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F1 2016 - Spanish Grand Prix

Things aren't looking good for Lewis Hamilton in the Formula 1 World Championship right now. He hasn't won a race since he became World Champion for the third time at Austin last year, and he currently trails teammate Nico Rosberg by 43 points after just five rounds of the 2016 Championship.

He needs to gain some reliability and start winning, and he's hoping that the new design of MGU-H, the part of the car that recovers energy from the turbo, will help him do it. He suffered MGU-H failures in qualifying in both the last two races, yet while he has the new design Rosberg has elected to stick with the old one.

Hamilton's problems don't end there though. He was hampered on his fastest lap on Friday afternoon, but even so he was already 0.2 seconds down on Rosberg's time before he got held up. Hamilton ended the second practic session third fastest, and the signs suggest that he still hasn't brought his best form to this race.

So where does that leave us for the weekend? We're fairly confident that Rosberg will get pole position, and this being a track where that almost always converts into a win, we think he's worth backing for the double. The best place to pick that up is at PaddyPower, who are offering a very decent 11/5.

The race for second place is a different thing altogether, and theoretically even on an off day Hamilton ought to be able to pilot his Mercedes at least that far up the finishing order. After an ongoing series of errors and failures we're not convinced he going to make it though, and we think you might be better off backing Vettel instead. If you head to Ladbrokes he's priced at 7/1 for the win, which if you take it each way means odds a bit over 2/1 to finish in the top two.

Finally, if you want a longer odds bet, we know that Daniil Kvyat has been through the wringer the last couple of weeks. Demoted from Red Bull to Toro Rosso in a move that looked like a kneejerk reaction to his mistakes in Russia but which has almost certainly been coming for some time, he's got a lot to prove if he ever wants to win his old seat back.

He's a gifted driver though, and he's more than earned his place at the top of the sport. We think it's worth backing him to finish in the top six this weekend, and the best place to do it is at ToteSport, who are offering a very reasonable 4/1.

F1 2016 - Russian Grand Prix

Red Bull may have been testing the new aeroscreen this weekend in Russia, but it's their forthcoming engine upgrade that's the talk of the paddock. They are hoping that an improvement to their Renault motor might gain them almost half a second, which would put them very much back on terms with Mercedes.

For now, despite an impressive qualifying performance from Daniel Ricciardo at the Chinese race last time out, we think Ferrari are still the serious rivals to Mercedes dominance. But how will that work out on the track this weekend?

The signs from the practice sessions suggest Mercedes are still on top, and worse still for Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel will receive a five place grid penalty after a gearbox change. His breakdown in second practice meant the team were left with no choice but to replace it, so the highest place he can possibly start the race from is sixth.

His teammate Raikonnen remains in the picture, but we think pole position is going to be a shootout between the Mercedes boys and this weekend we fancy Hamilton to get his season back on track by starting from position #1 on the grid. The best place to back that is at Coral, at 11/10.

Hamilton knows he needs to start winning again soon if he wants to win a hat trick of championships back to back, having made a few mistakes in the last couple of races. Again, we think this will be his weekend, and the place to back him for a win is at BetFred, whose offer of 6/5 is the best price we've found.

Meanwhile, we fancy Vettel to climb through the field despite starting lower down than he might expect. You can back him to land a podium finish at 4/5 over at Ladbrokes, or alternatively back him each way for the win at SkyBet at a slightly more impressive 9/1. We don't think he's likely to finish first, but at 1/3 the odds for a top two finish we think it's a tempting choice.

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