Preview of the Russian Grand Prix

This weekend, the spectacle of Formula 1 returns to Russia after its last outing in Singapore.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton led a 1-2 Mercedes finish in Practice 1 in France in June, 2018. Source: Getty Images

The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the F1 calendar, but it’s also one of the worst races in the year with limited overtaking opportunities and fans comparing it to watching a procession.

Lewis Hamilton secured victory in Singapore, extending his lead in the championship to 40 points as his closest title challenger, Sebastian Vettel, finished third.

Realistically Vettel has to win every race from now to the end of the season to secure his fifth championship.On a track dominated by Mercedes since the inaugural race in 2014, Vettel will hope he has the right package to take victory and start his fight back.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel celebrates after a record lap time at the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in June, 2018. Source: This is F1.

Vettel could be criticised for allowing the gap to grow to its current state as he has been given a car to challenge Hamilton throughout the season, but small mistakes have cost him dearly.

In a sport where half a second is seen as a big difference, the margins are even tighter when two titans battle for supremacy through the course of a long season.

Off the track, Formula 1’s owners signed a deal reportedly worth over $100m (£76m), which will allow F1 to develop in-play betting markets during races and provides fans a new way of engaging with the sport.

Betting brands will now be shown on trackside signage, as well as having their own on-screen graphics.

Fans around the world will appreciate Liberty Media making the sport better off track and hope the owners will also be able to implement rules designed to make the action on track even more exciting.