2021 Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix Preview, Predictions, and Betting Odds

2021 Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix Preview, Predictions, and Betting Odds

It was a wild ride in Brazil this past weekend. From the practice laps, qualifying, and raceday on Sunday, it was a crazy few days in Sao Paulo. Lewis Hamilton couldn’t be stopped regardless of all the obstacles that were thrown his way.

The car that Mercedes put together was impressive after a disappointing run in Mexico. Hamilton and Mercedes had little to give in Mexico City in a loss against Max Verstappen. Red Bull deserved the win, but they didn’t deserve anything in Brazil.

That was a disappointing effort from the Red Bull team. I can’t blame Verstappen. He did what he could, while Mercedes learnt from their mistakes in Mexico and put a better car together for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Despite the win for Hamilton, he still trails Verstappen in the driver’s standings. Verstappen is holding on with 332.5 points as opposed to 318.5 points for Hamilton. No one else is close, with Finn Valtteri Bottas third with 203 points going into Qatar.

Verstappen has recorded 9 wins and 15 podiums, while Hamilton took his sixth win and 14th podium in Brazil. Mercedes was able to extend their lead in the constructors to 512.7 points over Red Bull’s 510.5 points.

Brazilian Grand Prix Recap and Season Outlook

It was a crazy weekend, especially for Lewis Hamilton. After Mercedes had to change their engine as a result of high degradation, he received a five-place grid penalty.

Lewis’ fans were freaking out over the five-grid penalty, but it’s clear Mercedes knew what they were doing. However, this wasn’t the only hiccup that Hamilton and his team had to overcome.

Hamilton had to meet with stewards after he was a third of a second faster than Verstappen in qualifying. He was dropped to 10th in the field as a result of a wing violation.

Verstappen received a penalty of his own for touching Hamilton’s car after the race as he was playing examiner. He received a fine of 50,000 euros, but no grid penalty for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Despite all of this working against Hamilton, he went from last to first, overtaking Verstappen on lap 59 and not looking back. Verstappen was not a threat for the rest of the event, as Hamilton cleared and pulled away for an easy win.

Hamilton’s car was just too good. It didn’t matter where he was starting in Brazil. Tip of the hat to Mercedes for working hard to stay in the championship race. They have life going into Qatar this weekend.

With momentum on their side going into Qatar, we’ll see what Mercedes and Hamilton can do for an encore in the middle east. Can Red Bull bounce back and get back on track?

Not if Mercedes puts another car like that together for the 20th round of the season in Qatar.

Qatar Grand Prix Predictions and Betting Odds

Driver Odds Team
Lewis Hamilton -135 Mercedes
Max Verstappen +150 Red Bull
Valtteri Bottas +1400 Mercedes
Sergio Perez +1600 Red Bull
Charles Leclerc +5000 AlphaTauri
Lando Norris +6600 McLaren
Carlos Sainz +66000 Ferrari
Pierre Gasly +6600 AlphaTauri

Max Verstappen has to be feeling the pressure after what he saw from Mercedes in Brazil. They were well-prepared and aware that taking the five-grid penalty likely wasn’t going to make a difference.

The engine change, and then the wing violation meant little, as Hamilton blew everyone else away. If Hamilton did not receive any penalties and started on the pole, that race would have been a laugher after ten laps.

Losail Circuit in Qatar is a 16-turn track constructed in 2004. This is the first ever F1 event at Losail Circuit, so we have no prior history to go on for the Qatar Grand Prix. This is a ten-year partnership between F1 and Qatar.

Hamilton is going to be dominant on straight-line speed, and that start-finish straight is a monster. It’s a lengthy straight from Turn 16 to Turn 1.

This isn’t the straightest race on the circuit by any means, but there are going to be ample opportunities for Lewis to take advantage of his speed. It’s speed and medium speed corners.

Verstappen is going to take advantage of the medium speed corners. No one takes medium corners quite like Verstappen, but he didn’t have the power needed to beat Mercedes in Brazil.

There are several medium speed corners after the start-finish straight. I don’t foresee many opportunities to overtake opponents in Qatar.

Turn 16 might be the best chance going into the final straight. When Hamilton is let loose on that straight, his power is going to be unleashed to put him over Verstappen.

Mercedes found some serious power in Brazil, and without having to worry about thin air like in Mexico, Hamilton’s new engine should prove to be too much.

Verstappen will drive a good race in the corners, but not enough to make up for what Hamilton is going to accomplish in the straights. If there were low speed corners, I’d have my concerns, but Verstappen won’t be able to take advantage of any. These are medium with a couple of high speed corners.

In my view, this season is going to come down to Abu Dhabi on December 12, with Hamilton putting a lot of pressure on Verstappen down the stretch.

Qatar Grand Prix Prediction
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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