bull are 4.33 with Bet365.

Looking to the Melbourne race, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes cars are favorites with BetFred offering 3.5 and 7.0 on them respectively. Don’t overlook the Ferrari, though, where Kimi Raikkonen will be keen to justify his big money move from the outset and looks good value to finish in the top three at odds of 2.14 with Betfair.

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