Stevens, Merhi making first Russian Grand Prix starts for Manor


Manor’s inaugural visit to Sochi for the 2014 Russian Grand Prix, then known as Marussia, was a challenging one.

The team had only one entry in the race, Max Chilton. Meanwhile the team’s second car was withdrawn as a tribute to Jules Bianchi, who was suffering from eventually fatal injuries he received in the previous race in Japan. Alexander Rossi had been named as a replacement before the car was withdrawn.

Chilton wound up being the first car out of the race, finishing 21st after dropping out after nine laps for suspension issues.

It was also the team’s final start prior going into administration in the offseason, before it was saved prior to the start of this year and renamed as Manor.

The team returns to Sochi this weekend ready to field two cars, each driven by new drivers, Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens, the latter having served as a reserve driver in 2014.

“The debut race in Sochi last year was something of a voyage into the unknown for all of the teams,” said team principal John Booth.

“For us, it was an even greater challenge, given our difficult circumstances. For me personally, this will be my first visit, so, in many ways, we approach the race afresh this weekend.”

Sochi represents the first of Merhi’s last two races with Marussia this year. The Spaniard has competed in 12 of the first 14 races, and has a best finish of 12th.

“I can’t wait to be back in the car in Sochi this weekend. It’s the first time I have raced here, but last year I took part in the FP1 session, so I have some understanding of the circuit characteristics and this will be helpful for me after a couple of races out of the car,” Merhi said in a release.

“I’ve continued to work very closely with the team during track sessions and engineering meetings, so I have a very good appreciation of the work we have completed and I’m eager to get stuck into the program and to make the most of my two races, in Sochi and Abu Dhabi.”

Stevens, who finished 19th in Japan, is still looking for his first finish higher than 13th. He has finished 15th twice in the last three events.

“I was here last year in my role as reserve driver, so I walked the track and observed the task of getting to grips with it from afar,” Stevens said in a release. “It’s quite useful having two different drivers as a benchmark this past few races, and of course it is Roberto back in the other seat for this race, rather than Alex (Rossi).’

The Russian Grand Prix begins Sunday at 7 am ET on NBCSN.

Max Verstappen is PointsBet favorite to score sixth staight in 2022 Singapore Grand Prix

PointsBet 2022 Singapore odds
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Max Verstappen is the PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Street course to stretch his current win streak to six consecutive. He shows odds of -200 this week.

Formula 1 did not compete in Singapore in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Verstappen has podium finishes in his last two attempts on this track. he was second in 2018 and third in 2019. In the first 15 races of this season, he has failed to stand on the podium only twice and has an average finish of 2.73.

With minus odds, the way to determine a payout is by subtraction. In order for a bettor to earn $100, he must wager $200 this week; with that wager, he will get back his initial stake and winnings of $100.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Charles Leclerc is ranked second this week with +400 odds. He has two previous Singapore GP starts to his credit with a best of second in 2019. He is coming off back-to-back podium finishes with a third in the Dutch GP and a second at Monza.

Ranked third is Carlos Sainz, Jr. with a line of +1100. He has top-five finishes in four of his last five starts, but only one of these, a third in the Belgian GP, was on the podium. Sainz is one of four winners other than Verstappen this season. His victory came in the British GP.

Lewis Hamilton shows a line of +1200. His last win came last fall in the Saudi Arabian GP and the Mercedes team has struggled to contend for victory in 2022. They are improving, however, with eight top-fives in the last nine races. Hamilton has two wins in his last three Singapore starts, which came in 2017 and 2018.

Rounding out the top five is Hamilton’s teammate George Russell at +1800. He has not won, but has shown remarkable consistency with top-fives in all but one race. Notably, his only bad finish came in his home GP in England. Russell has one previous start at Marina Bay; he finished last in the 2019 race. He finished fourth in 2019 as part of a four-race streak of top-fives.

The most recent Singapore GP winner from 2019, Sebastian Vettel is a longshot at +50000.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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