Two races into the 2018 Formula 1 season and it’s two wins for Sebastian Vettel!

Now, with the current campaign heading to China for the F1 Chinese Grand Prix, the big question is…can anyone beat Sebastian Vettel in the third race of the season?

As usual, if you’ve got questions, then I’ve got answers, thanks to my expert F1 China Grand Prix preview and picks.

With this event just over 48 hours away, let’s find out who my pick is to win this coming weekend.

Before I get to that pick, however, let me drop a little knowledge on long-term F1 futures odds bettors that want to wager on this season’s overall champ. The last time a driver won the first two races of the year and failed to win that season’s overall title was way back in 1982 when Keke Rosberg won the title despite the fact that Alain Prost won the first two races that year.

Now, let’s find out who my pick is to end up in the winner’s circle this week.

I guess the first thing you should know about this weekend’s F1 showdown is that Mercedes has dominated this event since the start of the new hybrid era. The elite car maker has put together a perfect record in China with reigning F1 champion Lewis Hamilton winning in 2014, 2015 and 2017 and Nico Rosberg claiming the win in China in 2016.

I guess I should also point out that Hamilton won in Shanghai twice with McLaren, making this one of just four tracks he’s won at five times (joining Silverstone, the Circuit of The Americas and Hungaroring). The only circuit that the beloved Englishman has won more races is at Canada’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve (6).

The last time Ferrari won in China was back in 2013 when Fernando Alonso topped the podium, but the Italian team has finished in the top three every year since then, even though the closest they’ve come to get the outright victory was a year ago when Vettel finished second.

Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix

Last weekend Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position, but all didn’t go well for Ferrari as Kimi Raikkonen accidentally broke a team mechanic’s leg after a bungled tire change that ultimately cost him a spot on the podium. Hamilton passed  Raikkonen to finish third behind Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Vettel had to fight for his 49th career win, which came by a mere 0.6 seconds.

”The last five laps were really difficult,” Vettel said. ”I thought Valtteri would catch me. I nursed the tires and it worked, but only just.’ I was doing the maths in the car: 10 laps to go, with that pace he’s going to catch me. I just really tried to keep it as clean as possible.”

Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 2

Expert Prediction

In 14 races at Shanghai, the winner has started from pole position a commanding nine times. The lowest starting position for a winner was sixth, which took place back in 2006 when the legendary Michael Schumacher won from that spot.

Mercedes has won the pole at Shanghai for the past half-dozen years and as previously mentioned, 2013 was the only year they didn’t get the win.

While Lewis Hamilton hasn’t won this season and has claimed a victory in each of his last five races, he did make a bit of history by tying Kimi Raikkonen’s all-time record for consecutive points finishes. Hamilton will be looking for his 28th consecutive Top 10 finish this weekend to set a new mark. Just three drivers in Formula 1 history have managed to win 50 or more aces in their careers.

Schumacher is the all-time career leader with 91, Hamilton is next with 62 and the previously mentioned Alain Prost finished his Hall of Fame career with 51.

Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 3

This weekend, I’m going to advise you to back the gifted Lewis Hamilton to get the win in China for a couple of reasons. First, the Briton has absolutely dominated his counterparts when Shanghai rolls around each season and second, he’s completely desperate to snap his winless streak at five races. Don’t over-think this race, Lewis Hamilton will win and I predict he’ll win it fairly easily.

Pick: Lewis Hamilton