They say the results do not lie. Not true! In 2021, among the 20 races where both Ferrari drivers completed a full race distance, Charles Leclerc finished ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz (pictured) on 14 occasions.
Despite this superior record, it was Carlos Sainz that finished highest in the World Drivers’ Championship standings. The Spaniard amassed 164.5 World Championship points placing him in fifth – two places above Leclerc. The Monégasque driver took some compensation by taking his team’s best result of the season – a second spot in the British Grand Prix.
Norris’s 20 Points Finishes
Similar but opposite to Sainz lofty position in the final standings, McLaren’s Lando Norris’ sixth place does not do him justice. The English driver bettered Sainz’s three podium finishes by collecting four pieces of silverware during the year.
Furthermore, the McLaren driver finished in the top-10 (a points finish) in 20 of the 21 races he completed. And who could forget the heavens opening at the Russian Grand Prix when a race-winning opportunity was taken away in dramatic circumstances.
Ultimately Norris finished 4.5 points adrift of Sainz. Most would argue he did so in a car that was inferior to the Ferrari for much of the season.
Tweet a Hashtag Winner
Moving on …. The ability to ask your bookmaker for F1 betting odds using a hashtag and a Tweet is a relatively new initiative and it may not have been embraced by everyone. But if you’re a Twitter fan or not, there’s no doubting this ‘Request a Bet’ technique has produced betting opportunities that were not available to punters just a few years ago.
And William Hill bookmakers, as the result of one of these price requests, are now offering an F1 betting line on a Sainz/Norris season-long match-up. They make Norris the marginal 11/10 underdog. This could prove outstanding value.
Norris’s McLaren team hit rock-bottom in 2015 finishing ninth in the World Constructors’ Championship standings. They languished in the same position in 2019.
At one point the team went over five years without a podium finish. But they are back as a competitive outfit. Finishing third in the 2021 Constructors Championship, they won their first race in almost nine years in 2021.
Every indicator suggests the Zak Brown led and Surrey-based team will be winning more races in 2022 and could be championship contenders by 2024.
Ferrari’s Never-Ending Disappointments
Sainz meanwhile…. His Ferrari team continue to disappoint.
It has been a remarkable 15 years since they last had a World Championship driver and 14 years since they last took the Constructors title.
Traditionally the Italian squad appointed a number one driver and a number two to act as a whipping boy and take a strategic bullet for their leader more often than not. This is no longer the work ethic at the team but 2022’s results seem to indicate Ferrari management have little idea how to manage two drivers with a free rein.
Of course, they may have a stonking car in 2022 but that’s been a broken promise so many times in the past.
Given this backdrop, Norris has to be fancied to out-perform Sainz during the year ahead and William Hill’s #YourOdds price of 11/10 seems too big to pass up.
* F1 odds correct at time of publication. Subject to change.