While domestic leagues are slowly starting to return to action around the world, it has taken global sports a little longer to get back into the swing of things. This coming weekend, Formula 1 racing will finally return with the Austrian Grand Prix, which will serve as the first race of the 2020 season. It is going to be tough to know what to expect this weekend, with no fans in the stands cheering on the drivers in what is usually a rather raucous affair. It remains to be seen whether the current setup will take some of the shone off of the F1 experience, but TV viewers will just be happy to have their favorite sport back in action. This race is going to be tougher than usual to predict, but let’s take a look at some of the favorites so you can place your bets against their Formula 1 odds.
Austrian GP – Formula 1 Rolex Grosser Preis von Osterreich
You can’t talk about the favorites for a Formula 1 race without first mentioning 3-time defending champion Lewis Hamilton. He comes into the 2020 season looking to win his 7th title, but he has not had a lot of success racing in the Austrian Grand Prix. His lone win at the Red Bull Ring came back in 2016, so while he may be considered the favorite in the eyes of a lot of race fans, history suggests that he might well not be the first driver to cross the finish line this weekend.
Resume aside, I think that the favorite to win the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend has to be Max Verstappen. He finished third in the driver standings last season, and while that is a fine accomplishment, it pales in comparison to the back to back wins that he has posted in this event. Drivers always have a favorite track they love to race on, and it is more than fair to suggest that the Red Bull Ring might well be that track for the Dutchman.
If there is a little bit of a dark horse to be found heading into race weekend, it may very well be Charles Leclerc. He had a fine season in 2019, finishing 4th in the driver standings, but it is what he did at the Austrian Grand Prix last season that might just give us a sign that he is ready win on the return to racing. Leclerc qualified for pole position in 2019, and while he was unable to hold off Verstappen, he did manage to finish in 2nd. If you are looking for a pick at a very decent price, Leclerc might well be the way to go.
We have already spoken about how Max Verstappen has dominated this race in the last couple of years, but it was Bottas who was the last driver to win it before the Dutchman, which he did back in 2017. Bottas finished as the runner-up to Hamilton in the driver standings last season, so he is certainly more than capable of getting the new season off to a winning start.