Lewis Hamilton is PointsBet F1 French GP favorite

PointsBet F1 French GP
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With odds slightly above even money, Lewis Hamilton is the early PointsBet F1 French GP favorite.

Formula 1 returned to Paul Ricard Stadium in 2018 for the first time in nearly three decades. Hamilton won both the 2018 and 2019 races there and is listed with odds of +105 for Sunday’s race. The 2020 edition of this race was not run because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hamilton has three victories in six races this season with the most recent coming in the Spanish Grand Prix in early May.

One way to view American Odds is to move the decimal point two positions to the left. That will let a bettor know what they will make on a $1 bet, so the return on investment for this week for Hamilton is $1.05. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

With a narrow lead in the points standings, Max Verstappen is the next favorite at +185. Verstappen has two wins and five podium finishes this year. Hamilton has been on the podium four times.

Anyone who watched last week’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix knows how unpredictable racing can be, however. With only a handful of laps remaining in the race at Baku, Verstappen cut a tire and made heavy contact with the wall. Formula 1 red flagged the race to allow the other competitors to change tires. On the restart, Hamilton made a rare mistake and failed to brake in time for the first corner.

As a result, both Hamilton and Verstappen failed to earn any points. It was the first time in 55 races that Hamilton finished outside the points.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas is ranked third this week with odds of +625. Bottas finished second in the 2019 French GP. In six starts this season, he has three podium finishes.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez won his second F1 race in his last eight starts with odds of +1000. This week he is listed at +1100. His other victory came late last season in Bahrain behind the wheel of a Racing Point Mercedes.

George Russell rounds out the top five with odds of +1500. Russell has not yet scored atop 10 this season, nor has he finished on the lead lap.

No other driver has odds of better than 25/1.

Charles Leclerc is listed at +2800 for the French GP. He won the pole for the last two F1 races when qualification was abbreviated by an accident both times. He was the cause of the qualification accident in the Grand Prix of Monaco and failed to start the race when his car was not repaired in time. Leclerc finished fourth in Baku last week.

Sebastian Vettel finished second in last week’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. This week he is listed at +12500. Those long odds for the outright win drag his odds of scoring a podium finish to +1800. Vettel has one other top-five finish this year, which came at Monaco.

Pierre Gasly took the final podium position in Baku. He has earned one podium in each of the last three years. His outright odds to win this week are +6000.

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Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing

Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.