Formula 1 Rolex Belgian Grand Prix Preview

F1 Formula One

Formula 1 Rolex Belgian Grand Prix Preview

This weekend sees the return of F1 to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, following the annual summer break that the sport takes. Following two dramatic races in Britain and Hungary which saw both of the Mercedes cars involved in contact with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, as well as seeing some sensational recovery drives by Lewis Hamilton which earned the Brit first and second-place finishes, the Stevenage born driver currently leads the Driver’s Championship with 195 points, eight more than his Dutch rival.

The last time the sport raced at Spa was last year, where the most common podium in F1 history took place, as Hamilton finished in first place having led every single lap, with teammate Valtteri Bottas finishing ahead of Max Verstappen.

A team that did impress last time out at Spa is Renault, as they recorded fourth and fifth-placed finishes with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, which is ironic, as they rebranded as Alpine for this season and won the race in Hungary last time out with Ocon finishing in first place, thanks to Fernando Alonso’s incredible defensive display against Hamilton, which saw the Spaniard eventually finish in fourth place following Sebastien Vettel’s disqualification from the race.

Belgian GP Race Winner Tips

skybet betting tip

MAX VERSTAPPEN TO WIN THE BELGIAN GP @ 1/1

Qualifying Prediction

Red Bull will be under huge pressure coming into this GP knowing that it has been a strong circuit for Mercedes, as the German constructor have won four of the last six Grand Prix’s here with Hamilton winning three and Nico Rosberg managing a single victory, the two anomalies in all of this were back-to-back wins for Ferrari with Vettel winning in 2018, whilst Charles Le Clerc won a year later.

Mercedes have shown strong performance throughout qualifying this year bar Monaco and will be expected to pile more pressure on the Austrian constructor again. A team that will likely be thereabouts this year unlike last is McLaren who have came on leaps and bounds under the management of Zack Brown. Last year the Papaya coloured cars qualified in seventh and 10th with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris at the wheel, having had a Renault power unit.

Prediction: Pole Position – Hamilton. 2nd Verstappen. 3rd Bottas (Has a five-place grid penalty)

Belgium GP Tips

skybet betting tip

LANDO NORRIS TO FINISH ON THE PODIUM @ 7/2

Race Prediction: Red Bull vs Mercedes

As mentioned above, the rivalry between Red Bull and Mercedes is as intense as it has ever been following the dramatic collision between Verstappen and Hamilton at Silverstone and Bottas’ error at the start of the Hungarian GP that saw the Finn collide with Lando Norris, finishing his record of finishing in the points at every race, which effectively shunted the Brit into Verstappen at the first turn, significantly compromising the Dutchman’s GP, as he finished ninth despite being ahead of Hamilton after the safety car following the Mercedes’ drivers poor judgement not to change tyres.

Christian Horner’s team will be desperate to assert dominance as they have shown this season as arguably Verstappen has made the least mistakes of any driver on the grid in races this season, hence why Hamilton and Bottas were given penalties for the collisions caused in the last two races, as well as the 23-year-old being unfortunate with a tyre blowout at Azerbaijan whilst comfortably leading the race.

Verstappen is yet to win in Belgium and is aiming to be the first Red Bull driver since his former teammate Ricciardo in 2014 to do so. Spa is known for being the sort of place that can make or break a driver’s season and throw up some freak results, famously in 2009 where Kimi Raikkonen won Ferrari’s only race of that season in what was a miserable campaign for the Italian team and as well as in 1998 when Damon Hill won with Jordan. This could perhaps give Perez encouragement to have a strong race weekend, whilst Bottas will know that he will have to be at the top of his game to stand any chance of a podium following his grid penalty from the last race.

Prediction: 1st Verstappen. 2nd Hamilton. 3rd Norris.

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Other Drivers to Lookout For

Norris is still in third place in the driver’s championship ahead of Bottas and Perez and will be looking to bounce back from the last race. The 21-year-old should fancy his chances of sneaking a podium place for the fourth time this season.

Teammate Ricciardo will be hoping to replicate the sort of form that saw him finish fourth here last season and previously as a race winner with Red Bull. The Aussie has underperformed so far and will be hoping to turn his fortunes around and help the British team finish above Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.

Both of the Ferrari’s have done well this season and are evenly matched on points, as Sainz has 83 whilst LeClerc has 80. The Spaniard finished on the podium last time out, whilst the Monegasque was involved in Bottas’ heavy collision at Hungary, but, did get on the podium in Britain.

Pierre Gasly has also been one of the drivers of the season with 50 points to his name with Alphatauri. The Frenchman has actually staked a claim to a potential future return to Red Bull with his performances and managed to finish in fifth at Hungary with 11 points, taking the fastest lap of the GP point along the way.

Alpine and Aston Martin will be looking to re-engage in their midfield battle too, as the French team’s heavy points haul at Hungary has seen them overtake Aston, especially due to Vettel’s disqualification having crossed the line as second place behind Ocon at Budapest. The Alpine’s aren’t known for having strong straight-line speed which is required at Spa, meaning that Lance Stroll will be looking to improve on the 18 points he has managed so far.

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