The Belgian Grand Prix sees the return of F1 after its summer break and for the leaders in the Drivers’ Championship this race is one of the most pivotal of the season. Sebastian Vettel leads the pack but his title defence has been dented in recent weeks with victories for Lewis Hamilton in Hungary and Nico Rosberg at Silverstone.
With five drivers still in with a realistic chance of winning the title, we look at who may claim the Belgian GP on Sunday 25 August:
Sebastian Vettel: 2.62 favourite
The summer break came at a perfect time for Red Bull and Vettel. Despite winning in Germany the car needs to improve its speed over one lap, for qualifying has let the drivers down of late. If Vettel has the raw speed in practice and qualifying he should make pole and that will see him to victory unchallenged.
Lewis Hamilton: 4.00
The Mercedes has found something few Formula 1 betting fans thought possible: actual pace in qualifying. Hamilton has poled in each of the last three races and is a good bet to do so in Belgium. Should the Brit beat Vettel to the front of the grid punters can expect him to at least make a podium place; a win all depends on tyre durability.
Kimi Raikkonen: 7.00
The Finn continues to impress in his Lotus yet Raikkonen hasn’t won since the first race of the season, in Australia, and won’t do so here. He simply doesn’t have the speed to compete with the Red Bulls and Ferraris, and although he may pinch third those who bet on F1 shouldn’t expect much more.
Fernando Alonso: 8.00
Like Red Bull, Ferrari needed this summer break to work out what’s been going wrong. The car hasn’t developed since good early-season form and Alonso’s team just cannot get the same performance from the tyres. Belgium is not his track either, having retired in three of his last four meets at Spa, and punters should avoid the Spaniard for this reason.
Nico Rosberg: 11.00
Like Hamilton, Rosberg has benefitted from Mercedes’ qualifying excellence yet the car’s performance during the race has come to his detriment. The German battled hard to earn his Silverstone win but that was more to do with tyre punctures from other drivers than his own craft.
Nevertheless, at 11.00 Rosberg is a good early tip to win the Belgian GP, especially if qualifying is anything to go by.