Alonso, Button upbeat after reaching Q2 in Australia

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McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button both felt upbeat after reaching the second stage of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

McLaren enters the new season looking to bounce back from a disastrous 2015 campaign that saw it score just 27 points across the course of the year.

Many of the British team’s stemmed from issues with the Honda power unit, but problems such as deployment and the level of power output appear to have been remedied ahead of the new season.

Alonso and Button qualified 12th and 13th for Sunday’s season-opener in Melbourne, and both were pleased with the performance of the MP4-31 car in the dry conditions.

“The car was fantastic today. I felt very comfortable and very happy with the performance of the car all weekend,” Alonso said.

“We didn’t expect to be too fast here because our car is still limited in performance in certain areas, but we were more competitive than we anticipated, have some new things coming for in the next few races, and we’re looking to be stronger in the future.”

Button was surprised by how well McLaren performed in qualifying, believing that the team will be stronger in race trim on Sunday.

“Twelfth and 13th on the grid is slightly better than we expected before we came here,” Button said.

“The car didn’t feel too bad, although I think people struggled with the drop in temperature between FP3 and qualifying. I enjoyed driving the car, although, at the end of Q2, we didn’t have any supersoft tires left, and weren’t quite quick enough.

“Winter testing was positive in terms of mileage, but less so in terms of pace, so we’re all positively surprised with how close we were to Williams and Force India.

“I actually believe we have a better race car than a qualifying car – which is a turnaround from last year – and our deployment is almost as good as anybody else’s, which will benefit us more in the races.”

The Australian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN from 12am ET on Sunday.

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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