Hamilton favourite for Belgium as Formula One returns for second-half

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After the annual three-week summer break, the Formula One season restarts this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at the majestic Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

With 11 races gone and nine to go, Sebastian Vettel leads Lewis Hamilton by 14 points.

But our odds suggest Hamilton is about to claw back that deficit.

The Mercedes ace is 4/5 favourite for victory this Sunday, meaning he would at least halve the German’s lead.

We’re 10/3 the Ferrari pilot extends his advantage with his fifth win of the year.

Neither man boasts a particularly brilliant record in Belgium, with the pair each managing two wins in 10 years.

But the fast, sweeping bends of the famous venue should lend itself to Mercedes and their longer wheelbase.

So far this season we’ve seen the German firm leap ahead when it comes to the faster circuits, such as in Spain and in Britain.

Ferrari have excelled on the shorter, narrower venues such as Monaco and Hungary.

But Spa falls into the former category, meaning Mercedes should have the upper hand.

That will tempt more than a few to opt for Valtteri Bottas at 5/1. The Finn has impressed during his debut campaign for Mercedes, and has already won twice this season.

The King of Spa however, is four-time winner Kimi Raikkonen. The 2007 champion thrives in Belgium, and could be in for a strong weekend.

He’s been disappointing at times this season, but the 37-year-old has just signed on with the Scuderia for another year, and is 10/1 to celebrate that announcement with 25 points this weekend.

But instead of red in the grandstands this weekend, a sea of orange will descend upon Spa as a huge Dutch contingent make the trip from the Netherlands to support Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

The teenager has endured a trying campaign with five retirements this year, but both he and Daniel Ricciardo should be in the mix with their RB13s.

We’re 12/1 apiece on the Red Bull drivers claiming victory on Sunday.

Click here for all our Formula One odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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