Mercedes no Belgian GP bankers despite Hamilton’s fine pole

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton claimed his 10th pole out of 11 this season, continuing Mercedes’ clean sweep so far, in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, but the Brit’s recent conversion rate makes him a poorly-priced 1/2 favourite in the main event at Spa-Francorchamps.

Hamilton may currently lead the drivers’ championship by 21 points, from Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in second, but five wins from nine poles so far in the campaign suggest he should be swerved at such a meagre offering, despite Ladbrokes’ price being the best around.

The bookies also go industry-best about fellow front-rower Rosberg at 11/4, which screams value by contrast considering the German has emerged triumphant after three of the last six rounds.

However, both Mercedes were overtaken in the first straight last time out by Ferrari pair Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, so the latter must be worth a nimble at 22/1 to follow up his Hungaroring triumph and claim a third victory of the campaign.

Naysayers will point to Mercedes’ dominance in qualifying, with the BBC describing Hamilton as ‘unstoppable’ and ‘flawless’ following his Q3 1:47.197, leaving him almost half a second ahead of Rosberg, while Vettel trailed almost a second further back in ninth.

However, Hamilton’s Saturday lead over his teammate in Hungary a month ago was just as big, but issues with reliability at the off put paid to Mercedes’ challenge for top honours pretty quickly.

With Rosberg suffering from a tyre blowout in Friday’s practice, and Hamilton losing as many races as he has won so far this season, there seems no value backing him at 1/2.

Further back on the grid, McClaren’s world championship-winning pair Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso’s are in the doldrums again, after claiming fifth and ninth respectively in Hungary.

Changes to their Honda engines have incurred a record 105-place grid penalty, although Ladbrokes still see them with outside chances of getting in the points, with Alonso 3/1 for the top 10 and Button 10/3.

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

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