Lewis Hamilton is keen to repeat 2011’s masterful Shanghai performance and win the Chinese Grand Prix for a second time in as many years this weekend.
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Hamilton has started the 2012 season in fine form, and sits at the top of the Drivers’ Championship after two races.
The Brit, who is desperate to add to his 2008 Championship win, backed up a victorious opening weekend in Australia with a podium finish in Malaysia.
He is 9/4 to win the race in Shanghai this Sunday and is confident in his ability to perform well on a consistent basis.
“Last year taught me the value of consistency. It’s no use chasing a great result if you can’t follow it up with a strong finish the next week,” he said. “Maybe I’m just playing myself in. In 2007, I didn’t win a race until the sixth round but I was in the hunt for the title all through the year.”
Hamilton is favourite to win the Championship, priced at 2/1 to bring the title back to the UK for the first time since fellow countryman Jenson Button’s win three years ago. His hopes have been helped by the relatively poor performance so far of defending champion Sebastien Vettel.
The German sits sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, 15 points behind pace-setter Hamilton, but remains confident of building some momentum as the season progresses.
“We should hopefully have some good improvements, but we have to prove it on the track,” said Vettel. “If you look at the sporting side, after two races I have more points than I had in my world championship season 2010. I only look ahead now. I have been in the simulator twice and go to China positively.”
Vettel pushed Hamilton all the way in China last season and is good value at 4/1 to go one better than his second-placed finish in Shanghai and claim the win he needs to get his title defence back on track.
Vettel is currently priced at 3/1 to win a third successive Drivers’ Championship. Those odds will almost certainly tighten if the Red Bull driver is victorious this weekend, so it may be worth getting in on the action while the value is good.
Meanwhile, Vettel’s poor start to the season has contributed to a worse than expected opening for Red Bull, who trail Constructors’ Championship leaders McLaren by 13 points.
But both Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber secured podium finishes in Shanghai in 2011, and another strong performance this weekend could significantly narrow the deficit at the top of the table.
Red Bull are priced at 9/4 to win the Constructors’ Championship, behind favourites McLaren, who are at 4/11.
But Webber has made a fairly strong start to the season and, if Vettel can rediscover his form, then their team could easily run away with the title like they did in 2011.