Five races into the longest Formula One season in the history of the sports, the auto racing betting favorites to win the 2016 Formula 1 Drivers Championship are beginning to sort themselves out.
Niko Rosberg (-150). The German driver for the Mercedes team currently leads the season with 100 points. He won the first four races (Australian Grand Prix, Bahrain Grand Prix, Chinese Grand Prix, and Russian Grand Prix). The Australian Grand Prix gave Rosberg the lead of the World Championship for the first time since 2014. He followed with pole position at the 2016 Russian Grand Prix and led the race from beginning to end to earn his first ever Grand Slam, as well as become the first driver since Michael Schumacher in 2004 to win the first four races of the season.
Lewis Hamilton (+150). The current – and three-time – Formula One World Champion is third in the standings with 57 points, but has made a poor impression on auto racing betting fans on and off the race course. The British driver was spotted riding a motorcycle in New Zealand on the public road whilst using a mobile phone (which is illegal) shortly before the season opener – for which he qualified on pole but made a poor start before recovering to finish second. Arguably, he may have cost teammate Rosberg his fifth consecutive win when the two collided on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, ending the race for both drivers.
Sebastian Vettel (+2200). The German ranks 4th in the 2016 driver standings with 48 points. The youngest driver ever to win the World Drivers' Championship has had a spotty start of the season. Though he finished third in the Australian Grand Prix, his participation in the Bahrain Grand Prix ended before it even started when his car broke down on formation lap. Additionally, he collided with his teammate Kimi Räikkönen on the first lap of the Chinese Grand Prix, although both could continue and the German finished second. Finally, Vettel retired on the first lap of the Russian Grand Prix following two consecutive collisions with Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat – whom Vettel had previously referred to as a “madman” and “suicidal” after blaming him for the aforementioned collision with Räikkönen.
Daniel Ricciardo (+2500). The Australian is fifth in the standings with 48 points. In his five races for Red Bull this year, Ricciardo has 0 wins, 0 poles, and 0 podiums but nonetheless remains an online betting favorite.
Kimi Räikkönen (+6000). What would a list of auto racing betting favorites be without the Ice Man? The second place in the standings with 61 points, the Finn had to retire from the Australian Grand Prix, but finished second at Bahrain and Spain, and third at Russia.