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PREVIEW: Hamilton favourite as Saudi Arabia makes its F1 bow

F1 makes its Saudi Arabian bow this weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Darry Worthington previews.

F1 - Saudi GP Preview
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

F1 makes its Saudi Arabian bow this weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Darry Worthington previews.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The 2021 F1 season is fast approaching its crescendo and this weekend’s Saudi Grand Prix will have a massive bearing on which way the title Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles swing with only eight points separating Drivers leader Max Verstappen and second-placed Lewis Hamilton, while there are five points between Mercedes and Red Bull on the Constructor’s standings.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Sunday 5 December
Jeddah Corniche Circuit

To Win Race Outright

Lewis Hamilton 11/20
Max Verstappen 22/10
Valterri Bottas 12/1
Sergio Perez 20/1
Pierre Gasly 66/1
Charles LeClerc 66/1

Previous Race

So Lewis Hamilton made it back to back wins with the Brit backing up his win in Brazil by taking honours in Qatar. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Mercedes’ Constructors rivals, however, as Max Verstappen took second and Sergio Perez claimed fourth.

The Brit controlled proceedings from the off and never looked in trouble. Verstappen, however, was forced to fight his way back from seventh on the grid for failing to respect double waved yellow flags in qualifying.  The Dutchman would eventually finish 25 seconds behind the Brit. 

Sandwiched between the two Red Bulls was a surprise package in the form of veteran Fernando Alonso who claimed third. The top 6 was rounded out by Esteban Ocon (fifth) and Lance Stroll (sixth).

Track - Jeddah Corniche Circuit

Jeddah Corniche Circuit

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is just a few short days away and a lot of punters and fans aren’t too well versed when it comes to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

The track looks an absolute belter and is said to be the fastest street circuit on show this year. 

It is the second-longest track drivers will race on this season coming in at a whopping 6.175 kilometres, which leaves it just 800 metres short of the conic Spa track. 

The drivers will be confronted with 50 of these gruelling laps, which feature 27 turns; eleven right-handers and sixteen left-handers. Turn 13 could be the corner to keep an eye on as it looks by far the most challenging. 

The weather conditions will also be rather tricky as while we’ll have clear skies, drivers’ stamina will be tested with temperatures of between 25 and 32 degrees being forecast for race day. 

Value Bet

Sebastian Vettel Podium Finish Yes @33 /1

There was a massive surprise last week as Fernando Alonso stole the final podium position. He was available to do so at mammoth odds and I’ll be looking to back a similar bet to this one in hope of a big payday for a small outlay.

So, I ‘m going to have a small crack on Sebastian Vettel here. He’s hardly set the world on fire at Aston Martin but he’s an experienced driver who could be handy on a new circuit that is marking its debut on the calendar.

To Win Race Outright

Lewis Hamilton @11/20

I got my fingers burnt last week by having a crack on Max Verstappen and won’t be doing that again this season as Mercedes and Hamilton are reaping the benefits of that late-season engine tweak.

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