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Bahrain Grand Prix tips, predictions and best bets: Aston Martin to be best of rest in season opener

After quite possibly the craziest off-season F1 has ever experienced, it's finally time to start talking about the one thing that gets the heart pumping: racing!

The Bahrain Grand Prix marks the start of a record-breaking F1 2024 campaign with a whopping 24 races forming a schedule that runs into the deep, dark depths of December.

Max Verstappen, the winner of the last three World Championships, is the massive odds-on favourite to add a fourth and it is easy to see why. Red Bull are playing chess whilst everyone else is playing checkers.

Here are Planet Sport's best tips for the Bahrain Grand Prix...

 

Max Verstappen to win the Bahrain Grand Prix

Whilst there is absolutely no appetite to get stuck into those skinny Max Verstappen odds for the 2024 title, the odds for the Dutchman to win the season opener this weekend are a much more attractive proposition. 

The most dangerous element of F1 over these past few years is a happy Max Verstappen and after pre-season testing at the very track he will be racing on come Saturday, he was absolutely delighted with his new RB20 machine.

The car does everything he wants it to, when he wants it to, and that is an ominous sign.

 


Aston Martin double points finish

Thankfully, the fight behind Red Bull looks a whole lot more competitive and with no major regulation changes this year, the gap to them should naturally reduce.

However, it's going to be very tough task for Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin to take that next leap forward and become genuine title contenders this year.

Within that 'best of the rest' group, much has been said of Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren but not Aston Martin, and that could work in our favour.

Aston Martin started 2023 very strongly and they look equipped to be able to do the same this season.

There should be enough space within the top 10 this weekend for both Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll to get their respective campaigns up and running with some points.


First car retirement - Williams

The days of regular and widespread unreliability in F1 are long gone and the three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain went by without any major issues for the teams to deal with.

But, for all of Williams' improvement over the past 12 months, they did have a scruffy test by their increasingly high standards and had to tackle a few unwanted gremlins.

Those could still be lingering with such a quick turnaround to race weekend, so they are worth a small punt on being the first car retirement.


Suggested bets:

- Max Verstappen to win the Bahrain Grand Prix

Aston Martin double points finish

- First car retirement - Williams

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