After a three week hiatus, the Formula One circus is back for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Richard O’Hagan takes a look at the betting odds and shares his free picks for the upcoming race.
We are only about a third of a way through the 2013 Formula One season and already the question is whether or not anyone at all can beat Sebastian Vettel to the drivers title. The German’s win in Canada at the start of the month put clear daylight between him and the chasing pack and even if he picks up no points this weekend he’ll still be leading the title race at the end of it.
That, on the face of it, looks unlikely. Vettel hasn’t finished out of the top four all season and the Red Bull car has been so reliable that the only time either of them hasn’t got around it was due to human error not mechanical failure. The best price you will get on him winning this race is 2/1 with BetFred, whilst for the championship as a whole the 4/9 that Coral are offering is a price you should take as barring the unlikely event of someone doing a Schumacher and running him off the track a few times he looks to be nailed on for the title already.
If you are not going to back Vettel for this race, then the man to look to is his team mate, Mark Webber. He hasn’t had the greatest of seasons but he does have a great record of winning at Silverstone. He’s won twice at what is technically his home track (he lives less than an hour away) and at 10/1 with Stan James he is very undervalued.
British drivers will, of course, look to put in a strong challenge on their home circuit. Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team will be relieved just to be competing here on even terms with everyone else, having narrowly escaped penalty for illegally testing tyres in-season at a disciplinary hearing last week. They did look to be running better on the new compound tyres that came into use in Canada, so tyre wear issues shouldn’t be so much of a problem for them.
Hamilton has a reasonable record at Silverstone, and with the track having been remodelled this year it shouldn’t be as hard on those tyres. You’ll easily get 8/1 on him with the likes of Ladbrokes, but you might be better off going for the 13/8 on him finishing on the podium.
Jenson Button has had a torrid season in the McLaren, but there were signs in Canada that the team is slowly catching up with the others. They are a long way off being contenders for first place, but Button could sneak into the first six here, for which Paddy Power are offering 2/1.
The third Brit, Paul di Resta, has had a good season so far, although he’s been slightly overshadowed by his Force India team mate Adrian Sutil. The Force Indias haven’t had a lot of luck this year and if di Resta can get a good qualifying position and hold it he should be in contention for a top six finish as well. BetVictor have him at 5/2, which looks like a handy price.
Two other drivers that you might consider should be Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus. Both have been good in patches this year and are really the only other contenders for first place. Alonso is 11/4 in most sports betting markets whilst Raikkonen, who always goes well at Silverstone, is generally a generous 8/1.
Somewhere in these contenders will be the man who will start the race on pole. Again, Vettel is at short betting odds here, but Hamilton at 5/2 with BetVictor looks a solid bet, as does his team mate Nico Rosberg at 4/1 with Ladbrokes. The Mercedes may have struggled to stay with the pace during the races themselves, but on the flying lap in qualifying there have been few who can stay with them and either is a better option that Vettel here.