Back-to-back F1 wins for Lewis Hamilton has changed the complexion of the Formula 1 title race.
Hamilton is now listed by U.K. bookmakers as the favorite with a 61.8 percent chance to win the championship over Max Verstappen.
This is the first time that Hamilton has been the betting favorite to win the championship since the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa in August.
London bookmakers say that Lewis Hamilton is now the favorite to win the Formula 1 championship.
At least that's the way the money is trending after Hamilton won in Qatar to give the seven-time champion back-to-back wins going into the final two races of the F1 season at Saudi Arabia on Dec. 3 and at Abu Dhabi on Dec. 12.
The folks over at Compare.bet have done what they do—collected fractional odds from the leading bookmakers in the U.K.—and point out that the the odds for Hamilton to win the F1 title have swung back Hamilton's favor.
Following Hamilton's dominate win at Qatar (yes, it was a box-to-wire dominate yawner with Hamilton winning by 25.7 seconds), bookmakers now have Hamilton with a 61.77% chance of bringing home his eighth championship trophy. This is the first time that Hamilton has been the betting favorite since the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa in August.
Here's how the betting favorite has ebbed and flowed throughout the season. Note that the percentages show are fractional odds — "combined percentage" of Hamilton and Verstappen posted odds of winning at the different sports books.
Verstappen was listed with an overwhelming 80% chance of winning the championship following the Mexican Grand Prix, just three races ago and before Hamilton's back-to-back wins in Brazil and Qatar.
Hamilton opened the season at 60% chance of winning the championship in the eyes of the U.K. betting houses.
"I feel great," Hamilton said after his most recent win. "I feel in the best shape physically that I’ve been in all year. So just feel… obviously at the beginning, not particularly that well, so yeah, I feel great, the car is feeling better than ever, and I feel positive going into these next couple of races. I think they should be quite good for our car, so I'm looking forward to that battle."
Meanwhile, Verstappen still has his eight-point lead.
"Yeah, it’s exciting," Verstappen said. "I would of course have liked to make it a bigger gap, but when you don't have the pace, it’s impossible to do that, so we’ll just try to be better, and come back strong, especially in Saudi on the street track, and then yeah, we’ll see in Abu Dhabi."