The F1 circuit heads to China this weekend for the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix, with the main race scheduled for Sunday the 14th of April.
The third race of the 2019 F1 season will take place at the Shanghai International Street Circuit this Sunday and we should be in for a cracker with Ferrari desperately trying to close the early-season gap on arch rivals Mercedes.
Chinese Grand Prix
Shanghai International Circuit
Sunday 14 April
To Win Race Outright
Charles Le Clerc 15/10
Sebastian Vettel 37/20
Lewis Hamilton 5/2
Valtteri Bottas 9/1
Max Verstappen 16/1
Pierre Gasly 80/1
Kimi Raikkonen 1000/1
It was going all so well for Ferrari out in Bahrain with the Prancing Stag looking set for a one-two finish until Charles LeClerc experienced a mechanical issue and Sebastian Vettel spun out to gift Mercedes an unexpected one-two that saw Lewis Hamilton claim the race victory and Valtteri Bottas take second.
Ferrari did manage to salvage an ounce of respectability from the race with LeClerc nursing his car home for third and Vettel claiming fifth. Sandwiched between the two Ferraris was the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. There was a surprise in the Top 6 with rookie Lando Norris driving his McLaren to sixth place.
The remainder of the top ten featured a few household names with Kimi Raikkonen finishing in seventh and Sergio Perez claiming 10th. In between the two veterans were young guns Pierre Gasly (eighth) and Alexander Albon (ninth).
The architectural wonder that is the Shanghai International circuit will play host to one of the most intriguing races in recent history. Mercedes had been the dominant team on the track for near on half-a-decade until their four Grand Prix winning streak was broken by Daniel Ricciardo last season, with the Australian lining up on the podium alongside Valtteri Bottas (2nd) and Kimi Raikkonen (3rd).
This is a tricky track with a lot of turns, but there is room to open up the taps with the 1.5 kilometres straight – situated between turns 13 and 14 – allowing drivers to really have a go before heading into the hairpin between turns 14 and 15, where sharp braking is a necessity if you want to avoid running off track.
Drivers will face 16 turns in total this weekend, with the trickiest of the bunch being the sequence between turns one to four, which have claimed their fair share of victims since the course first hosted a race back in 2004.
There’s a bit of rainfall floating around Shanghai early this week but the current (*Written on Tuesday the 9th of April) weather forecast is suggesting that the weekend will consist of clear skies.
Podium Finnish – Kimmi Raikkonen – Yes – @50/1
We’re going for the big reward from a very small stake this week backing Kimi Raikkonen to claim a podium finish out in China.
Look, this is a massive speculator as the former Ferrari man is now racing a car that is struggling to keep up with the three major teams. He’d need the cards to fall in his favour her, but if they do then the Finnish ace could well take advantage as he has a pretty decent record in Shanghai including last year’s third-place finish.
To Win Race Outright – Sebastian Vettel @ 37/20
Ferrari seemed to have sorted out their speed issues in Bahrain and had it not been for a few mechanical gremlins and lapse in judgement while racing Hamilton, then the Prancing Stag may well have walked away with a one-two finish out in Bahrain.
While new boy LeClerc was the faster of the two drivers out in Bahrain, I suspect Vettel may deliver the bigger performance here. He hasn’t tasted much success in China – only winning one Grand Prix back in 2009 – but he’ll be determined to put that right this weekend.
Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets