How the Bookies See It
|British Grand Prix Winner||
|2017 Drivers' Championship||
- Lewis Hamilton failed to achieve a podium finish for the fourth time this season and for the second race in a row in the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday 9 July. The Brit performed poorly during qualifying and also received a five-place grid penalty for Mercedes changing the gearbox (which had not completed six consecutive events) on his car before the Austrian race. That put Hamilton in eighth place on the starting grid, some six places behind his main rival Sebastian Vettel, and while the Brit managed to claw his way up to a fourth-place finish, it wasn’t enough to prevent Vettel from extending his Drivers’ Championship lead. Hamilton now stands on 151 points for the Drivers’ Championship, which is 20 behind the German leader.
- Sebastian Vettel’s second place on the starting grid in Austria gave him a great advantage over Hamilton, and he no doubt thought that he had a good chance of adding another 25 points to his tally by getting the better of Valtteri Bottas, who was on pole. Unfortunately for Vettel, Bottas got off to an incredibly fast start – one which was so quick that it was investigated and subsequently allowed by the FIA – and the German didn’t manage to overtake the Finn at any point. Vettel finished the race less than a second behind Bottas and maintains that the winner jumped the start, but had to settle for 18 points to bring his season total to 171.
- Valtteri Bottas more than made up for his poor start in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with a reaction time of just 0.201s in Austria. That ‘unhuman’ response (which is how Vettel described it after the race) and the fact that he started in pole position, allowed the Finn to dominate the race until the very end. He drove impressively, and remained calm – even when Vettel was breathing down his neck in the latter stages – to take the maximum of 25 points and achieve his second Grand Prix win of the season. That is just one less than both Hamilton and Vettel, and puts him on 136 points in the Drivers’ Championship table, causing some to speculate about his increasing chances of actually going on to win the title.
|2017 Constructors’ Championship:||
The Austrian Grand Prix, like the previous race in Azerbaijan, demonstrated that Valtteri Bottas could be the main driver to benefit from the intense rivalry between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Whether or not Bottas jumped the start (and the FIA says no), he had already secured pole position, and if he does that again a few more times he could well end up continuing to close the gap between himself and the top two in the Driver’s Championship table.
Whilst Hamilton isn’t in the best form of late, he will be keen to prove himself on home turf in the British Grand Prix this Sunday. At the same time, Vettel will no doubt be seeking to scupper any plans that his rival has of winning. It is becoming increasingly difficult to predict which of the two will win (if either), so we will side with Bottas to continue adding to his title chances and suggest him as an each-way selection.
Sports.net’s Top Tip:
*Please note, odds may change as the race approaches.