It looks like a fight for second-best ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands leads at the start of the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain, Sunday, June 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

Max Verstappen is the overwhelming favorite to win once again ahead of Sunday’s Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

Who is the second-fastest team in Formula 1?

That’s a big question entering Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix (2 p.m. ET, ABC). We all know by now that Red Bull is the dominant team of the season and will stay in that position barring a catastrophe. But the fight for No. 2 in the constructor’s standings is an intriguing one. Especially after the Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell rounded out the podium spots behind Max Verstappen in Barcelona to bump Mercedes up to best-of-the-rest status in the standings. Aston Martin had been the No. 2 team thanks to Fernando Alonso’s excellence, but Alonso had his slowest race of the season in his home country.

The Spanish Grand Prix looked like validation for Mercedes’ upgrades that debuted at Monaco and showed that Ferrari still had some work to do. Charles Leclerc struggled after starting at the back of the field and Carlos Sainz didn’t have any speed to match the Red Bull or Mercedes cars.

Aston Martin looks poised to bring updates to the Canadian Grand Prix as Alonso is chasing his first F1 win since 2013. Alonso has scored five podium finishes over the first seven races of 2023 after getting just three podium finishes combined in his last seven years in the series.

If the Aston Martin upgrades are more like Mercedes’ and less like Ferrari’s, then the team will be in the mix right behind Verstappen on Sunday. And that could set up a big battle for second place unless Sergio Perez somehow has pace to match Verstappen.

Perez enters Sunday’s race as the No. 2 favorite at +500 behind Verstappen at -275 while Hamilton is at +800, Russell is at +1200 and Alonso is at +1400. Mercedes has finished on the podium in each of the last eight Canadian Grand Prix races while Hamilton has seven career wins at the track.

If you’d prefer to bet a constructor, there’s no value unless you are going with a non-Red Bull winner. Red Bull is -700 to win the race while the rest of the field is at +400. Mercedes is the No. 2 favorite to produce the winner at +600.

Here are a few bets at BetMGM that we like for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Lando Norris to finish in the top 10 (-140)

Norris had a great qualifying effort in Spain that was ruined after first-lap contact with Hamilton forced him to pit for a new front wing. Norris is due for some good luck and a solid finish and McLaren’s speed should carry over to Montreal.

Esteban Ocon to finish ahead of Pierre Gasly (-125)

Ocon has finished ahead of Gasly in each of the last two races. We’ll go with three in a row as Ocon beats Gasly for the fourth time this season.

Lewis Hamilton to finish ahead of Fernando Alonso (-110)

We’re going with Hamilton’s excellence in Montreal over the unknown of the Aston Martin upgrades here. It’s also worth noting that there’s a little bit of incongruity in BetMGM’s head-to-head matchups. Alonso is favored in this one at -125, but if you bet Mercedes vs. Aston Martin in a head-to-head matchup, Mercedes is the favorite at -135.

Alex Albon to finish ahead of Zhou Guanyu (+100)

We’re going with the underdog in this one. Albon has overachieved this season and Williams has some decent straight-line speed. That will be important at a track that’s full-throttle for much of the lap.

Verstappen and Hamilton both to finish in the top three (+125)

Since we’re going with Hamilton to beat Alonso, we might as well back that up with this bet as well.