Belgian Grand Prix: Hamilton and Verstappen joint favourites

Belgian Grand Prix: Hamilton and Verstappen joint favourites

Date: 29/08/2021

Venue: Spa-Francorchamps

After a dramatic change in fortunes, bookmakers can’t split Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in their Belgian Grand Prix predictions.

Verstappen looked to be cruising to a first title triumph after nine races this year, picking up five wins and three seconds from those events.

However, Hamilton turned things around in Great Britain and Hungary to incredibly head into the summer break eight points in front.

When the action resumes at the end of August, the big two can both be backed at Evens in the Belgian Grand Prix odds.

Hamilton’s hopes of a record-breaking eighth world championship were hanging by a thread as he started out at Silverstone 33 points behind.

The Mercedes superstar overcame a 10-second penalty to win on home turf, though, and then made the podium in an eventful race at Hungaroring.

In contrast, Red Bull’s Verstappen has been hit by bad luck; shunted out of the British GP by his rival before he fell victim to Valtteri Bottas’ banzai start in Budapest.

The Dutchman has taken just two points from a possible 52 and is out to 11/10 to top the table at the end of the season, with Hamilton 13/20.

Red Bull protested strongly about Hamilton’s driving at Silverstone, but they will have been even more concerned by events in Hungary.

Hamilton qualified four tenths faster than Verstappen at the Hungaroring – a circuit which usually plays to Red Bull’s strengths – and was the class of the field on race day.

On that weekend’s form, the Silver Arrows now possess the car to beat, plus Hamilton was a wide-margin winner at Spa-Francorchamps last year – his fourth victory at the track.

How the Hungarian Grand Prix finished

1 Ocon (Alpine), 2 Vettel (Aston Martin), 3 Hamilton (Mercedes), 4 Sainz (Ferrari), 5 Gasly (Alphatauri), 6 Tsunoda (Alphatauri), 7 Latifi (Williams), 8 Russell (Williams), 9 Verstappen (Red Bull), 10 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 11 Ricciardo (McLaren), 12 Schumacher (Haas), 13 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), DNF Mazepin (Haas), Norris (McLaren), Bottas (Mercedes), Perez (Red Bull), Leclerc (Ferrari), Stroll (Aston Martin)

Red Bull number two Sergio Perez is available at 14/1 in Belgium, with Bottas 25/1 to prevail for Mercedes.

However, Esteban Ocon’s shock success in Hungary may tempt punters to get even more speculative with their Belgian Grand Prix betting tips.

Alpine driver Ocon claimed one of the most unlikely wins in the sport’s recent memory after Bottas caused chaos by breaking late at turn one.

Ocon, who started eighth, said: “What a moment. We’ve had some difficult moments this season but we are back where we belong.”

Sebastian Vettel passed the chequered flag in second place but was later demoted to third due to fuel regulations.

“I am a little bit disappointed but Esteban did not make a mistake and I could not get close enough,” said the Aston Martin driver.

“He stayed on track and it is well deserved that he celebrates his first victory.”

Ocon can be backed at 100/1 to complete an amazing double in Belgium, with Vettel quoted at the same price.

Lando Norris, a distant third in the title race, is 33/1 to oblige for McLaren, with Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz 40/1 and 66/1 respectively.

This has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for the Prancing Horse team, with wins in 2018 and 2019 taking their overall tally to 18.

Past Belgian Grand Prix winners

2020 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas (Mercedes), Verstappen (Red Bull)
2019 Leclerc (Ferrari), Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas (Mercedes)
2018 Vettel (Ferrari), Hamilton (Mercedes), Verstappen (Red Bull)
2017 Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari), Ricciardo (Red Bull)
2016 Rosberg (Mercedes), Ricciardo (Red Bull), Hamilton (Mercedes)
2015 Hamilton (Mercedes), Rosberg (Mercedes), Grosjean (Lotus)

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