Top betting tips for Qatar GP: Is the pendulum swinging back in Lewis Hamilton’s favour?

Formula 1 heads to Qatar for the first time in its history this weekend, rounding off a triple-header of race weekends that has been crucial in the World Championship race.

After Max Verstappen dominated in Mexico, Lewis Hamilton pulled off what he described as one of the best drives of his F1 career, rising from 10th on the grid to claim victory. All this after overtaking 15 cars in sprint qualifying following being dropped to the back for a rear wing infringement by his Mercedes team.

Although Hamilton is still 14 points behind Verstappen with three races to go, the reigning champion's speed at Interlagos has got Red Bull worried that an unlikely comeback could well be on for the British driver.

Specifically, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is concerned that Mercedes now have a "rocket" in Hamilton's car, as he has a brand new internal combustion engine at his disposal while other cars are running on worn machinery.

The two title contenders were locked together again on track in Brazil, with Hamilton eventually making an audacious move around the outside of the Red Bull driver to take the lead in one of the most gripping races of the season.

This time around, the Losail International Circuit just outside Doha is an unknown quantity for the majority of the grid in what will be Formula 1's first visit to the track, which has primarily been used for motorcycle racing since it opened in 2004.

Most of the 16 corners are taken at medium speed, with a technical middle sector that should be a challenge for the drivers, and a kilometre-long start/finish straight that will provide chances to overtake in the race.

With the World Championship fight still finely poised, here's our take on what may happen this weekend.

(All text odds are correct at time of article publication, the ones in the pretty blue boxes are bang up-to-date)

Planet Sport Picks for the Qatar GP

With that new engine to use alongside his car's recent improvement, Hamilton is available at 10/11 to follow up his result in Brazil and be the fastest qualifier on Saturday.

If he carries on his form from last weekend as well, it's not surprising that he is the 4/5 odds-on favourite to take victory, while Verstappen is out at 13/8 - which is something of a role reversal from recent races.

Other value Qatar Grand Prix bets

Hamilton and Verstappen are both available at positive odds of 7/4 to earn the fastest lap of the race on Sunday, with each point potentially proving pivotal in their fight at the front.

But Sergio Perez was deployed to snatch the point for fastest lap away from Hamilton in Brazil, however, and Red Bull and Mercedes' second drivers may be utilised again in what has been a semi-regular tactic for the teams this season. Both Perez and Valtteri Bottas are available at 5/1 to set the fastest lap of the race.

Should Hamilton and Verstappen be closely matched again on Sunday in another vital race, you can find odds of 2/1 on the margin of victory in the race to be under 5 seconds.

When will the action take place? (All times GMT)

Practice 1: Friday 19 November: 10:30-11:30

Practice 2: Friday 19 November: 14:00-15:00

Practice 3: Saturday 20 November: 11:00-12:00

Qualifying: Saturday 20 November: 14:00

Race: Sunday 21 November: 14:00

How do I watch the Qatar GP?

The race is broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 in the UK, and the build-up begins at 12.30pm on Sunday.

Extended highlights are shown later that night on Channel 4 from 6.30pm.

Make sure you follow the action live and get all the latest reaction and news on PlanetF1.

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