The new Formula One season starts in Melbourne on Sunday 17th January with the ten teams having just concluded eight days of testing in Barcelona
Lewis Hamilton has won the last two world titles and four of the last five titles for Mercedes, which has been the dominant car since the last set of major rule changes in the sport with the team winning five constructors championships in a row. Ferrari were the fastest car for at least the first part of the season but faded in the second half with inconsistent performances on and off the track by drivers and team.
This season Vettel is joined at Ferrari by Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen is joined at Red Bull by Pierre Gasly, the Red Bull car is now powered by Honda engines.
In testing it can be difficult to read the overall performance as there is no way to establish engine modes and fuel loads from the publically available data. From what we do know the Ferrari was quick all testing, ahead of Mercedes and Red Bull and these three teams should again fight out the Championships.
Whist we won’t get a definitive view of the pecking order until the cars qualify in Australia and probably not until the first few races of the year take place, what we do know is that there will be an intense development race through the season that could see the cars in a different order of superiority later in the season
Drivers odds at the time of writing are
Red Bull 6/1
On the available information the value has to be Vettel to win the Drivers Title, which would be his fifth, at 5/2 with Bet365. Leclerc is a serious talent but it is asking a lot for him to beat Vettel in his first season in a top team. Hamilton’s price looks too short not withstanding the dominance of Mercedes since 2014 if, as it appears, the Ferrari starts the season half a second a lap ahead of the pace of the current Constructors Champion