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2015 Austrian Grand Prix

This weekend sees the second Austrian Grand Prix since the A1 Ring returned to the calendar under the name of its new owners, Red Bull.

Red Bull themselves don't much fancy their chances at their home track - indeed this season has already proved nightmarish for them, their car not being up to the standard of previous years and their probelms with the Renault engine much publicised. Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz was in the press again this week talking of how the team might leave the sport if they can't get a competitive engine.

Their woes haven't been anywhere near as great as those of McLaren, though. Their 'size zero F1 car' has proved slow and unreliable, mainly due to having to cram the new Honda engine into a space in which it overheats far too easily. Jenson Button can be forgiven for looking depressed - after saving his career over the winter he now finds himself qualifying three places up from the back of the grid. That's before his 25 place penalty for using too many engines components kicks in, and since he can't take the full penalty he'll also have to take a ten second stop-go penalty once the race has begun.

At the other end of the grid it was business as usual for Mercedes in qualifying, albeit in a slightly peculiar way. With Hamilton and Rosberg P1 and P2 respectively, both drivers went into their final flying lap. With Rosberg already on his way round the circuit, Hamilton reached the braking zone for the first turn, touched the white paint that was still damp from the rain, and spun. The pole position looked like it was Rosberg's for the taking... until he also overcooked it in the penultimate corner and went straight on into the gravel at the last.

Still, a front row lockout is a front row lockout, and Mercedes will be glad of it. So where do we think the best value is to be had on Sunday's race?

It's fair to say Hamilton looks the likeliest winner, but this track is tough and low on grip and we've seen already that he can make mistakes. Nonetheless, of the Mercedes pair we think he's the one to back, so it's a shame his odds are so short. Instead of backing him for the win alone, we'd suggest a trip to SkyBet who are price boosting Lweis Hamilton to win the Race and Set Fastest Lap to a more tempting 2/1.

Sebastian Vettel has had an impressive weekend so far, and he was well in touch with the Mercedes drivers in qualifying too. We never got to see his race pace due to problems in practice, so he may well be the dark horse for the win starting in third.

The best place to back him is at ToteSport, who are offering an excellent 13/2.

Finally, we'd like to put a word in for Nico Hulkenburg. He's a fine driver who has been overlooked by the top teams on several occasions for various reasons. He used his weekend off last week to head over to the Le Mans 24 hour race and won it at his first attempt. Coming back to his usual ride, he managed to put his Force India an excellent 5th on the grid. It's Mercedes powered and should cope well with the demanding straights of Austria, so we fancy tipping him for a top six finish on the day.

The best place to back that is at Coral, who'll give you straight Evens.

2015 Bahrain Grand Prix

Another day, another Lewis Hamilton pole position, eh? Surely from here on it's going to be another boring processional race with no excitement whatsoever...?

Not necessarily! With Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg desperate to start catching up to the Brit this could well be the best race so far this year. Rosberg has been under pressure recently, a lot of it self inflicted, for having failed to be on terms with Hamilton so far this season. With Sebastian Vettel qualifying second and splitting the Mercedes cars Rosberg will have to call on everything he's got to challenge both drivers for the win. Last year's race was a classic, and there's every chance we'll see a repeat of that tomorrow.

Is Hamilton catchable, and can Rosberg do it? Our feeling is that Hamilton will win this race, but it's hard to look at any other possibility given the form he's currently in. He will undoubtedly be challenged by whoever finds themself second after the start, as both Rosberg and the two Ferrari drivers Vettel and Raikonnen look to have excellent race pace. But if his competitors are fighting amongst themselves then Hamilton is likely to be able to pull clear, and barring a safety car he shouldn't have to relinquish that lead.

Tyre wear is a huge factor in Bahrain, and we should remember that the Ferrari cars were much kinder to their tyres in the high heat of Malaysia. We should expect them to be stronger at the start of the race, when the tarmac retains the heat of the day, but with this being a night race it's possible they may fade away from the Mercedes cars as the track cools.

In the end some very complex calculations will be made by both teams to try and work out the best way to race for the lead while managing tyres and temperatures on the most abrasive track on the calendar. So who where do we think the smart money is going?

Jenson Button has had a torrid weekend so far. His car has broken down within minutes of the start of almost every session, and it doesn't seem like it's working properly at all. We don't like picking out a driver to retire first, but there's a really strong possibility that, barring any first corner crashes, his car will be the first to give out.

If you want to back Button as the first retirement you can pick him up at 15/2 over at Coral, though if you think there might be a first corner crash let us remind you that Pastor Maldonado once again qualified in a position far lower than the inherent speed of his car should put him, and he can be picked up at a teasing 11/1.

Elsewhere on the grid, Force India have had one of their strongest weekends so far this year. Nico Hulkenburg impressed by managing to get his car into Q3, ending up 8th on the grid, while teammate Sergio Perez is not far behind in 11th.

If they've managed to resolve the reliability issue that bugged them in Shanghai they could be well placed to take advantage of their positions. With that in mind, we'd consider heading over to Ladbrokes who are offering 5/1 on both Force India cars scoring points this weekend.

Finally, we do believe that Lewis Hamilton is the most likely driver to take the win this weekend. The odds are really not very appealing, but if you do want to put money on him the best place we've found to do it is at BoyleSports, who are offering a market leading 8/15.

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