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Nic Ladds 10th Mar 2012 - 12:33

Mercedes boys backed but Hamilton can close the gap

Mercedes boys well backed but settled Hamilton can close gap on Vettel

The Mercedes boys have been well backed with William Hill ahead of the new F1 season that kicks off on Friday.

Both Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg have racked up six figure liabilities having been very well backed at 40/1 and 33/1 earlier in the year. They have now come in to 25/1 (Rosberg) and 28/1 (Schumacher).

"There is no doubting that this year's Mercedes has looked more competitive in testing this year, but it still has a long way to go before it can catch the Red Bull and McLaren cars, even the Ferraris," said Hill's spokesman Joe Crilly.

Sebastian Vettel heads the field as he did from day one last season and he is 10/11 with William Hill, while a newly settled Lewis Hamilton is 11/2. Alonso is 7/2, Button 9/1 and Webber 16/1.

"There was no coincidence that Lewis' performances suffered last year as a result of events taking place in his private life, but we think that he is in a much more settled Lewis will be able to turn the pressure up on Vettel," said Hill's spokesman Joe Crilly.

Drivers Championship: 10/11 Sebastian Vettel; 11/2 Lewis Hamilton; 7/1 Fernando Alonso; 9/1 Jenson Button; 16/1 Mark Webber; 25/1 Kimi Raikkonen; 25/1 Nico Rosberg; 28/1 Michael Schumacher; 100/1 BAR

Australian Grand Prix: 11/8 Sebastian Vettel; 5/1 Lewis Hamilton; 6/1 Mark Webber; 13/2 Jenson Button; 8/1 Fernando Alonso; 20/1 Nico Rosberg; 22/1 Kimi Raikkonen; 22/1 Michael Schumacher; 50/1 Felipe Massa; 50/1 Romain Grosjean; 66/1 BAR

Constructors Championship: 10/11 Red Bull; 2/1 McLaren; 9/1 Ferrari; 10/1 Mercedes GP; 28/1 Lotus Renault; 80/1 Force India



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