A true sporting great comes into their own when they’re on the back foot or up against it, and Lewis Hamilton will head into Formula One’s annual summer break having turned the title race on its head.
After colliding with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Spain, Hamilton trailed his title rival by 43 points and a fourth world title looked unlikely.
But as the sport heads into the summer holidays, Hamilton has produced a 62-point swing to hold a 19-point lead, leaving Rosberg with plenty to think about over the next few weeks.
Since that smash in Barcelona, Hamilton has romped to six wins from the subsequent seven races, leaving Rosberg to pick up a solitary win in Azerbaijan.
Having been the title outsider earlier in the season at 9/4, the bookies make it a pretty sure thing now with Hamilton the 1/5 favourite for the 2016 crown.
Rosberg – with seemingly no answer to Hamilton recently – has fallen from 10/11 favourite in May to 7/2.
After winning the opening four races, it seemed as if this year was finally heading the German’s way.
But since Spain, it has all drifted away from Rosberg, who has been forced to play second best to his team-mate.
The 31-year-old was castigated for his role in the last-lap collision with Hamilton in Austria, and despite sitting in the best car on the grid, has only managed to finish on the podium in three of the last seven races.
The German Grand Prix briefly offered the former Williams driver a shot at redressing the balance, but after taking a superb pole position, Rosberg fluffed his lines at the start and could only manage fourth.
This season’s expanded 21-race calendar means we still have nine events to go, but unless Rosberg can raise his game, it seems we already know who this year’s champion will be.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.