Lewis Hamilton and George Russell more likely to win 2023 title than Sergio Perez

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth at the season-opening Bahrain GP, whilst Sergio Pérez crossed the finish line in second.

Despite a woeful season-opening race for Mercedes at the Bahrain International Circuit last weekend, Betfair odds indicate that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are more likely to win the title than Red Bull driver Sergio Pérez.

Pérez enjoyed a solid start to the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Mexican having comfortably finished second behind team-mate Max Verstappen.

Red Bull in general were sensational, with many already expecting them to cruise to the title once again.

Betfair, though, seemingly believe differently, based on their updated odds post-Bahrain.

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Whilst Verstappen is still odds-on favourite to win a third consecutive title at 1/4, Charles Leclerc, Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are all 11/1 to win the title.

Russell is 17/1 to win the title, whilst Pérez is 19/1, despite having the best car on the grid.

So, why is Pérez seen as such an outsider for the championship this year?

Well, it’s likely got something to do with who’s alongside him at Red Bull, with Verstappen looking untouchable already.

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Verstappen claimed pole and the first victory of the year relatively easily, with Aston Martin appearing to be their closest competitor in terms of race pace.

Ferrari were once again strong during qualifying but simply couldn’t compete with Red Bull during the race, something Aston Martin would’ve done had the qualified better.

Elsewhere, Mercedes are all at sea, making it somewhat surprising to see Hamilton favoured so well by Betfair.

Hamilton finished 51 seconds behind Verstappen last weekend in Bahrain and never looked like a podium contender, with Mercedes’ W14 looking in need of a desperate upgrade.

Given his credentials it’s impossible to rule Hamilton out; however, the 38-year-old has a mountain to climb if he wants to challenge Verstappen this season.

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Hamilton’s team-mate has already stated that Red Bull will “win every single race” in 2023, with Russell believing the Austrians have the “championship sewn up”.

“Red Bull have got this championship sewn up,” said Russell after finishing seventh, as reported by The Athletic.

“I don’t think anyone will be fighting with them this year. They should win every single race this year, (that) is my bet.”