Top 10 Possible Race Winners of the US Grand Prix According to Their Odds
The inaugural race in Austin for last year's United States Grand Prix threw up a corker, and Formula One would love a repeat in the sequel.
Sebastian Vettel's iron-fisted grasp of F1 at the moment might be sensational and record-equaling, but a bit of a variety wouldn't hurt anyone.
Lewis Hamilton beat the German in a straight fight last year but that was in a McLaren. Can he do the same in a Mercedes? That's less certain.
Mark Webber could make a pretty good case for being the most likely to deny Vettel a record eighth win in a row (in one season), while the withdrawal of Kimi Raikkonen also places added emphasis on Romain Grosjean this weekend.
There's enough intrigue to keep it interesting for now, and while they are subject to change, here are the 10 likeliest winners of the US Grand Prix according to their odds*.
*Odds correct at the time of checking, thanks to easyodds.com
10. Sergio Perez
The Mexican had a disappointing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and it looks as though he’s heading out the McLaren exit door at the end of the season.
That, combined with the MP4-28’s general lack of performance, means nobody is expecting Perez to turn heads this weekend.
Of the top 10 likeliest to win, he’s the one you want if you’re feeling really, really lucky.
In fact, he's in by default after Kimi Raikkonen's absence was confirmed. No doubt he might just slip out again once his replacement is confirmed.
But a price of 500/1 is all the proof you need to not touch the Mexican even with a metaphorical bargepole.
9. Jenson Button
A series of first-lap incidents have massively restricted the Briton’s race performances in recent Grands Prix, and he’ll want to avoid that this weekend to snare a good result.
That said, any good result is almost certainly not going to be in the form of a victory.
Even a podium remains unlikely for the 2009 world champion at the moment.
You can put money on at as high a price as 300/1 if you want, but frankly you’d be better off taking your money to the local sweet shop.
8. Nico Hulkenberg
Such is the brilliance of Nico Hulkenberg, he now sits proudly above both McLarens in this coveted list of potential winners.
That is extremely good going for a man driving a Sauber and out of the points in the last two races.
But the German is genuinely brilliant and enjoying a superb season, so it’s not surprising that a man who has shown top six-finish pace in almost every race since the summer break tipped as a likelier victor.
He’s actually as low as 40/1 in some markets, but 250/1 is his best price if you reckon this will be his breakthrough weekend.
7. Felipe Massa
Despite continuing to impress in qualifying, outgoing Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is not netting the results his recent upturn in form has deserved.
With his 2014 berth at Williams now confirmed, the Brazilian can just enjoy his final two races in the Scuderia’s legendary red.
Will that mean a farewell victory? It’s highly unlikely. Not that Massa isn’t capable (he’s still very good) but because the car isn’t up to scratch.
That said, it’s probably harsh to put him as high as 200/1 (10 times the price of teammate Fernando Alonso). So maybe it would be worth a punt for a podium finish.
6. Fernando Alonso
Last year, the Spaniard arrived at Austin 13 points off the championship lead and locked in a titanic title fight.
He arrives in Texas this year still second in the standings, but a massive 130 points back.
Alonso’s not been on the podium in the last four races and it’s difficult to see the Ferrari transforming miraculously into a car capable of challenging for the win.
25/1 is probably generous and a testimony to his tenacity, but it’s a wonder he’s that low.
5. Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg has been very impressive of late, so it’s strange to still see him at a higher price than teammate Lewis Hamilton for the win
Especially when there’s a genuine case to be made for the German carrying his team in the fight for second in the manufacturers’ championship.
Still, there are question marks over the ability of the Mercedes to be a car capable of fighting with the Red Bulls over a race distance.
Factor in the continued form of the next driver in this list and Rosberg’s 22/1 is probably about right.
4. Romain Grosjean
From crash magnet to team leader in 12 months: It’s been a good second half of the year for Romain Grosjean.
While he now holds that position in a de facto sense after Kimi Raikkonen’s withdrawal from the final two races, there is no doubting the progress Grosjean has made.
Fourth place in Abu Dhabi was actually a bit disappointing for the Frenchman having finished on the podium three races in a row, but that shows he is now a regular frontrunner.
It would be a surprise not to see him on the podium, but can he challenge for a breakthrough win? That’s probably out of his Lotus’ reach on recent Red Bull form.
3. Lewis Hamilton
It’s pretty fortunate that Lewis Hamilton remains this high in the list to be honest.
Despite claiming five pole positions in his debut season with Mercedes, Hamilton’s race pace has often been found wanting and he’s not been on the podium since Spa.
What change of a repeat of that epic 2012 win?
In the last few races he’s been comprehensively outperformed by teammate Rosberg, and his Mercedes looks no likelier to challenge Red Bull on race pace than it has anywhere else.
That may change after first practice, but for now, Hamilton’s 18/1 for victory for a reason.
2. Mark Webber
Poor Mark Webber.
He’s looked racier than at any other point this season in the campaign’s climax and is desperate to bow out of F1 with a win.
Trouble is, he’s doing so at a time when his teammate is just dominant.
Webber’s been on pole twice in the last three races, but has failed to turn that into victory. His poor starts and uninspiring race pace condems him to a 5/1 price.
However, that’s pretty good value for a man in the best car in the field.
1. Sebastian Vettel
Is there any surprise that Sebastian Vettel is the overwhelming favourite to win at Austin, given he’s carded a record-equalling seven victories on the bounce?
And 1/3 is a marker of just how imperious the Red Bull man has been of late.
COTA is actually one of the few tracks on the calendar that the world champion has yet to win on, though.
We’re clutching at straws there, though, because there’s only been one race.