Formula 1 Season 2019 - Preview

Formula 1 2019 Season Preview: Can Anyone Stop Hamilton?

Lewis Hamilton will face ferocious competition this season as he bids to win the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship for the third year in a row. The Mercedes superstar has delivered a string of masterful performances over the past couple of years to cement his status as one of the greatest drivers of all time. He will go into the season full of confidence, but Ferrari will be strong once again and Sebastian Vettel will be desperate to finally overtake him. Young guns Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen are also gunning for glory and it promises to develop into a compelling battle between these superstar drivers...

What Can We Expect to See in the Australian Grand Prix?

The opening Grand Prix of the season takes place in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday, 17 March. It has been a happy hunting ground for Vettel as the Ferrari driver has won here for the last two years. Both victories led fans and pundits alike to declare a changing of the guard in the F1 hierarchy, with Ferrari poised to finally end Mercedes’ dominance. They proved to be false dawns, but a win for the Italian team here would give fresh hope to those fans that want to see a compelling battle this year.

Who Are the New Kids on the Circuit?

Monaco-born rookie Leclerc impressed on the track in the Sauber Alfa Romeo and that earned him a place in the Ferrari team this time around. He has replaced the veteran Kimi Raikkonen and the move instantly catapults him to superstar status. It will be fascinating to see how long it takes the 21-year-old to get up to speed and put teammate Vettel under intense pressure. Just two teams – Mercedes and Haas – have kept the same line-ups we saw last season. There are now two more Brits on the grid in George Russell and Lando Norris, while Alex Albon was also born in Britain before being raised in Thailand. He could produce some eye-catching results this year.

Which F1 Drivers Have Switched Teams?

The biggest move saw Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo move from Red Bull to Renault. He is replaced by Pierre Gasly, who steps up from Torro Rosso to partner his old karting friend Max Verstappen in an exciting young Red Bull line-up. Ricciardo has taken a real gamble by leaving, but he is convinced by Renault’s potential and will link up with Nico Hulkenberg there. McLaren has an entirely new line-up after bringing in Carlos Sainz from Renault and promoting promising rookie Norris to the big time. Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll will represent Racing Point, which was formerly Force India. Alfa Romeo will have Raikkonen partnered with Ferrari graduate Antonio Giovinazzi, while Toro Rosso have partnered Albon with Daniil Kyvaat, plucked from his role as Ferrari’s development driver. Finally, Robert Kubica will race in F1 for the first time since 2010, alongside Russell at Williams.

Who is the Top-Rated Driver for 2019?

It has to be Hamilton, who leads the way in the Formula 1 Drivers Championship index. He is the most decorated driver out of any of the current crop and has secured the Drivers’ Championship title in four of the last five years. If he continues to display the consistency, determination and general brilliance he showed throughout 2018, he will take some stopping. He is a driver at the peak of his powers, and he will exhibit with speed and confidence in an extremely powerful car. But the field is stacked with talent and Vettel is a phenomenal competitor, while Verstappen could well emerge as the future of F1.

Which is the Top-Rated Team?

That would be Mercedes-Petronas, who have won the Constructors’ Championship for the last five years in a row. Ferrari have threatened to knock them off their perch over the past couple of years, but the Italian team continues to shoot itself in the foot with a catalogue of errors. Mercedes have just been more reliable and consistent under the leadership of Toto Wolff, with Hamilton leading the charge. However, there has been a change of leadership at Ferrari and Mattia Binotto looks to possess the wisdom and judgement to give Mercedes a real battle this season.

What's at Stake This Season?

Hamilton moved level with Juan Manuel Fangio as the second most successful driver in history when he won a fifth F1 Drivers' Championship last season. He is now just two behind the legendary Michael Schumacher in the all-time stakes and he could cut that deficit to one if he emerges victorious again in 2019. Vettel is stuck on four titles, but he will move up to five alongside Hamilton if he can prevail, and that would give him confidence to challenge for the record himself in the years ahead. Mercedes are bidding to win a sixth straight Constructors' Championship and if they pull it off they will move clear of Williams as the third most successful F1 team ever.

Who is Favourite to Win the Formula 1 Drivers Championship?

Right now, Hamilton leads the way from Vettel, but our traders see it being agonisingly close. If you check out our motor racing spreads, you will see that Hamilton has a spread of 37-40 in the F1 Drivers’ Championship Index, while Vettel is priced at 36-39. In this market, the winner gets 60 points, the runner-up is given 40 points, third gets 30, fourth gets 20, fifth is given 10 points, the driver that finishes sixth gets 5 points and the others get nothing. Third in the betting is Leclerc, with a spread of 27-30, so that leaves Hamilton and Vettel way out in front. It has developed into a two-horse race between that duo for the past two seasons, with Hamilton pulling away in the latter stages of the campaign, and our traders reckon these two could be battling it out once again.

Sporting Index have an array of Formula 1 spread betting markets on offer to heighten your experience when following the F1 this coming season.

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