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Lewis Hamilton is the early favourite to beat Max Verstappen at Imola GP after heroics in Bahrain

LEWIS HAMILTON is the early favourite to win the Imola Grand Prix after beating Max Verstappen in the season opener in Bahrain.

Hamilton crossed the line just 0.7 seconds before Verstappen in Bahrain as he defied the odds to hold onto first place.

Lewis Hamilton won the opening race in Bahrain


Lewis Hamilton won the opening race in BahrainCredit: Getty

And despite Red Bull having the quickest car, William Hill have made Hamilton the 5/4 favourite to win the next race in Imola on April 16.

Verstappen is a slightly larger price at 11/8 to win the next race after he struggled to capitalise on having the fresher set of tyres last time out.

In Bahrain, Hamilton clinched his 96th F1 win as he pursues a record-breaking eighth world title.

Imola GP – William Hill Odds (April 16)

Race winner

Lewis Hamilton – 5/4

Max Verstappen – 11/8

Sergio Perez – 8/1

Valtteri Bottas – 17/2

Lando Norris – 33/1

Daniel Ricciardo – 50/1


Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org

After the nail-biting finish in Bahrain, Hamilton joked his hair will go grey as he expects each race to go down to the wire.

Hamilton said: ‘Twenty-two more races this season. Holy c***.

“I’ll be grey by the end of it.

“I loved every minute of it. We knew we were behind in performance. To come away with this result is a real boost. 

“We don’t know how much better Red Bull will be in other places.

“I am excited and happy the fans are excited. This is something they have wanted for a long time. It is only one race and we don’t know what the future holds. 

“With the pace Red Bull have, they could be ahead a lot more, but we are going to work as hard as we can to stay close. I hope for more of these races with Max.”

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen react to epic Bahrain opener

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