Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at the Intercity Istanbul Park circuit in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

F1 Racing Turkish Grand Prix Best Bets, Oct. 10

Patrick Werkmeister

After Lewis Hamilton won his 100th career grand prix last race in Sochi, he is now gaining momentum at the right time in the season to secure 1st in the drivers’ championship. Just 2 points separate him and Max Verstappen in the standings, so each driver will be laying it entirely on the line. However, with Mercedes engine upgrade of Lewis Hamilton’s car this weekend, he will be set back 10 spots on the grid. Although he looked impressive during his pole position performance in qualifying, he will have a lot of ground to make up starting from the middle of the pack. For this interesting starting grid that should allow for a thrilling race, here are the best plays for Sunday.

Max Verstappen to Win (+120)
With Max having the 3rd best time during qualifying, he will be in the front row for this contest. However, his inside starting position on the track will put him at a grip disadvantage to overtake the 1st spot. Although both Red Bulls were off pace of the Mercedes, Max showed vast signs of improvement with the car in FP3 and qualifying sessions. Despite the challenges ahead, without Hamilton starting at the top, Max will at least have some breathing room in the beginning to take 1st place before Lewis eventually catches up. Last year, Lewis started 6th at this circuit and secured a victory, but with slightly less quickness this year, it will be much more difficult to make a run at 1st from 11th. At odds of +120, given his history of winning when starting in 2nd, this bet has tremendous value. Take Max to bounce back from his two-race absence at the top of the podium and win at Istanbul.

Charles Leclerc Podium Finish (+130)
After showing off their new engine at Sochi last race, Ferrari and driver Charles Leclerc are set up quite nicely for this one. Last time out in Russia, he served a grid penalty that put him at the back of the crowd and couldn’t get much going, but he has illustrated that will change in this race. During Q3, he was able to qualify for the 4th fastest time of the session, which means he’ll start third on Sunday. This is a fairly impressive feat for Ferrari, as they now have a rocket shop for their quick man behind the wheel. With his teammate Carlos Sainz serving a grid penalty for the induction of his new engine, the race will be that much less stressful for Leclerc. His 3rd position on the grid gives him a favorable chance to ascend in the rankings early with the advantage he possesses on the outside of the track. Take Ferrari and Charles Leclerc to take their rightful place back on the podium with this valuable prop.

Lewis Hamilton Fastest Lap (+175)
Although Lewis Hamilton will be starting way back in 11th place, he will be going all out to make up the lost ground in his new spaceship. Not only will Lewis be pushing to get to the top, but he will be able to do so quicker and more efficiently with his new engine. In his dazzling display during qualifying, Hamilton and his car were quicker than everyone else in all three sectors of the track. Additionally, he had the fastest qualifying laps in all three sessions on the day by a wide margin. Out of 13 grand prix this season, Lewis has respectively had the fastest lap in 4 total races. At +175, this prop has exceptional value given the unusual circumstance he’s in. With his lightning-fast car, he should be able to fly by the competition. If you’re seeking juicy value, place a wager on this prop to hit.

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