Lewis Hamilton heavily favored over Max Verstappen in PointsBet odds for United States GP

PointsBet United States GP
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Lewis Hamilton won the United States GP five times in eight races and is heavily favored at PointsBet Sportsbook to win this year’s edition on October 24 in Austin, Texas. Hamilton enters Round 17 of the 22-race schedule embroiled in a tight battle for the top spot in the Drivers Championship, trailing Max Verstappen by six points.

Hamilton is listed this week with odds of -120 , which means the only way to make money off him is to find someone to take the opposite bet. Hamilton has five wins this year to Verstappen’s seven and trails 12 to 11 in podium finishes.

Verstappen also has low odds of +160. His latest win came at Zandvoort, one week after he was awarded the win and half points at Spa-Francorchamps in a race comprised of two laps run behind the pace car in heavy rain.  In the 2019 United States GP, Verstappen finished third behind Hamilton in second and Valtteri Bottas. This race was not run in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 this week for Verstappen is $1.60. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

The last four F1 races have each been won by a different driver. Last week, Hamilton’s teammate Bottas was in Victory Lane by a wide margin of more than 14 seconds. He led 49 of 58 laps in that race. His odds this week are +1400.

No other driver is better than 20/1.

Sergio Perez is listed at +2200 and is a dark horse worth noting. A Mexican native, he will be racing in front of a hometown crowd for the next two weeks in the border state of Texas and in Mexico City.

Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris are ranked fourth with a line of +4000.

Norris is currently fourth in the Driver Championship, eight points ahead of Perez. He has earned four podiums in 16 races this year and failed to finish once, but is coming off back-to-back seventh-place finishes in Russia and Turkey.

Leclerc has one podium in 15 starts. After winning the pole and then crashing at Monaco, he was unable to grid his car there. Leclerc has earned three top-five finishes, (Zandvoort, Russia and Turkey) in his last four starts.

Daniel Ricciardo is the other winner during the last four races. He beat Norris and Bottas to the line in the Italian Grand Prix after Verstappen and Hamilton crashed midway through that race, an incident for which Verstappen was later penalized.

Kimi Raikkonen won the United States GP in 2018. If his is able to repeat that feat, it will be worth a whopping +50000.

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Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Formula One embrace the United States

Verstappen Perez United States
Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Last week, Red Bull Racing revealed its new car, the RB19, and a new relationship with Ford Motor Co. in an event in New York City complete with drivers Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and team principal Christian Horner.

It’s the first Formula 1 team to launch in the United States for 2023, but even that small move of the needle reflects a major shift in the attitude of both F1’s management and their teams – and the extent to which the American audience has fully embraced the sport.

“It’s something fantastic and unique, for the sport to be able to break it into the U.S,” Perez told NBC Sports. “The market is huge and it’s a huge opportunity for everyone involved, for the drivers, for the team. It’s always a huge market.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Sergio Perez finished fourth in the Unites States Grand Prix, but he was first with the fans.  – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In 2023, Formula 1 will race three times in the United States and five times in North America. The Circuit of the Americas will host their 11th consecutive race in October before heading south to Mexico City. Miami returns for a second time in May on a temporary street course around the Hard Rock cafe and the third addition is in downtown Las Vegas in November.

With the Canadian Grand Prix on the schedule for June and the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, American fans are now in the ballpark of Europeans, who have eight events on the continent and one in England.

In 2022, Verstappen won every race in North America. He was kept from sweeping the hemisphere only by George Russell, who won in Brazil. That fact is less remarkable when one considers that Verstappen won 15 times in the season – nearly two-thirds of the races on the schedule.

By the time Formula arrived in Austin, Texas, for Round 20 of 23, Verstappen already had wrapped up his second consecutive championship.

“Sometimes it can be hard to replicate the season, but I think it’s the same as with the car, right? You always try to improve it,” Verstappen told NBC Sports. “And I always look at the little details that even when you have had a good race, you could have done better. And then of course you also learn from the bad races. So we always try to look for these little improvements and general experience you gain year after year.

“You try to do better, but of course it also depends a lot on the package you have.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Max Verstappen United States Grand Prix win was one of 15 for the drivers and 17 for Red Bull.
(Gongora / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Now Verstappen’s thoughts inevitably will turn to establishing a dynasty, and America will again play a pivotal role.

“I just enjoy what I’m doing,” Verstappen said.  “After the years in Formula One, when you have to be on top of your game and you gain a lot on your experience – in that sense nothing really can get to you anymore. Every year you just try to do the best you can. But a lot depends on the material around you. It’s always a bit of a guess. Start the season as fit as you can be and be well prepared. But if you don’t have the car, you’re not going to win the championship.”

Perez added two wins to Red Bull’s total, at Monaco and the Marina Bay Street course. With two of the US 2023 races on street courses, Perez hopes to close the gap on Verstappen and potentially be his chief rival for the championship.

“The strategy is clear; it is to maximize the potential of the car – and we believe we have a good car, but how good?,” Perez said “We don’t know what the competition is doing. We just give our best in building this car and we hope that it’s good enough to get us to win races.

“I think we have to work together as a team. At the same time. We both want to win the championship. It’s just having good compromise. The competition will be really strong out there, so we really need everything we possibly can get from each other.”

Formula One returns to the United States for Round 6 and the Miami Grand Prix on May 7.