Belgian GP tips: Can Vettel bounce back in Hamilton fight?
The 2018 Formula One season resumes this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton leads the standings by 24 points from title rival Sebastian Vettel, but the general consensus is that Vettel’s Ferrari is quicker than Hamilton’s Mercedes.
The Briton has won the last two races, in Germany and Hungary, but rain has played an important part in both achievements. In dry conditions, Hamilton has struggled to keep up with the Scuderia.
The Englishman is 11/8 favourite to win his third race in succession, but the fast, flowing sweeps of Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit may well suit the Ferraris this weekend.
Vettel is 6/4 to win his fifth race of the campaign, and the German is entering a crucial phase of the championship.
The Ferrari star was in a similar position in last season’s title fight with Hamilton, but threw away his advantage with a disastrous move on the first lap in Singapore.
Tasked with the challenge of becoming the first Ferrari world champion since 2007, Vettel cannot afford to crumble this time around.
And according to the odds, this weekend is a two-man showdown.
Valtteri Bottas is third in the betting at 15/2. The Finn started the season brightly, but misfortune robbed him off several race-winning opportunities. Much like 2017, Bottas has since seen Hamilton find another gear.
Fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen always deserves consideration at Spa. The 2007 world champion is a four-time winner in Belgium, and thrives around the fast swoops of Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimont.
He hasn’t won a race since 2013, but coming off five podiums on the spin, Kimi is a 17/2 shot to win this weekend.
There’ll be plenty of attention on the Red Bull duo this weekend. It’s the first race since Daniel Ricciardo announced his move to Renault, despite having an offer from his current employers.
The Aussie is a 12/1 shot for his third victory of the season. Team-mate Max Verstappen is the same price, but they may have to look to take advantage of mid-race incidents. Mercedes and Ferrari are expected to have the upper hand this weekend.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication