Mercedes primed to take on the Red Bull challenge in part two
The way the first-half of the Formula One season concluded gives great encouragement that neither the Drivers nor Constructors’ championship standings are yet written in stone.
Lewis Hamilton’s maiden win of the season in Hungary may have arrived a lot later than the Briton had hoped, but with the summer break looming it was paramount Sebastian Vettel was pegged back to keep the Championship race alive.
Much like a football team grabbing a goal just before half-time, the Mercedes driver’s dominance at the Hungaroring, has given both Vettel and Red Bull food for thought during the annual mid-season break.
In being held off into third position by Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen in the closing stages in Hungary, the German’s lead over the Finn in the standings was reduced to just 38 points, with Fernando
Alonso a point behind that and Hamilton just ten further points adrift.
Crucially, there are still nine races to be fought for with 225 points still on offer, starting with the Belgium Grand Prix on the 25 August.
Double world champion Raikkonen is now 12/1 to overhaul Vettel whose bullish-looking 1/5 price to go on to win a fourth successive F1 crown, looks increasingly less like a mortgage-staking punt. Meanwhile Hamilton’s price to finish top of the pile is now 8/1 with Alonso at 11/1.
That chequered flag for Hamilton in Hungary capped a fine run for Mercedes where they scored three victories and four pole positions from the last five races.
What will be even more gratifying for Mercedes is the fact they finally managed to prevent the crippling tyre degradation in Hungary, which had seen them surrender leads earlier in the season.
Pirelli’s new tyre design rolled out at the Hungororing seems to have worked wonders for the Brackley-based outfit which bodes extremely well for the remaining races.
And with team principal Ross Brawn confident Mercedes will implement further telling updates to the car during this break– their price 9/1 price to overhaul a 69-point gap to Red Bull in the Constructors’ championship could be a gamble worth taking.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.