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Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Bottas may struggle to hold on to top-three spot

Finn trailing teammate Hamilton in Canada

Mercedes's Valtteri Bottas may be put in the shade by his main rivals
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Canadian Grand Prix
Sky Sports F1, 7pm Sunday

Top tip
Valtteri Bottas not to finish in the top three 11-8

In each of the last two seasons, Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian Grand Prix from pole position, and he got the first part of the job done in stunning style in qualifying.

From his three pole positions this season, Hamilton has gone on to win the race twice, so it is hard to argue with bookmakers' assessment in making him a warm odds-on favourite.

Sebastian Vettel kept up his record of qualifying in the top three for every race this season, and he should keep Hamilton up to his work.

The Ferrari driver led for a long time in the race last year after bursting through from third on the grid to lead at the first corner while the Mercedes drivers tripped over each other.

The bottleneck nature of turn one often sees incidents, and the race has a history of throwing up unusual results, although the last two years have gone pretty much to form.

Valtteri Bottas finished third in Canada last year driving for Williams, but he has been a long way off Hamilton's pace all weekend.

The Finn starts third after denying Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen by just 0.07 seconds, and in Saturday morning's practice he was outpaced by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Bottas hasn't had the best of luck in his early Mercedes career, but aside from his win in Russia, where he has always gone well, he has not really shone.

The grip level in Montreal has varied wildly over the weekend, so tyre strategy will be a bit of a gamble, and Mercedes have had a harder time getting on top of the characteristics of this year's Pirellis than some other teams.

It could be worth betting that Bottas misses out on a podium place for the third straight race.

Other markets
Esteban Ocon top-six finish 5-2

Esteban Ocon has made a solid start to his first full season in Formula One, finishing higher than his grid position at every race this year.

The Frenchman's run of points-scoring finishes came to an end in Monaco, but the Montreal circuit should suit his Force India a lot better.

Ocon has understandably been outshone by his talented teammate Sergio Perez, but he beat the Mexican for the first time in Monaco and the pair have been closely matched throughout this weekend.

With two Mercedes, two Ferraris and two Red Bulls starting in the top six, the rest of field will need some drama to break into those positions.

However, with a circuit that can be a bit of a car-breaker and that has a notorious first corner, there's every chance at least one of the big six will suffer a setback.

Recommendations
V Bottas not to finish top three
1pt 11-8 bet356
E Ocon top-six finish
1pt 5-2 general

Bottas starts third after denying Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen by just 0.07 seconds
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