This weekend sees the 17th round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship, with a race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The thrilling World Drivers’ Championship battle will continue, with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen leading Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by just 6 points. Verstappen is on the longest win drought of his season, having not won in 3 rounds.
His last victory came at his home race, the Dutch Grand Prix, where he won by a 20-second margin. Hamilton is in a tense title battle that could go down to the last round, something that he has not experienced since 2016. Hamilton finished 5th at the last round in Turkey, after his team decided to make a late pitstop that took him out of 3rd place.
Hamilton’s teammate Bottas won his first race of the season at the last race, and Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez took his first podium since the French Grand Prix. Both of these drivers could be key in the fight to secure both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships for their respective teammates and teams.
The McLaren and Ferrari battle for 3rd will also continue with Leclerc, Sainz, Norris, and Ricciardo all needing to score crucial points.
The race will be F1’s 9th visit to Texas - after last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lewis Hamilton has excelled at the track, winning 5 races at the Circuit of the Americas. The other 3 winners in Texas are all on the current grid. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel won the 2013 race and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen won the 2018 edition, which was his last win in F1 and his first win with Ferrari since he returned to the team in 2014. Raikkonen, who has started the most races in F1 history, is due to retire at the end of the season. The last race at the circuit, in 2019, was won by Valtteri Bottas who is moving from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo at the end of the season.
The Circuit of the Americas opened in 2012 and has a capacity of 120,000. The track has 20 turns and is 5.513 kilometers long, with a race lap record of 1:36.169 that was set by Charles Leclerc in 2019.
The track is very exciting and offers multiple overtaking opportunities. 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button described the entire first sector as “spectacular”, with a first turn that allows many early overtakes to take place being followed by a replica of Silverstone’s tricky ‘Maggots and Becketts’ section.
The circuit has some run-off but can punish anyone who fails to successfully navigate the technical sections. All 20 drivers will be racing at the event, as long as they test negative for COVID-19 in the coming days.
Either Hamilton or Verstappen are expected to win the race, with them both having taken their engine penalties at past rounds. Both drivers are the clear favorites with odds set at -500 for a top six finish. Valtteri Bottas is also priced pretty well for this bet, having odds priced at -400.
Mercedes have also seen a noticeable improvement in performance at recent races. Bottas, Perez, and the McLaren and Ferrari drivers are expected to fight for the final podium position. Sergio Peres has odds of +275 for a podium finish, however, Hamilton and Verstappen are also favorites for this bet, with odds set at -350 and -300 respectively.
Team Mercedes and Red Bull are the two clear favorites to have the winning cars. Mercedes has odds set at -175 while Red Bull’s odds are priced at +125. Ferrari sits in third with staggering odds of +2500.
There are no American drivers on the grid, but two North Americans in Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi who are both from Montreal, Canada. Haas are an American team that are struggling as backmarkers, and currently sit last in the World Constructors’ Championship.
If you’re looking to bet on the fastest lap, don’t expect any different than the usual suspects as the favorites. Hamilton, Verstappen, and Bottas are the top three favorites with odds set at +138, +225, and +250 respectively. Peres comes in as the fourth favorite, at +600 odds.
They are unlikely to be able to fight for points in the Grand Prix which takes place on Sunday. The implications for the Championships and the track should combine for a gripping Grand Prix. F1 betting fans expect a lot from this fast-paced course in Austin and we cannot wait for the action to unfold this weekend. Make sure you get involved in the betting using one of our top bookmakers!