This year we have the added bonus of the battle not being a Mercedes in-fight, with Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team having very much closed the performance gap to the silver arrows. There are 12 races left, including three in the next three weeks, so things are about to get even more intense.
The Belgian Grand Prix has been held since 1925, with most races held at the current Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The track is 6.95km, and is revered for its high-speed, narrow nature which leads to a lot of side-by-side racing throughout the lap. Among current drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikonnen each have 4 wins here, Sebastian Vettel has three, and Daniel Ricciardo and Charles Leclerc both have exciting memories of one huge win at the circuit.
A look through previous results reveals that the podium is generally made up of the usual suspects, with only the odd surprise. The clear favourites are of course Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, with both available at $2.10. Hamiltons outstanding record at the track includes 6 pole positions, while Verstappen has had to make do with a pair of 3rd place finishes in his 6 attempts. With the Red Bull being more competitive this year it may not mean much, but I still want to lean towards the class and composure of Hamilton.
I’m also interested in the chances of Valtteri Bottas finishing on the podium. He’s done so both of the last two seasons, and his $3 odds seem generous. Again I like the theme of Mercedes pushing to reassert their dominance over the summer break, so they’ll be looking to put their drivers on the top two steps of the podium.
Valtteri Bottas Podium
My final fancy is for one of the Alpine cars to finish in the top 6. Both Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso are paying $5, and have shown some recent improvements culminating in a finish of 1st and 4th in the last race in Hungary. With enough good history at his track to keep my interest, as well as the class of Alonso, I’m betting on team Alpine to have a good day. If you back both to finish on the podium at $5.00, you would effectively be getting $2.50 for either, of course there is always the chance they both finish top 6, in which case, we are massive winners.