Lewis Hamilton is running hot.
The British ex-champion, who races for the Mercedes team, proved to be the fastest driver in Friday’s practice for the Korean Grand Prix, which takes place on Sunday.
Hamilton clocked his lap at 1:38.673, which put him slightly ahead of Formula One championship points leader Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull. And Vettel recognizes him as an immediate threat.
Here are the current odds for the top contenders in Formula One betting as they are posted at Bovada:
Sebastian Vettel -163
Lewis Hamilton +350
Fernando Alonso +700
Nico Rosberg +1200
Kimi Raikkonen +1400
Romain Grosjean +4000
Mark Webber +4000
Jenson Button +6600
Felipe Massa +8000
Sergio Perez +15000
Nico Rosburg, the other Mercedes driver, was third in practice, with Mark Webber of Red Bull fourth. Things didn’t go as well for Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, who crashed during the first practice session, plowing into the wall, but then recovered to land eighth after the second practice go-around.
Vettel goes into this race as the F1 betting favorite, as he does with most races. And he is going to, in all likelihood, wrap up the world championship early, as he did last year. He has won two Korean Grands Prix in a row.
Fernando Alonso of Ferrari (+700 to win in Korea at Bovada) is sixty points back, and has very little room for error. Vettel could literally clinch the title in the next two races.
Here are the top ten in the F1 standings as we approach the Korean Grand Prix:
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 247
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 187
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 151
4 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 149
5 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 130
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 116
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 87
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 57
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 54
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 36
Hamilton sits in third place, 36 points behind Alonso, and he is thinking of other worlds to conquer. And he’s not just blowing smoke. Hamilton says that when he is through driving around racetracks, he will do what many others have failed to do, which is to scale Mount Everest.
It’s not as if he has never done the mountain-climbing thing before. Just last week he climbed the 4,095-meter Mount Kinablu in Borneo, which is the 20th-highest mountain in the world, and he’s set his sights on others, which include Kilimanjaro, Mount Fuji and Mount Blanc. He’ll also find a peak or two in the United States before focusing on the big prize, Everest.
And there is growing concern that Vettel (the F1 betting favorite in Korea at -163) has been putting his foot in his mouth. The champion ruffled many feathers when he said, at the conclusion of his F1 victory in Singapore, “Whilst there’s a lot of people hanging their balls in the pool on Fridays, we’re still working very hard and pushing very hard so that we have a strong race.” Of course he’s referring to his Red Bull team, as opposed to others.
Well, you can imagine that a lot of his fellow competitors, especially those who really ARE hanging their “balls” in the pool on Fridays, were properly pissed. Nico Rosberg, who teams with Hamilton at Mercedes, suggested that that’s the kind of thing that only makes Vettel look bad and make him more unpopular. “Sebastian brings the boos on himself,” he said.
Jenson Button (+6600), Hamilton’s ex-teammate at McLaren and a former world champion, insisted that “Every team is working as hard as Red Bull.” We get that; it’s just that they don’t have as big a pocketbook.
And one of the other hot issues, admittedly a more serious one, that is going around involves driver weight, which is something that is not discussed as much as perhaps it should be. Formula One drivers, like jockeys in horse racing, have a tendency to starve themselves because they have to comply to certain weight limits. Too much of this could potentially make things dangerous for a driver in such a stressful situation.
The minimum weight limit for cars has indeed been increased for the 2014 season, from 642 kg (1415.368 lbs.) to 690 kg (1521.19 lbs.), but it is suggested that due to the introduction of new turbo-charged engines, cars will have to carry heavier equipment, so not only might that make no difference to driver weights, it could actually give them less room to breathe, so to speak.
In effect, this could wind up keeping people like Nico Hulkenberg (+2000 to be the first driver to “retire” this week) from driving next year. Hulkenberg weighs 163 pounds, and he has been told by Sauber that his ride could be in jeopardy. Button, who says that the weight policy “needs to change now,” adds that he fasts before each race and never eats carbohydrates. the lightest driver in F1 would appear to be Vettel, at 140 pounds, while the “heavyweight” is Mark Webber, at 165.
Get the most extensive F1 betting options available online at www.Bovada.lv