Jenson Button’s Formula One success in Australia has thrown the F1 world title race wide open.
Once again Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who also failed to get a podium position in Bahrain, came unstuck despite leading for the first 25 laps before brake failure put paid to his chances and brought relief to those punters who benefitted from refunded stakes given from firms on drivers failing to finish this season.
Button’s latest win puts him six points behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the winner in Bahrain and fourth Down Under, and has seen Jenson cut from 20-1 to 8-1 to become the first Britain to retain the title.
Whether he does so remains to be seen, and there is a lot of rubber burning to be done before it all ends in Abu Dhabi on November 14.
Alonso (pictured) heads the market at a best price of 13-8 with Vettel next (100-30) and Button’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton at 6s.
There were many who feared that the F1 extravaganza would suffer after a tepid show in Bahrain, but the Aussie race has provided fresh optimism in terms of entertainment for the long haul ahead.
Car trouble has stopped Vettel and Red Bull in the two opening races, but the German remains the 5-2 leading fancy to oblige in Malaysia on Sunday.
Red Bull have the fastest car but that’s not much good if the car can’t stick the pace to see out a race, but no doubt these failings will be ironed out.
As for Michael Schumacher, he is making heavy weather of things at the moment, but it is too early to judge whether coming back was a mistake.
Malaysian Grand Prix: 5-2 Vettel; 3-1 Alonso; 5-1 Hamilton; 7-1 Button; 8-1 Webber; 10-1 Massa; 20-1 bar.