Max Verstappen has once again broke new ground in Formula 1 as he became the bookies’ favourite to win the World Drivers’ Championship for the first time ever.
Nobody has been favourite for the top prize other than Sir Lewis Hamilton since 2018, when Sebastian Vettel – then at Ferrari – was favourite after winning the first two races of the campaign.
The four-time World Champion would go on to win just three more races that season, finishing 88 points behind Hamilton who claimed his fifth Drivers’ crown.
Verstappen’s Styrian Grand Prix win at the weekend ensured it was four wins in succession for the Red Bull team, with the Dutchman himself claiming three of those victories.
It meant that for the first time in the turbo hybrid era, which began in 2014, the all-conquering Mercedes team has gone four races without a win.
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Has the pendulum really now swung in the favour of Verstappen and Red Bull? Quite possibly, as not only are they clear favourites to win the Drivers’ title but also the Constructors’ Championship, too.
After his fourth win of the season, Verstappen is now 4/9 to win the big prize – implying a probability just shy of 70% – and Hamilton has now drifted to 6/4 to win what would be a record-breaking eighth Drivers’ title.
Red Bull, looking to win their first Constructors’ crown since 2013, are now just 2/5 to end their drought with Mercedes out to 7/4.
We spoke exclusively with Betfair to garner their reaction to the news that they now make Verstappen favourite.
Betfair spokesperson, Sam Rosbottom, told PlanetF1: “This has been one of the most exciting starts to the Formula 1 season for some time and Max Verstappen has gone into pole position as the 4/9 favourite to win the Drivers’ Championship following his second and Red Bull’s fourth consecutive win.
“It is the first time that Lewis Hamilton hasn’t been favourite to win the championship since the start of the 2018 season when Sebastian Vettel won the opening two races for Ferrari.
“Hamilton is now 6/4 to defend his title and win it a record eighth time, which would make him the most successful driver ever.”
Verstappen heads into round nine of the 2021 World Championship with an 18-point lead over nearest title rival Hamilton, while Red Bull are 40 points ahead of Mercedes in the Constructors’ battle.
Think Verstappen can make it back-to-back wins at the Red Bull Ring? Head to Planet Sport Bet for all the latest prices on the Austrian Grand Prix.