Stakes are high in Shanghai

By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey.   Last Updated: 14/04/13 12:59pm

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Mercedes: Rosberg won in China last term while Hamilton is the track's only multiple winner

Mercedes: Rosberg won in China last term while Hamilton is the track's only multiple winner

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Following a three-week break, the Formula One calendar resumes in China this weekend, and there's been no shortage of talking points ahead of the third race of the 2013 season.

How Red Bull will react to the storm they brewed up in Malaysia promises to intrigue, but, if anything, Sebastian Vettel only displayed his determination to win at all costs.

McLaren, who ran well here last season, are in desperate need of points but showed progress in Malaysia, where only a pit-crew error stood in the way of Jenson Button claiming a fifth-place finish.

The 2009 Champion is likely to finish inside the top six this weekend, but his odds of 6/5 are a little too short to back as uncertainty still surrounds McLaren's MP4-28, considering the value to be had elsewhere.

Last year, Nico Rosberg stole the show, taking his first and since only pole position before going on to claim his maiden win in the process and Mercedes are expected to be competitive once again this weekend.

The German, who is 12/1 for a repeat win, displayed a good pace in Malaysia and was unfortunate to be denied a podium spot due to team orders, but the Sky Bet trading room reckon he could make up for lost time by finishing in the top three on Sunday, going 9/4 on that outcome.

Mercedes, who are 4/1 to produce a race winner, should run well and are 7/2 to have a car on Pole Position. However, it's difficult to see past Vettel on race day - providing he puts in a reasonable display in qualifying.

In prospect, Sky Bet's odds of Vettel to win the Chinese GP and set the fastest lap in doing so looks too tempting to overlook at 5/1, whatever your thoughts on his actions last time out.

However, in the nine previous Chinese Grand Prix, only Lewis Hamilton has won more than once, and the Englishman is tipped by many to start on the front row (9/4) and can be backed to win the race at 7/1 ahead of qualifying.

Mark Webber will surely be more determined than ever to pick up a win and thrust himself back into title contention, but his odds of a win are long again at 8/1, while he's 6/1 to snatch Pole.

Meanwhile, Ferrari's main man Fernando Alonso is under pressure as he continues to be out-performed by team-mate Felipe Massa, and the two-time world champion is 22/1 to bounce back in style with a weekend hat-trick of Pole Position, race win and fastest lap.

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