The F1 returns after its mid-season break for race number 15 of the season in Belgium, where Max Verstappen looks to make it back-to-back wins on this track.
Last time out in Hungary it was the Dutch driver who took home the win once again, making it eight wins for the season so far and extending his lead at the top of the Driver’s Championship for 2022.
We’ll take a look ahead to the next race after a month-long break and see if we can provide you with some extra cash for the rest of the summer with our best free-betting picks.
|Belgian Grand Prix|
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There is no doubt that Verstappen has been the best Formula 1 driver in the world this year. The Red Bull star has won eight of the 13 races in 2022 and claimed nine podium finishes in the last ten races before the break, showing his true dominance on the track.
Verstappen finds himself miles clear atop the F1 World Drivers’ Championship standings thanks to his unrivaled performances but will want to continue that dominance with another win here.
Last season, Verstappen won ten of the 22 races on his way to clinching his maiden title, and he looks set to smash past that with another eight races to go.
He’s the clear favorite to make it to back-to-back Championships, and as an odds-on favorite for this race, it only makes sense.
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In all honesty, it is difficult to predict how Charles Leclerc will fare at Spa because his current season has been so topsy turvy.
If the 24-year-old performs to the best of his ability and Ferrari picks the right strategy, he could easily take the chequered flag. But if he makes another mistake or the team lets him down once again, he will struggle to compete for P1. The latter seems to be the most likely.
Leclerc won two of the first three races this year, and on top of that, he notched a couple of P2 finishes across the opening five outings. But with two DNFs in the next five, he failed to secure a single podium in any of those races.
The Monegasque won the Austrian Grand Prix in July, but the good times didn’t last long. A fortnight later, Leclerc crashed out of the French GP while leading the race – adding another error to his catalog and gifting Verstappen the win.
Having struggled for consistency throughout the season, he will be desperate to hit the ground running after the summer break. He’s never won here before, but there’s a first time for everything, and he needs to win to give himself a chance to win the title.
Sainz is one of only four drivers to have tasted victory this year. The Ferrari driver won July’s British Grand Prix, taking his 2022 podium tally to six. But he’s had a rough season outside of that lone success
In addition to his P1, Sainz has registered three P2s and two P3s this season however he has had numerous struggles too and he has also recorded four DNFs.
No driver has failed to finish more F1 races than Sainz, making him a risky Belgian GP pick and realistically, Ferrari are likely to favor getting Leclerc a win if they can, so it’s probably one to avoid.
It is no secret that Hamilton made a below-par start to the season. After finishing third in the opening race, the seven-time champion failed to achieve a podium across the next seven races – finishing as low as P13 during that period.
However, Hamilton and Mercedes upped their game before the break. Following three successive third-place finishes in Canada, Britain, and Austria, the Englishman secured back-to-back P2 finishes in France and Hungary.
It’s fair to say that the summer break came at the wrong time for Hamilton and Mercedes. After shifting up a gear in the lead-up to the lay-off, both the driver and team will be eager to pick up where they left off.
It is worth noting that Hamilton has won four of the past 12 Belgian GPs. Having tasted victory in 2010, 2015, 2017, and 2020, the experienced campaigner knows what it takes to triumph at Spa.
He does have history against him, with no driver ever winning a race beyond their 300th F1 appearance, but if anyone can topple that statistic, it’s the man who will be in the argument for greatest of all time when his career is done so that it could be worth a flutter.
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