How the Bookies See It
- Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton 8/11, Nico Rosberg 9/4, Daniel Ricciardo 11/1, Max Verstappen 11/1 – William Hill
- Double Podium Finish: Mercedes 2/5, Red Bull 7/2, Ferrari 7/1 – Paddy Power
- Drivers’ Championship: Lewis Hamilton 2/9, Nico Rosberg 7/2, Daniel Ricciardo 300/1 – SkyBet
- Lewis Hamilton started the Belgian Grand Prix on the back row of the grid – in 21st place, to be precise – thanks to several penalties which needed to be served. That might have caused many other drivers to be despondent, but Hamilton demonstrated exactly why he has already been Drivers Champion three times by overcoming the grid handicap and finishing the race in third place. He currently leads the 2016 Drivers’ Championship table with 232 points.
- Nico Rosberg made the most of Hamilton being at the back of the grid and his own pole position at the start of the race in Belgium to win the race. It was a fairly uneventful time for the German, and all he really had to do was stay out of trouble, but he will be very pleased to have closed the gap on Hamilton in the rankings, despite his admission that he was surprised at how his fellow Mercedes driver managed to earn a place on the podium. Rosberg has earned 223 points this season, and is a clear second for the Drivers’ Championship title.
- Daniel Ricciardo finished the Belgian Grand Prix just over 14 seconds behind Rosberg, but more than 10 seconds ahead of Hamilton, to take second place and 18 points. An incident-packed start of the race, with several cars making contact, enabled the Australian to improve on his fifth-place starting position on the grid, and Ricciardio is now third in the driver standings, with a total of 151 points.
- Max Verstappen suffered a collision on the first turn with Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen, but all three remained in the race and Versteppen finished in 11th place. His driving pleased the crowd, but attracted criticism from Räikkönen and others after the race for being a little too reckless. Verstappen is currently fifth in line for the 2016 Drivers’ Championship, with 124 points, just 4 points behind Vettel.
The Belgian Grand Prix was certainly action-packed, but assuming that things will proceed more smoothly in Italy, the race once again looks to be between the two Mercedes Drivers.
Hamilton has served his penalties and, in all likelihood, won’t have to make up too much ground – if any – to get in front. Rosberg will want to close the rankings gap on Hamilton even further, but Hamilton’s extraordinary performance in Belgium may well be in the back of the German’s mind as he approaches the Italian Grand Prix, and he will have to work hard to finish ahead of his team-mate.
We will side with Hamilton to win his seventh Grand Prix of the season.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Lewis Hamilton to win the 2016 Italian Grand Prix at 8/11 – William Hill
*Please note, odds may change as the race approaches.