Valteri Bottas had a surprise win in the opening Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne. The next race is in Bahrain on Sunday 31st March

Prior to Melbourne the expectation based off winter testing was that Ferrari would be 0.3-0.5s a lap quicker than Mercedes. There was thus widespread surprise that Mercedes qualified 0.7s quicker than Ferrari in securing a double front row grid position. Clearly Mercedes had pulled out all the development stops between Barcelona testing and Melbourne.

Bottas took advantage of Hamilton’s slow start from pole to lead from the first corner to the finish in his best performance for nearly two seasons. Hamilton’s damaged car floor prevented him from challenging and he was left to hold off Verstappen for second place.

Best Odds for the second race of the season in Bahrain next Sunday are as follows:

Hamilton 13/8
Bottas 5/2
Vettel 11/4
Verstappen 9/1
LeClerc 10/1

On the one hand its clear that Australia did not show the clear potential of the Ferrari and Vettelhas won in Bahrain and also that the Honda engine is likely to put Verstappen in the championship hunt. On the other last season the idea of getting 13/8 about a Hamilton race victory would have looked very attractive, he qualified on pole for Australia and could well be an odds on bet routinely as the season progresses.

Hamilton is 13/8 with Bet365.