After a brief summer hiatus, Formula 1 returns this weekend at the iconic Spa circuit in Belgium. Lewis Hamilton is sitting pretty at the top of the Drivers Championship standings, but he’s only 19 points ahead of his teammate Nico Rosberg, which isn’t a lot in F1 terms these days. Add to that the fact that Hamilton has some engine issues and possible future penalties to contend with, and the race for the title is wide open.

Here we will bring you our predictions for what we think will transpire in Belgium, with our betting tips that we hope will make you a tidy profit from the race. We also have a live betting odds comparison service for all Grands Prix, meaning that you can easily find the best odds for any given betting market, thus maximising your winnings if you pick wisely.

So, let’s take a look at how things have panned out at Spa in recent years. Last year Hamilton entered the Belgian Grand Prix with a 21 point lead over Rosberg in the Drivers Championship, and duly won from pole position to extend that lead further. He finished two seconds ahead of Rosberg to clinch only his second Belgian Grand Prix victory in his glittering career. For Rosberg it was his joint highest finish at Spa having also had to settle for second spot the year before (behind Daniel Ricciardo).

Hamilton’s previous win in Belgium came in 2010, with Sebastian Vettel (twice), Jenson Button, and the aforementioned Ricciardo winning in the intervening years.

This year’s race looks like a straight head to head battle between the two Mercedes men, Hamilton and Rosberg – at least if the betting odds are to be believed. To be honest, we couldn’t have confidence in predicting anything other than a Mercedes victory and backing the pair in a reverse forecast could well pay dividends at fair odds.

Despite Hamilton taking a decent lead in the overall standings, it is the German Rosberg who is priced as the favourite with the bookies, with most firms going odds-on at around 8/11. This might come as a surprise to some, but it should be borne in mind that Hamilton is in something of a precarious situation and has admitted that he is “likely” to incur a grid penalty in Belgium.

The situation stems from Hamilton having used five of the six parts of two elements of the complex hybrid engine, and one more on either of those would mean he faces a 10-place grid penalty. It is possible that Hamilton might take the double penalty in Belgium and thus allow those elements to be re-set for the next race. Although his hinting at such a scenario might just be mind games.

As a result of his engine situation, however, Hamilton has slipped out to very nice betting odds of 9/4 with Bet365, so if you think he’ll avoid the penalties, he could be very good value indeed. For us, though, we think the risk is too great and we’re predicting that it will be Rosberg standing at the top of the podium after the race on Sunday.

Assuming Hamilton does get a penalty (or two), there could be some value in backing one or two of the lesser drivers to land a podium finish. Ricciardo – who won here in 2014 – could be your best bet at 11/13 with Bwin. Alternatively Vettel could offer a bit of value at 6/4 with the same bookie.

If you fancy betting on the first retirement of the race, you could do worse than having a punt on Daniil Kvyat, whose Toro Rosso is far from reliable. Priced at best betting odds of 14s to retire first, we predict this bet could bring home the bacon.

In summary though, Rosberg has to be the man to beat after Hamilton’s hints of penalties stunting his progress towards another Drivers Championship.


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