We all know that if Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix rolls off without a hitch, then one of the two Mercedes drivers likely lands the victory. They’ve won all four races in Sochi since 2014 and has locked out the front row. Good luck going against them?
But, throw in Red Bull’s misery overall in Russia and grid penalties, I don’t think either driver lands in the top five on Sunday. That opens the door for some new drivers.
Look no further than a fight for fourth on back between Kevin Magnussen and the Force India drivers.
Magnussen, has two top seven finishes in Russia in three tries. He qualified his No. 20 Haas fifth. In practice this weekend, he was eighth, 11th and ninth respectively. He’s one to watch.
So are the Force India’s.
Sergio Perez has four top 10 finishes in as many starts in Sochi including 10th, third, ninth and sixth respectively. He was seventh and 10th respectively in the two practices that he took part in. He also qualified eighth in his No. 11 entry.
What about his teammate Esteban Ocon? He’s out to show the world that you need to take a chance on the soon to be free agent. Ocon, finished seventh in Russia as a rookie last year and was sixth, ninth and eighth respectively in practice. He qualified his No. 31 entry sixth.
These are three drivers to take a risk on in betting terms. Magnusssen is +125,000. Ocon and Perez are +100,000.