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Brazil Grand Prix Betting: Back Bottas as Mercedes chase another 1-2

Will Brazil bring another champagne moment for Valtteri Bottas?
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New champion Lewis Hamilton has arrived in Brazil promising more wins, but Ralph Ellis thinks it might be time for his team mate to take centre stage...

"Will Mercedes want to help Valtteri Bottas, who is currently just 15 points behind Sebastian Vettel in this year’s table? If so he has to be fantastic value at [12.0] to win on Sunday."

It's not often you're disappointed to look at the BBC's weather app and see huge, unbroken suns shining back at you. This Sunday at Sao Paulo is an exception.

It means we'll be deprived the thrilling spectacle of a Brazilian Grand Prix in the rain - no repeat of the dramas that have so often unfolded around the Interlagos circuit when the heavens have opened and the drivers have been tested to the limit.

Think of Lewis Hamilton's first world title win, squeezing past Timo Glock in the final yards after rain had started crashing down with six laps to go. And think of Max Verstappen's astonishing drive from 14th to third through the torrential downpours of last year - the day that confirmed him as the sport's greatest new young talent.

None of that this year. There are thunderstorms forecast for practice on Friday and qualifying on Saturday, but unbroken sunshine and 26 degrees on race day means a dry track and a lot less in the way of surprises.

So the focus will be purely on whether Hamilton, having been crowned with his fourth world championship in Mexico two weeks ago, is genuinely motivated to rub home his remarkable dominance.

The Briton, who is the [2.42] favourite to win Sunday's race and extend his 56 point lead over Sebastian Vettel, is certainly saying all the right things.

"If I sit back, relax and let someone else take the glory it would be nice for them but that is not what I am about," he said after arriving in Brazil on the private jet that has caused such a fuss over his tax affairs.

He's had an eight-day holiday with close family and friends in Miami, the Caribbean and Peru - as you do - to celebrate his world title. And he insists he's come from that energised and determined to win some more.

But, and call me a cynic if you like, his Mercedes team are talking instead about how they plan to use the last two races of this season to prepare for the next one. "We will be trialling new and interesting concepts," says their press release.

Does that mean they want to help Valtteri Bottas, who is currently just 15 points behind Sebastian Vettel in this year's table? If so he has to be fantastic value at [12.0] to win on Sunday.

My mind goes back to Hamilton's last title in 2015. He wrapped up the prize in America with three races to go and won none of the remaining contests, as Mercedes engineered Nico Rosberg above Vettel to gives themselves a one-two in the Championship standings.

Their boss Toto Wolff says they are looking on these as the first two races of the 2018 season, and their ethos is always to want to win. But a Bottas victory would meet that criteria just as well as Hamilton coming first.

Back in 2015 there was the suspicion that Hamilton was the architect of his own downfall in the final races, spending too much time in party mode. The 2017 Lewis seems far more dedicated to his sport for that to happen again.

But if his team are experimenting with the settings, and they happen to suit Bottas better? Like I say, call me a cynic, but backing Bottas at [12.0] would bring a bit of that sunshine back to cold and frozen Britain too.

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