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Remind me next time

The dust has barely had time to settle on the highly controversial end to the 2021 Formula 1 campaign, but time waits for no man with the new season due to get underway on March 20th in Bahrain. 

The opening race of the 2022 campaign marks the beginning of a new era in F1 following one of the biggest overhauls to the rules and technical specifications the sport has ever witnessed. The powers that be hope the changes will lead to more dramatic and unpredictable racing, and even if it does, it's going to be tough to top last season's drama.

Formula 1 Winner Odds 

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen's title feud was must-watch TV last year and concluded with Verstappen clinching his first world title on the final lap of the final race of the season. Having seen what would have been a record-breaking eighth world title slip through his grasp, Hamilton should be highly motivated for the new campaign and leads the betting for the Drivers Championship at 13/8

Despite the overhaul of the rules, bookmakers aren't expecting a change to the established order at the front of the grid with Verstappen a 11/4 chance to defend his title, while Hamilton's new Mercedes team mate George Russell is a 11/2 shot.

Charles Leclerc is a 15/2 chance to lead a Ferrari revival after a difficult few years and completes the list of contenders in single figures with his team mate Carlos Sainz and McLaren's Lando Norris next in the betting at 14/1.

Formula 1 Constructors Winner Odds

Mercedes are odds-on to win the Constructors title for a ninth successive year and certainly look to have a strong pairing on paper after replacing Valtteri Bottas with Russell. The Silver Arrows have impressed in pre-season testing too but so did the Red Bulls, who are 7/2 for the team prize.

However, it's unwise to read too much into testing results and even though they weren't as high on the timesheets, Ferrari and McLaren both received plenty of praise. Ferrari have a competitive line up too and are 4/1 to win a first Constructors' prize since 2008, with McLaren 14/1 shots.

Drivers to Watch

All eyes will be on Hamilton and Verstappen for the next instalment in their rivalry but there will also be a great deal of interest in Russell's performance now he's stepped up to Mercedes. The 24-year-old has caught the eye over the last two years, despite driving a Williams, and it will be fascinating to see how he performs he's behind the wheel of a competitive car.

With a lot of the line ups the same from a year ago, there may be some added attention on Alfa Romeo as the only team to have changed both their drivers. Bottas joins after leaving Mercedes, partnering with Zhou Guanya, who is the only rookie on the grid and the first full-time Chinese driver in F1 history.

Formula 1 Prediction

George Russell to win the Drivers Championship - BET NOW

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With such a major overhaul of the rules and pre-season testing not always a true indicator of how a team will perform, punters enter the new Formula 1 season with little to go on. As a result, it might be worth taking a chance on the supremely talented Russell making a big impact as part of a team that can be trusted to get it right when it comes to developing a competitive car. 

How Hamilton and Verstappen react to last season's drama and the change in dynamics with the Dutchman now the one with a target on his back will be interesting to watch. Those two are carrying a lot of baggage, while Russell comes in with minimal pressure on him. If the Brit lives up to his potential, he could muscle his way into the title picture.

Carlos Sainz Jr to win the Drivers Championship - BET NOW

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Ferrari earned a lot of praise for their showing in Barcelona with Red Bull suggesting they now have the best power unit on the grid. Whether that's entirely accurate or not, the Scuderia look to have improved on finishing a distant third to Red Bull and Mercedes last year, putting Carlos Sainz Jr in a strong position to challenge. 

Sainz was ultra-consistent in his first year with the Italians, posting 15 consecutive points finishes to end the 2021 season. That was good enough to see him secure fifth in the standings and there's a chance he can further improve this season.

F1 2022 Outright Betting Tips

1. George Russell to win the Drivers Championship - BET NOW
2. Carlos Sainz Jr to win the Drivers Championship - BET NOW

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