Lewis Hamilton odds
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has confirmed he is much happier with the team and environment this season as doubts over his future begin to subside following last season’s endless speculation that the Englishman would defect to rivals Red Bull.
Hamilton’s current five-year deal with McLaren runs out at the end of the season, and it was widely he believed he would depart after an indifferent campaign last year. However, he now leads the way in the Drivers’ Championship after a consistent start to the 2012 campaign and although he has yet to win, Hamilton is pleased with how things are going.
“Everything is better this year,” Hamilton said following his third consecutive podium finish of the new season in Shanghai. “The team is better, the car is better, I am a lot better and I have got my dad here. And that is not fake. We have a really good bond now. We are on the up. Things are great and that’s reflected in my performances.”
The 2008 world champion has spent the whole of this career to date with McLaren and, with things going well in this campaign, he may follow the lead of his team-mate and compatriot Jenson Button in committing his future to the team, although he is adamant that the decision will be on his own terms.
“It is not about being persuaded, I don’t need persuading. When I need to, which can be within any time frame I want so long as it is before next year, I will decide about my future,” he added.
Having established a two-point lead over Button in the drivers’ standings, Hamilton is now the 7/4 favourite to add a second world title to his belt this season, with Button at 2/1.
Sebastian Vettel is priced at 5/1 as he trails Hamilton by 17 points at this early point as he seeks to complete a third successive championship win. Nico Rosberg (10/1) gained both his first pole start and maiden Grand Prix win in Shanghai and will look to build on that result while Fernando Alonso is 14/1 and Mark Webber, third overall in the last two season’s is 16/1.
Hamilton is pleased with the early season consistency of his McLaren Mercedes.
“I am definitely consistent this year – consistently third. But I am happy, given the way we have quite a few points and are still in the fight.”
The next stop is the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend and Hamilton is the 9/4 favourite to claim his first win of the season, ahead of teammate Button at 5/2.
Rosberg is 6/1, with Vettel at 7/1 and Michael Schumacher at 10/1 to take the chequered flag in Sunday’s big race.