Formula 1 Season Preview

The 2018 Formula 1 season is nearly here, and we take a look at what lies ahead this year.

Last season we saw Lewis Hamilton take his fourth world Dirvers’ title, with his team Mercedes securing the Constructors’ crown for a fourth year in succession.

Onto this year and again Hamilton and Mercedes are looking in good work, but before we get into a run through of every team and driver, we look at some of the newer aspects of F1.

There are clearly lots of tweaks around F1 but this off-season we have season a major inversion introduced to the sport, the controversial ‘Halo’ system which is a tripod like system which sits around a driver’s cock-pit to deflects away anything that may cause a head impact.

Aside from the Halo, you will also see more types of tyres available – meaning seven different different sets could be used during the season.

Apart from those, you will not notice many changes other than changes of livery and paintwork on some of the teams.

We have also spoken to Betsafe’s Ian Balchin, F1 odds compiler for the Betsson Group, to get his view on the new season and Betsafe have also priced up every Driver and Team for us.

“So the 2018 season has finally arrived. New teams, new drivers, new line-ups, but will we see anyone new finishing at the top this year?

“Mercedes are strong favourites for the constructor title this year and I cannot see this changing much throughout the upcoming season. 

“So far, we at BETSAFE.COM have received money on the usual driver suspects with one exception, Max Verstappen.

“The media gurus and pundits have backed Max to be the surprise of 2018, but our customers have so far overlooked him as a potential drivers champions winner for 2018. Instead our customers have been backing the favourite – Lewis Hamilton – Currently at 5/7.

“My thoughts are Max has shown to have excellent pace, race tactics, amazing overtaking and stunning wet weather ability. He just needs a reliable car to display his talents.

“BETSAFE.COM are offering him at odds of 8./1 to win the 2018 Drivers championship.”

2018 Teams and Drivers


Last season: 522 points – 2nd overall
Title odds: 5/1

Sebastian Vettel – German, 30 – 37 GP wins

“I think Mercedes is the favourite going into this year, so if we can be close – very close – closer than last year then that would be great. But it’s a long year. Now it’s March and we keep going to the end of November. So it’s a long time from here to the end of the season.”
Last season: 317 points – 2nd overall
Title odds: 19/4

Kimi Raikkonen – Finnish, 38 – 20 GP wins
“I want to be fighting at the front every weekend and be able to fight for the Championship.”
Last season: 205 points – 4th overall
Title odds: 40/1

FORCE INDIA – Mercedes

Last season: 187 points – 4th overall
Title odds: 250/1

Sergio Perez – Mexican, 28
“I feel in good shape and ready for the season to start. I want this to be my best year in Formula One and I want to be back on the podium. During testing we saw that all the midfield teams are quite close together in terms of performance. I also think the gap to the front of the grid is smaller. Let’s see what happens.”

Last season: 100 points – 7th overall
Title odds: 300/1

Esetban Ocon – French, 21
“I think it is one of the most important year of my careers. My physical strengths and the weakness I felt I had. All that is fixed now. I feel more than ready to start the year.”

Last season: 87 points – 8th overall
Title odds: 300/1

HAAS – Ferrari

Last season: 47 points – 8th overall
Title odds: 1000/1

Romain Grosjean – French, 31
“I think for 2018, we’ve prepared very well, and early on. I’m hoping we’ve done a great job. Obviously, we’re going to see from the first races where we are, then try and keep up the development. I think this year’s a bit more straightforward. I think it’s the best car we’ve ever had so far for Haas F1 Team.”

Last season: 28 points – 13th overall
Title odds: 1500/1

Kevin Magnussen, Danish, 25
“My expectations are that we will improve. We need to not only improve on ourselves, but improve further to our competition as well. It’ll be exciting to see if we’ve done that [at the end of the year]. I have a positive feeling.”

Last season: 19 points – 14th overall
Title odds: 1500/1

MCLAREN – Renault

Last season: 30 points – 9th overall
Title odds: 33/1

Stoffel Vandoorne – Belgian, 25
“Now that I’ve got my first full season under my belt, I’m heading to Australia feeling confident, relaxed and refreshed, and I can’t wait to go racing again. I’ve been working hard all winter on my training and spending a lot of time with the engineers back at the factory to prepare for this year.”

Last season: 13 points – 16th overall
Title odds: 150/1

Fernando Alonso – Spanish, 36 – 32 GP wins
“I’m really excited about getting behind the wheel of the MCL33 for the first Grand Prix of the year. Our car showed a lot of potential in winter testing and, although we know we still have a lot to work on, we’ve already learned a lot about the package and how all the new elements to this year’s car work together.”

Last season: 17points – 15th overall
Title odds: 28/1


Last season: 668 points – 1st overall
Title odds: 2/5

Lewis Hamilton – British, 33 – 62 GP wins
“I’m just trying to make sure that I am in the best position to understand the car and my tools because as soon as I get out on track, the steps you take in terms of moving the car forwards and improving the envelope you are working with it is crucial that every step is the right step.”

Last season: 363 points – 1st overall
Title odds: 5/7

Valtteri Bottas – Finnish, 28 – 3 GP wins
“I just need to go for it. I have very high targets for myself this year and if I can get to those targets or even near I hope the future will be OK. Everyone always wants to be in the best car, that’s natural. At the moment I’m in the best seat possible, I’m very proud of it and I need to make the most of it.”

Last season: 305 points – 3rd overall
Title odds: 11/1

RED BULL – Aston Martin (Renault)

Last season: 368 points – 3rd overall
Title odds: 5/1

Daniel Ricciardo – Australian, 28 – 5 GP wins
“We are coming to Melbourne a lot more prepared than we have been in previous years. We have to use that to our advantage. If both cars can get strong points finishes this weekend, and by that I mean the podium, I think that will send out a strong statement to Mercedes and Ferrari.”

Last season: 200 points – 5th overall
Title odds: 14/1

Max Verstappen – Dutch, 20 – 3 GP wins
“I always think if I have the right car, the fastest car, then I can become world champion. But you need to have that car and so far I haven’t had the fastest package.”

Last season: 168 points – 6th overall
Title odds: 8/1


Last season: 57 points – 6th overall
Title odds: 250/1

Carlos Sainz Jnr – Spanish, 23
“It is always difficult but I think the team has progressed during the winter. I don’t know how much, but I am convinced the team has done great steps to move forward this year. We now depend on the others and to know how they have done, but we’re convinced we’ve made a step forward.”

Last season: 54 points – 9th overall
Title odds: 150/1

Nico Hulkenberg – German, 30
“I feel positive, we’ve collected a lot of miles and data over winter testing which isn’t always the case, so that’s really beneficial to the team. We won’t know anything, or where we’re at exactly, until Saturday’s qualifying. I’m ready for that challenge and excited to get down to it and give it my all.”

Last season: 43 points – 10th overall
Title odds: 150/1

SAUBER – Alfa Romeo (Ferrari)

Last season: 5 points – 10th overall
Title odds: 1000/1

Marcus Ericsson – Swedish, 27
“We have really made some big changes, which I think is good, because last year we had the car we had, and it felt like we didn’t have much scope to improve on that concept. “We really needed to change that and improve, and that’s something I’ve felt, that it’s really a new car and that’s positive. It will take some time to understand it, but it’s got a lot of potential.”

Last season: 0 points – 20th overall
Title odds: 2000/1

Charles Leclerc – Monegasque, 20
“Let’s hope we can catch up a little bit with the midfield during the season and then obviously I’ll have to improve as a driver, try to work on myself and try to get used to these cars as quickly as possible.”

Last season: Did not compete
Title odds: 2000/1


Last season: 53 points – 7th overall
Title odds: 1000/1

Brendon Hartley – New Zealander, 28
“I think the aim and goal is to score my first point in Formula One, which will be a result.”

Last season: 0 points – 23rd overall
Title odds: 2000/1

Pierre Gasly – French, 22
“We still need to improve a lot. There are still a few things we need to improve, I guess like every team. But so far, it’s been great working with them. They are pushing really hard. That is always nice.”

Last season: 0 points – 21st overall
Title odds: 2000/1

WILLIAMS – Mercedes

Last season: 83 points – 5th overall
Title odds: 250/1

Lance Stroll – Canadian, 19
“If the car is capable of competing for points every weekend, then definitely anything can happen. If the car is only capable of finishing eighth, then I want to get the most out of the car. A podium is always possible [later in the season] if you’re in the right place at the right time. It really just comes down to where we’re going to be in the field, and we’ll go from there.”

Last season: 40 points – 12th overall
Title odds: 2000/1

Sergey Sirotkin – Russian, 22
“I have always been a racing guy and I’ve always liked the competition, pushing the limits of myself as well as the limits of others. To win in this environment is the biggest dream you can imagine, so I’m really looking forward to this challenge, to put more pressure on myself and to deliver. It’s going to be interesting!”

Last season: Did not compete
Title odds: 2000/1




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