Saudi Arabia Grand Prix: Fast circuit suits Hamilton

Saudi Arabia Grand Prix: Fast circuit suits Hamilton

Date: 05/12/2021

Venue: Jeddah Street Circuit

Max Verstappen could be crowned Formula One world champion on Sunday when the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix is held for the first time.

There are just two races left in the F1 season and Lewis Hamilton will be desperate to ensure the title race goes down to the wire in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

As we predicted, Hamilton won the Qatar Grand Prix to make it back-to-back victories and he is now the 1.57 favourite for an eighth world title despite trailing Verstappen by eight points.

Verstappen finished a distant second in Doha after being hit by a five-place grid penalty but can be crowned world champion in Jeddah if he wins with the fastest lap and Hamilton fails to finish in the top five.

That seems unlikely though and this fast street circuit looks better suited to Hamilton and Mercedes so a third straight win for the Briton at 1.44 is our first Saudi Arabia Grand Prix prediction.

How the Qatar Grand Prix finished

1 Hamilton (Mercedes), 2 Verstappen (Red Bull), 3 Alonso (Alpine), 4 Perez (Red Bull), 5 Ocon (Alpine), 6 Stroll (Aston Martin), 7 Sainz (Ferrari), 8 Leclerc (Ferrari), 9 Norris (McLaren), 10 Vettel (Aston Martin), 11 Gasly (AlphaTauri), 12 Ricciardo (McLaren), 13 Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), 14 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 15 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 16 Schumacher (Haas), 17 Russell (Williams), 18 Mazepin (Haas) DNF Bottas (Mercedes), Latifi (Williams)

Hamilton stormed to a lights-to-flag victory in Qatar and will be crowned champion once again if he can repeat that success in the last two races of the season.

With arguments, press conference sideshows, grid penalties and questions over even racing in a country with a poor history of human rights dominating the build-up to Sunday’s race, it was Hamilton who put on a show under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit to finish 25 seconds clear of Verstappen.

Fernando Alonso finished third for Alpine, taking his first podium since the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I feel great, I feel in the best shape physically than I have been all year,” said Hamilton.

“The car is feeling better than ever and I feel positive going into the next couple of races. I feel they should be quite good for our car and I’m looking forward to the battle.”

It is not just at the top of the standings that important points are up for grabs this weekend. Ferrari can clinch third place in the constructors’ standings if they score five more points than McLaren, while Alpine are now 25 points clear of AlphaTauri in the battle for fifth.

Alpine were fast in qualifying and took that form into the race with both drivers finishing in the top five.

There is no reason to think that form cannot continue this weekend so for our final Saudi Arabia Grand Prix predictions, we like 7.00 for Esteban Ocon to finish in the top six.

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SAUDI ARABIA GRAND PRIX BETTING FORMULA 1 BETTING

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