Are we really suggesting fading Mercedes after the first Grand Prix of the Formula 1 season?
While we know this sounds crazy with the entire Formula 1 season ahead of us, you need to fade Mercedes from your betting picks: be it qualifying, finishing in the top six, or whatever other Mercedes-focused betting lines you can find.
We’ll get into why you should fade Mercedes for now and why you should avoid McLaren-based picks altogether, and it has nothing to do with its drivers.
So Long, Mercedes, But Thanks for Coming Out
We don’t have a side in the constructors’ fight, but we truly wanted to believe the talk coming from Brackley over the winter break and believe that Mercedes had truly found the root of its problems with their aerodynamic philosophy and would be back in the fight to start 2023.
This belief slowly dissipated over preseason testing and was firmly stamped out during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Moreover, even Mercedes are finally realizing their aero-concept’s fatal flaws extend beyond 2022 and extend to the philosophy overall, requiring a visibly new approach and work to be done on aerodynamic efficiency in the underfloor to be deployed sooner rather than later.
When did we lose hope for all things Mercedes until they fix their flawed philosophy?
The moment Red Bull left the pit lane in free practice on the hard tire, burning a set of the expected and preferred race tires, and Max Verstappen landing the RB-19 within firing range of the rest of the front-running grid’s times, which were all set on the soft tire.
With a two-compound offset, the Red Bull’s time on the hard tire was a warning shot to the Formula 1 paddock. What makes that move more ominous: we never saw the full pace of Red Bull in Bahrain.
Yes, the Mercedes W-14 is faster than the W-13 of 2022, ate through its tires in Bahrain, and Lewis Hamilton finished 50.977 behind Verstappen. What’s more troubling for Mercedes is finishing almost 12 seconds behind customer-team Aston Martin, who is doing a better job with Mercedes mechanical materials than the works team.
We have a one-word reaction: yikes.
Mercedes’ major upgrades are expected to start showing up at Imola, so until Formula 1 hits the European continent, you need to fade Mercedes each Grand Prix and should avoid all future lines on Mercedes altogether.
Dear McLaren, What’s the Plan Here?
McLaren has one of the top driver pairings on the grid, in Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, yet for the second straight year, has started the season as far on the back foot as possible.
McLaren had the objectively worst preseason testing of the grid and put up a lot of “meh” times in practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix. In the Grand Prix itself, Pistri retired from the race due to a mechanical failure, while Norris hit the pitlane a remarkable six times to repressurize the air system in the MCL60.
In short, McLaren has started the season as poorly as possible. Unless you are playing head-to-head driver matchups, there is nothing you can bet on McLaren for until the actual MCL60 hits the track.
The actual MCL60? What?
Yes, we know it sounds crazy, but McLaren openly admits it missed its aerodynamic efficiency targets in the off-season and has been running a version of the MCL60 that was frozen in development months ago. Until the MCL60 that McLaren is working on makes its debut in the fifth or sixth race of the season, you might as well pretend that McLaren doesn’t exist, save for a few remarkable qualifying laps from Norris in the process.
Up Next: Jeddah-Cornish Circuit and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Next week, we’ll be back with a betting preview for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, featuring our picks for pole position, P1 (spoiler alert: #1 for P1), and our top six finishers for your weekend betting ticket.
And believe me, you won’t see Mclaren or Mercedes make much of an appearance next week.
Ryan has been one of the leading sports business & iGaming professionals for over 15 years. He started as a freelance writer and now operates one of the top sports content agencies around, Knup Solutions. He has literally written 10,000 plus sports and betting related articles across the web.
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