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F1 2016 - Chinese Grand Prix

The conditions in Shanghai seem to favour the Ferrari cars this weekend, as they seek once again to close the gap on Mercedes in the ongoing battle of the Formula 1 constructors.

For reasons far too complicated and detailed to go into here, it's all about how the different cars use their tyres, and the super-soft tyres in particular. When the temperature is lower, the Mercedes car makes the most of the rubber. In higher temperatures, though, the Ferrari really shines.

Of course, Friday practice session times can be entirely misleading. And the weather can change dramatically - especially in China, where it has been unusually warm so far, but rain is predicted during the qualifying session on Saturday. If the hot weather had continued we'd be tipping Sebastian Vettel for pole position, but if it's going to rain then we have to favour the Mercedes drivers. Hamilton is ruled out by his five place grid penalty, so we reckon it's going to be Nico Rosberg who continues his run of fine form by landing top spot on the grid. The best place to back him is at PaddyPower, at a decent 13/8.

The race is a different matter though. Hamilton will be attempting to charge through the field, but the last couple of grands prix haven't suggested that he's going to have it easy and we're not convinced he's going to take a win on Sunday. Rosberg has shown a deft touch to make the most of the new clutch rules at the start of races, and he's a good bet to lead them away and never be seen again until he takes the chequered flag. The best place to back him for the race win is at Ladbrokes, where he's priced at 10/11.

That said, we think one of the Ferraris might be a tempting longer odds bet for the victory. Both drivers have form at this circuit, and Raikonnen's fastest time in FP2 showed he's still got the measure of his younger teammate in some circumstances. We still think if a Ferrari driver is going to win it's likeliest to be Vettel, though, and you can back him to win the race at a very decent 5/1 over at Coral.

F1 2016 - Australian Grand Prix

With the practice sessions so far being mostly washed out due to the unexpectedly damp Melbourne weather, it's hard to gauge how the first race of the year might turn out. We don't have any clearer a picture of where the manufacturers stand than we did from pre season testing, and with the complications of the new qualifying rules, where instead of taking the final times in each session the drivers are slowly eliminated one at a time, predicting the grid has become something of a crapshoot as well.

That said, we're tempted to have a little flutter on Nico Rosberg for pole position. We know that all the talk is of Lewis Hamilton and whether he can win three championships back to back, but Rosberg brought some immense form at the end of last season. He took the last three wins, and the last six pole positions, and when he's on it he can absolutely match the one lap pace of Lewis Hamilton.

We think he's worth backing for pole, and the best place to pick him up is at BoyleSports, at a decent 7/4.

We'd like to think that Rosberg is well in with a chance for the race win on Sunday too, but the punters and bookies all seem to agree that Lewis Hamilton is once again the driver to be on. There's certainly nothing in his form to suggest otherwise, and it wouldn't surprise us to find him on the top step of the podium once the chequered flag has fallen.

His odds aren't hugely tempting, but the best place to back him is at Ladbrokes, who are offering the best price we could find available at 5/6.

Finally, if you want something to back that will make the race below the top three more interesting, we're tempted by the possibility of a turnaround in McLaren's form. The Honda engine is now delivering more power, and by all accounts their chassis is no slouch. We're not expecting to see them on the podium any time soon, but if you head to SkyBet you can back Jenson Button to finish in the points at a not too shabby 2/1. You can even go further and back him to finish in the top six at 8/1, with his teammate Fernando Alonso offered at slightly shorter odds for both options.

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