Momentum with Hamilton as Vettel Plays Catch-Up in Malaysia

by on Friday, September 29

Lewis Hamilton rocks up in Malaysia this weekend certain to have a spring in his step, after a surprise win a fortnight ago shot the British driver into a 28-point lead in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship.

The Singapore Grand Prix two weeks ago was not expected to play to the strengths of Hamilton’s Mercedes, and the Brit had talked about damage limitation in the race.

However, Hamilton saw title rival Sebastian Vettel get no further than the fifth corner in his Ferrari, after earlier tangling with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen in the run to the first corner.

Hamilton was quick to seize his chance from fifth on the grid, and he romped away for a most unexpected 25 points.

Vettel now has to play serious catch-up, and it’s not ideal for the German that they head to a Kuala Lumpur circuit that Hamilton excels on. The Mercedes driver has taken pole position in each of the past three years, while he also shines in the race. He won the race in 2014 and would have done so again in 2016 but for his engine blowing up with the contest in the bag.

188BET are taking no chances on Hamilton this weekend, as he is priced at 1.90 to win the race and 1.61 to claim another pole position.

Despite being strongly fancied by the bookmakers, Hamilton is not expecting to have things his own way on the Sepang International Circuit.

“He’s a four-time world champion, so it’s difficult to really know how he’s going to react,” Hamilton said of Vettel, per ESPN F1. “Firstly, I don’t know how he’s taken it, the mistake at the last race, and I don’t know how he has reflected on it, but greats generally bounce back so I have to anticipate that this weekend he will bounce back strong.

“I don’t remember the last time he faltered under pressure, so I don’t know how he will react and if he feels pressure. Time will tell.”

There have been twists and turns throughout the season – with Vettel dominant earlier in the year – but the impression is that momentum is firmly with Hamilton right now. If he were to go on and claim victory this weekend, it would be a huge nail in Vettel’s coffin.

But, if the season follows the script that has played out so far in 2017, expect Vettel to bounce back and justify 188BET’s pre-race price of 2.60.