McLaren driver Lando Norris
McLaren driver Lando Norris, of Britain, drives into the pits during a practice session for the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix auto race at the Circuit of the Americas, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

F1 RACING: BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX BEST BETS/PROPS

Patrick Werkmeister

From the Interlagos circuit in Brazil, the battle between Mercedes and Red Bull heats up with only 4 races remaining. After Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton DQ during qualifying for a DRS issue, Lewis was able to go from last place on the grid to P5 during the sprint race. Although he’ll also be serving a five-place penalty for the use of additional power units, he has proven he is the fastest driver in the fastest car and the momentum for him seems to be building. With that in mind, here are the best props and bets I love for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen to Win (-150)
With Max able to pull off a terrific performance during Saturday’s sprint race and qualifying for second on Sunday’s grid, he stands to once again bring home a victory. Although he was outpaced by almost a full half-second by Lewis Hamilton during qualifying, Red Bull looked exceptionally fast during practice sessions and the sprint race. Despite not getting pole, Max seemed focused as he has been near the top all weekend, but Red Bull will need to be better prepared for Sunday. On Saturday to open the sprint race, Valtteri Bottas, who was second on the sprint grid, passed Max, who was in first, in the opening three seconds. While Mercedes has pole position for Sunday, this circuit is very tight and has plenty of spots that are prime for overtaking. With Red Bull still slightly Behind Mercedes in the constructors’ standings, they will be aggressive and seize every opportunity they get. Take Max to stay focused in this one and secure his second victory at Interlagos.

Sergio Perez Podium Finish (+145)
After putting up some fast results during both qualifying and sprint race sessions, Sergio’s quickness was on full display Friday and Saturday in Brazil. While it was a very impressive start for Checo, he only qualified for 4th on the grid for Sunday’s race. However, overall Red Bull and their drivers looked tough to beat to start the weekend. Last time out in Mexico, he and his Red Bull teammate both stood on the podium where Max took home 1st place points for the drivers’ championship. Now that it’s the home stretch, these two are really putting together some fine performances. Although Sergio is behind both his dominant teammate Max and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas; his grid placement should not be a huge factor in the outcome. At odds of +145, this prop has tremendous value. Due to the fact he has been so consistent and has shown he can dominate; I would put Sergio as a high favorite to be in the top 3. Take Perez to get a podium where Red Bull should prevail. 

Lando Norris Top 6 Finish (-150)
While team McLaren didn’t have the most ideal results in Saturday’s sprint race, Lando Norris was able to capture 5th on the grid and somewhat offset Daniel Ricciardo’s mediocre 11th starting position. The McLaren driver will once again be ahead of his teammate and seems to be back to his normal driving habits after a tumultuous couple of weeks. Although he will already be at the top six to start this Grand Prix, Norris will have to at least overcome the Ferrari and Red Bull that surround him. However, this weekend he has shown he can pretty much keep up with any driver on the track. His run in Q3 was a measly one-tenth of a second off pace with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz during qualifying, who will start third on the grid. McLaren is in direct competition with Ferrari where they are now 14.5 points behind the horses at the moment going into Sunday. Lando will be leading an all-out push for McLaren as they hope to keep their podium dreams alive for the constructors’ championship. With 149 points and five podiums on the season, I certainly like his chances at earning a spot in the top 6. Expect Norris to stay efficient throughout the race and not make mistakes while placing in the top 6.  

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