It was pretty much as you were in the first race of the 2016 Formula One season in Australia, with last year’s drivers’ champion Lewis Hamilton kept at bay by 2015 runner-up Nico Rosberg, while Sebastian Vettel finished well clear of the rest in third.
The Mercedes duo and Ferrari whizz were out on their own last term, with Hamilton champion on 381 points, Rosberg second with 322 and Vettel not far behind his fellow German on 278. Kimi Raikkonen was next best all the way back on 150 points.
Motorsport’s greatest roadshow heads to Bahrain next, and the black and gold boys at bwin.com have a rather special bet in the offing at the Sakhir track.
You can have evens on Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel making the podium in any order, and considering the trio’s recent form, plus their respective records at this venue, that looks a wager worth siding with.
Had four-time world champion Vettel not ran wide and clipped his front wing halfway through last year’s race, this combination tricast would in all likelihood have come up, though it’s testament to the 28-year-old’s powers of recovery that he still managed to sneak fifth place.
A year earlier, Hamilton pipped Rosberg at the line with Vettel in sixth, despite racing his new Ferrari for only the second time and starting ninth on the grid. He took the laurels in 2013 and 2012 in the colours of Red Bull.
Hamilton heads bwin.com’s market at 9/10, with his championship-leading teammate next best at 7/4 and Vettel 4/1.
In the distance Raikkonen fetches a 20/1 quote, and it’s pretty much any price you like beyond those four, with Toro Rosso wonderkid Max Verstappen, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Williams pair Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas all easy to back at 80/1 apiece.
Such a market screams loud and clear that if the top three all get round they’ll hog the podium, which is why evens on such an outcome cannot be ignored.