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F1 Podium: Three Bets for the Belgian Grand Prix

Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Belgian Grand Prix McLaren

The summer break is over and drivers will be refreshed with their sights set on Spa and the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend. If Belgium has given us anything, it’s certainly variety as five different drivers have won the previous five races at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Ferrari entered the midseason hiatus on a high after Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished first and second respectively in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Vettel extended his lead to 14 points over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the process while Raikkonen sits fifth with 116 – one behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Vettel (2011, 2013) and Hamilton (2010, 2015) are both two-time winners here, but it’s Raikkonen (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009) who has the most wins here (4) of any current driver.

Retired champ Nico Rosberg was the winner here last year and it’s his ex-teammate Hamilton who is the favorite at online shop Bovada at -150 to capture the checkered flag.

If you’re looking for more value, though, I’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at all of the wagers available and find something a bit more appealing to spice up your F1 weekend.

(Article ahead of Friday’s qualifying)

P1: Both Red Bulls to Finish Top 10 (-175)

A bit of a chalkier price than I normally like for this column, but that price for Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen to finish in the top 10? I’ll take it!

Ricciardo has put in some excellent races down the years here, winning in 2014 and finishing P2 last year while Verstappen placed P11 in his first race in Belgium with Red Bull one season ago. Furthermore, Verstappen has finally started to find his groove after a wildly inconsistent start to the season with P4 in Great Britain and P5 in Hungary.

Ricciardo has been excellent all season long and has six top-five finishes in his last seven races, but did have to retire in Hungary. Still, the Red Bulls will look to make serious moves in the second half of the season and it will start in Belgium.

P2: Lewis Hamilton Fastest Lap (EVEN)

Hamilton has owned the fastest laps this season, capturing six in the 11 races so far. He’s recorded two of the previous three fastest laps (Austrian, Britain) while it was Fernando Alonso of McLaren pacing the rest of the field in Hungary.

The Brit also recorded the fastest lap at Spa-Francorchamps one year ago, clocking in at 1:51.583 on lap 40.

Considering his pedigree, this is always a safe wager and one that should be considered in any race. At even money, it feels like a gift.

P3: Stoffel Vandoorne to Finish Top 10 (+250)

Vandoorne was rewarded by McLaren with a seat for the 2018 season and while it goes without saying that it hasn’t been the team’s best season on record, it has been getting better.

While celebrating five straight finished races seems odd, it is reason to be optimistic for this team. Vandoorne flirted with top-10 finishes in Canada (P14), Azerbaijan (P12), Austria (P12) and Britain (P11) but did finish P10 last time out in Hungary. These are big strides for a team that has had eight retirements and two DNS so far.

The Belgian is a talented driver and has been getting better and more comfortable in his Honda-powered package with every race. Rewarding him with a seat next year ahead of his home Grand Prix is a smart move and I feel he will reward both the team and his fans with a strong drive and grab some points along the way.

Hop on this prop and grab some extra money while we’re at it.

As usual, it’s important to note that all of these wagers could look very different come Sunday morning, but ahead of Friday’s practice, these are the bets I certainly have my eyes on for the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix.

2017 Belgian Grand Prix Odds
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)-150
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)+330
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)+400
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)+1200
Max Verstappen (Red Bull)+2000
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)+2000
Esteban Ocon (Force India)+50000
Sergio Perez (Force India)+50000
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)+75000
Felipe Massa (Williams)+100000
Fernando Alonso (McLaren)+100000
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)+100000
Romain Grosjean (Haas)+100000
Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso)+150000
Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)+150000
Jolyon Palmer (Renault)+150000
Lance Stroll (Williams)+150000
Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)+200000
Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)+300000
Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)+300000

Odds as of August 24 at Bovada