Another thrilling year of Formula 1 action kicks off in Bahrain this weekend. The season-opening race will see all teams and drivers begin the campaign on zero points, as the chasing pack bid to close the gap on Max Verstappen and the dominance achieved by Red Bull in 2023. But, could it be more of the same in 2024, or will a new threat for the reigning champions emerge in Bahrain?

Bahrain Grand Prix Odds

Unsurprisingly, Max Verstappen kicks off the new season as the 1/3 favorite to open with a win. Charles Leclerc is second choice in the betting at 9/1, ahead of Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez at 12/1.

Lewis Hamilton will be hoping for a successful final season with Mercedes, and he is 16/1 to open the campaign with a win in Bahrain. George Russell is next in the BetXchange betting at 20/1, with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris both priced up at 22/1.

Bahrain Grand Prix Overview

The Bahrain Grand Prix kicks off the longest season in F1 history, with drivers completing 57 laps of the 5.412 km track distance boasted by the Bahrain Internal Circuit. This race has been staged annually since 2004, and it has been the opening race since the COVID pandemic in 2021.

Max Verstappen converted pole position into a race win last year, finishing over eleven seconds clear of Sergio Perez, with Fernando Alonso taking a first podium for Aston Martin. Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver in the history of the race with five victories. Meanwhile, Ferrari is the most dominant team with seven wins.

Verstappen The Man To Beat

Max Verstappen enjoyed one of the most dominant seasons in F1 history in 2023, as he cruised to a third straight title after winning 19 of the 22 races. The Dutchman also finished on the podium on a record 21 occasions. Red Bull was the dominant force throughout the season, with the team winning all but one of the races.

A similar pattern is widely expected this season, but questions have been raised beyond their decision to change the concept of the car after enjoying unprecedented success on track.

Hamilton’s Mercedes Swansong

Lewis Hamilton’s long stay at Mercedes will come to a close at the end of the 2024 season, as the Brit announced that he would be making the staggering switch to Ferrari for 2025.

The seven-time world champion has admitted that achieving an eighth title at his long-time home would be the perfect parting gift, and there is confidence within the team that they could be competitive with Red Bull following the decision to alter their concept. Hamilton and George Russell could both be big players in the season opener.

Ferrari & McLaren Boast Pace

McLaren and Ferrari are likely to form the remaining teams at the top of the championship this term, with the latter being the only other team aside from Red Bull to achieve a win in 2023. It will be a final season with the team for Carlos Sainz, and there was undeniably pace in the Ferrari throughout pre-season practice in Bahrain.

McLaren kept their cards very close to their chest throughout pre-season, but they certainly unlocked potential in the car at the end of last season, with Lando Norris finishing on the podium in five of the last seven races.

Bahrain Grand Prix Prediction

We will know a lot more about the state of play in F1 following this weekend’s opening race, but the feeling is that Verstappen and Red Bull remain the team to beat. We expected Mercedes to enjoy an excellent opening weekend, and Hamilton could finish second on the podium, with next season’s teammate Charles Leclerc taking third.

Pick: Max Verstappen at 1/3 with BetXchange.

Pick: Vertsappen/Hamilton/Leclerc


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