Mercedes’ Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton goes into qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix as shaky 4/5 favourite in the markets to start on pole and the race proper, but the way the 2016 season is going you’d be mad to back him.
Hamilton may have four Canadian Grand Prix victories in his back catalogue, including last year’s, but with only one win and one pole in six races so far this term, and with the Brit lagging fifth in last practice, there’s no odds-on value to be found here.
Ferrari haven’t yet caught hold this term, with Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo landing the heaviest blows on Mercedes so far, but Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel have at least managed a podium place in all races bar one, including three seconds.
Vettel goes into qualifying fastest after finishing practice strongly, and the winner here three years ago looks the pick of the non-Hamiltons at 7/1 third favourite, with the four-time world champion the same price to become the fourth winner in the past four grand prix.
Hot on Vettel’s heels in the value stakes, and in last practice session as it happens, is Verstappen, a point behind Red Bull teammate Ricciardo in the betting at 9/1 despite the teenager winning in Spain two raceweeks ago, a joy the Australian has not felt for almost two years.
Verstappen is all the way down in sixth in the drivers’ championship after a wildly inconsistent first season in a top car, understandably for an 18-year-old, but creeping to within two-tenths of a second behind the fastest time in final practice.
Ricciardo was beaten in practice for the first time by Verstappen in Spain, with the younger man staying on the second row through qualifying before fearlessly mopping up the race proper after a spate of retirements.