2017 F1 Belgian Grand Prix Picks
Formula 1 Belgian GP Outright
We are just past the halfway point in the F1 season and there are still plenty of questions that remain unanswered. Will Sebastian Vettel hold on to his lead in the Driver's Championship or will Lewis Hamilton live up to his pre-season favourite tag? Can Valtteri Bottas continue his good form and spoil the party for the top two? Will Mercedes or Ferrari win the Constructor's Championship?
The Belgian GP won't answer all of these questions but will prove to be an integral race in the home stretch of the F1 season. Below are the odds for the outright market, followed by our in-depth analysis of each contender's chances at topping the podium at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.
The Favourite - Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton was heavily favoured to win the Driver's Championship this season, and although second to Sebastian Vettel at present he is still the bookies choice to take out the outright title. Hamilton has six pole positions from eleven starts in 2017, although has only managed four wins, which is more down to poor luck and unfortunate mechanical failures rather than driving ability or the specifications of his vehicle.
For this race, Hamilton is the clear favourite, and it is easy to see why. The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps contains the famous Eau Rouge, possibly the most thrilling section of track across the F1 season, and Hamilton's Mercedes is by far the best equipped vehicle to take it on at speed. The constructor also boasts the best straight-line speed and top speed, which will make passing other cars on the big straight a breeze.
In terms of outright odds, Hamilton is very short at a price of -150. You will have to weigh up whether there is enough value in placing a solo bet on the Englishman, especially considering he has had an up-and-down year in terms of podium finishes. There is no question that Hamilton has the best chance to win the Belgian GP, and he will be very eager to make up ground on Vettel.
He is also the odds on favourite to take his seventh pole of the season and could even do the treble (fastest qualifier, fastest lap and race victory) like he has already done on four occasions in 2017 - you can get odds of around +250 for him to achieve this feat. It is certainly going to be a challenge for any other driver to beat Hamilton, who will be gunning for his third career victory in Belgium.
The Top Contenders
The superiority of the Mercedes over the Ferrari in this race has been recognised by the top bookmakers, who have listed Valtteri Bottas slightly ahead of Sebastian Vettel. But the car does not drive itself; Bottas has been in sublime form all season and has recorded the equal-highest podium appearances alongside Vettel, with eight top-three finishes from 11 starts.
Bottas is now just 19 points behind Lewis Hamilton and 33 behind leader Vettel in the Driver's Championship standings, so he will be hungry to ensure that he does more than just make another podium in this race. He has a real opportunity to add to his two race victories, coming in Russia and Austria, and at odds of +350 he is certainly the best value pick in the field.
The only real threat to the chances of Bottas will be Hamilton. If Hamilton drives well and the pair jump out to a one-two lead in the race, it is unlikely Bottas will have the opportunity to overtake his teammate, although if the Finn can jag pole position he is in with a real shot.
Sebastian Vettel comes into this race off the back of a win in the Hungarian GP and has a decent opportunity to become the first driver to record back-to-back victories in 2017. While his Ferrari will struggle to match the Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas in Belgium, he is still one of the best drivers in the field and his four wins and eight podium appearances are a testament to his ability. You cannot write off the German in any race.
Vettel will be very keen to put even more distance between himself and his rivals at the top of the Driver's Championship, while he and teammate Kimi Raikkonen will be desperate to close the gap between themselves and Mercedes in the Constructor's Championship. Like Hamilton, Vettel has won twice in Belgium and is almost certain to achieve at least a podium finish here; at odds of +400 he presents a good value pick for the outright victory.
Kimi Raikkonen will be looking for win number five in Belgium, a fantastic achievement that would see him one short of the great Michael Schumacher. While his wins came when he was in the best years of his life, experience may prove to be a crucial factor at this year's event. His odds of +1000 make him a genuine outsider option, although his only chance of victory will come if teammate Vettel falls well back in the field or retires; it is unlikely he will be given the green light to overtake the German.
Max Verstappen appears next on the list of odds, however he is a long way short of a victory in this season's campaign and will not be a chance in Belgium lest a series of events writes off some of the big names ahead of him. While Red Bull are easily the third-best constructor in the field, they won't be a match for the might of the Mercedes cars, and a good result for Verstappen will be to match his season-best fourth position.
Australia's Daniel Ricciardo appears as a slim chance alongside his teammate, and although he has recorded five podium finishes and is the only driver aside from the top 3 to have won a race in 2017, it appears his only chance will be if the Mercedes and Ferraris make major errors.
Ricciardo is sixth on the list of odds above at +2500, which makes him a pretty long shot, although his odds are nothing compared to the names further down the list. The next name is Sergio Perez, with the outrageous price of +75000. No, that's not a typo. Unless lightning strikes the track and wipes out all six of the top drivers, there is no chance for anyone else to win this race.
What you can do is look to the other lines on offer for the Belgian GP. Bet365.com offers a number of position-based markets, most notably the 'top six finish' and 'points finish' lines. Sergio Perez is the best of the rest and is paying a modest +135 to sneak into the top six, while he is heavily favoured to feature in the top ten, priced at -275 to finish with championship points.
You can also place a wager on a large selection of driver-specific markets, such as the first driver to be retired, the first to pit and even whether or not a driver will be caught speeding in the pit lane. There are plenty to choose from which is great if exotic bets such as these interest you more than the outright markets.
2017 Belgian GP Prediction
While Hamilton is probably the deserved favourite, we are going to go with Valtteri Bottas to win the Belgian GP. Bottas presents far better value at +350 and has been impressive throughout 2017.
There is a big chance that the Mercedes pairing will finish one-two, and an even bigger chance that one of the two will start the race from pole. Do you agree with our pick? What are your thoughts on the upcoming race? Let us know by joining the conversation on Facebook today and chat to other F1 fans about the Belgian GP. All the action begins on Friday, August 25th, with the big race commencing on Sunday, August 27th. Don't miss it!
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