Formula One quite literally returned with a bang from its summer break last weekend, Jenson Button winning a Belgian Grand Prix most memorable for a four-car first corner crash that eliminated championship contenders Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, and resulted in a one-race ban for Renault’s Romain Grosjean.
The paddock now moves on to another historic circuit, Monza, for the Italian Grand Prix (Sunday 9th September, 13:00 BST) with Alonso’s misfortune having allowed Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Kimi Raikonnen to cut into his lead at the top of the Driver’s Championship. Reigning champion Vettel is now just 24 points behind the Spaniard. Check out the latest F1 betting here.
Alonso will be hoping to bounce back in front of his adoring Tifosi at Ferrari’s home Grand Prix, but is likely to face a tough challenge for the race win, with McLaren and Red Bull both looking very strong last weekend and primed for further success in Northern Italy.
Spa-Francorchamps was a circuit that required teams to excel in low-downforce conditions, but also maintain the grip necessary for a number of flowing mid-speed corners and a tight chicane and hairpin combination either end of the start/finish straight.
The setups in Monza will be geared even more towards a low-downforce configuration. The circuit is essentially four long straights connected by three chicanes and the long, sweeping Curva Parabolica. The teams that succeed will be those who are good in a straight line, but also over the kerbs of the chicanes.
McLaren and Red Bull were the top two teams here last year and look well placed to repeat that form once more. However, of the two, McLaren have recently been in better form in qualifying – taking pole at the last two races – and we therefore suggest betting on one of the two McLaren’s to qualify on pole position at 11/8 with either SkyBet or Ladbrokes.
Buoyed by his fourth place finish in Belgium and on the back of three top ten qualifying slots in the last four Grand Prix, Nico Hulkenberg looks a decent bet to reach qualifying session three at Monza, especially with Mercedes in such poor form in recent races. This is offered at 6/5 with Ladbrokes.
While McLaren and Red Bull are likely to be vying for qualifying supremacy, in the race they will also face challenges from Alonso and Raikonnen. Current odds in the race win market place these six drivers as the favourites, and it is difficult to imagine anyone else springing a surprise to emerge victorious.
Sebastian Vettel was imperious in battling back from a 10th place grid slot to finish 2nd in Belgium and appears to be coming into form at just the right time. With this in mind, we suggest backing last year’s Monza winner to repeat the trick this time around at 5/1 with Bet365 or Betfred.
One of the primary disappointments of the Belgian Grand Prix was that we were deprived of the opportunity to see the Sauber drivers battling away with the big boys at the front.
Kamui Kobayashi had qualified a fantastic second on the grid, with his teammate Sergio Perez two places further back. Unfortunately, both became embroiled in the first corner incident through no fault of their own – Perez eliminated on the spot; Kobayashi receiving damage that significantly hampered his afternoon.
Both drivers appear confident that the team’s ultra low-downforce setup for Monza has the potential to yield similarly strong pace this time out and therefore backing one of two drivers to finish in the top six appears a good bet.
This season, each of them has finished in the top six on three occasions and also failed to finish three races. In the races they have finished, Perez has averaged an 8th place finish, while Kobayashi’s average is closer to 10th. Although they are closely matched, we feel Perez is the more likely to achieve a top six finish.
There are often incidents at the first chicane at Monza, which comes at the end of a long run down from the start line. Three cars were eliminated there in last year’s race, while those who make it through unscathed are not necessarily guaranteed to finish the first lap, as Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber found to their cost in 2010 and 2009 respectively.
Taking this into consideration, BetVictor’s offer of 6/4 for more than 0.5 cars (essentially 1 or more) to be eliminated on the first lap looks excellent value.
Belgian Grand Prix Advised Bets Summary
- A McLaren to qualify on pole position @ 11/8 with SkyBet or Ladbrokes
- Nico Hulkenberg to reach qualifying session three @ 6/5 with Ladbrokes
- Sebastian Vettel to win the race @ 5/1 with Bet365 or Betfred
- Sergio Perez to finish in the top six @ 9/4 with SkyBet, Stan James or Ladbrokes
- More than 0.5 cars to be eliminated on the first lap @ 6/4 with BetVictor