Charles Leclerc claimed his first career Formula 1 victory at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, but can the Ferrari driver overcome recent technical issues in his bid to defend his title this weekend?
Photo by @LeclercNews (Twitter)
- Lewis Hamilton looks to take home the checkered flag for the fifth time this year when he hits the track at Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix as a -225 favorite
- While Hamilton has dominated the Formula 1 circuit this season, it is Ferrari teammates Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel who have claimed victory in the past two editions of this event
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and insight ahead of Sunday morning’s running of the Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
The Formula 1 season resumes on Sunday after a two-week break with the running of the Belgian Grand Prix. To the surprise of nobody, familiar faces remain perched atop the odds. Lewis Hamilton leads the way as a strong -225 favorite to take home the checkered flag for the fifth time this season, well ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen who sit well back, knotted as +375 co-second favorites.
Odds to Win 2020 Belgian Grand Prix
|Driver||Odds to Win||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Six||Odds to Finish Top 10|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+12500||+1400||+110||-275|
Odds taken August 26, 2020
Hamilton Looks to End Drought in Belgium
Hamilton hasn’t missed a beat since marching to a record-setting F1 title last year. The 36-year-old Englishman has reached the podium on five occasions, with his weakest finish of the season coming in the first race of the season in Austria, where he came in fourth.
Lewis Hamilton’s victory at the Spanish Grand Prix moved him onto 88 wins, leaving him three shy of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record. Will he get even closer this week? Watch the F1 Belgian Grand Prix LIVE at The Old English Friday-Sunday. pic.twitter.com/ls1RxD8pw8
— The Old English Pub Bangkok (@English_Pub_BKK) August 26, 2020
Despite once again being a massive favorite, Hamilton has been denied victory in Belgium in each of the past two years, settling for second-place finishes.
Can Leclerc Repeat at Spa-Francorchamps?
Conversely, it has been a tough Formula 1 season for Ferrari. With Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel combining to earn just two total trips to the podium through the first six races of the season, the Italian team sits well off the pace in the F1 Constructors Standings, trailing first-place Mercedes by 160 points. But if Ferrari are to turn things around, there is no better place for them to do so than at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, where they have claimed victory in each of the past two runnings of the Belgian Grand Prix.
BREAKING: Charles Leclerc wins emotional Belgian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamiltonhttps://t.co/ZNtzkXK2Zb pic.twitter.com/6CvArCyu8w
— Mirror Sport (@MirrorSport) September 1, 2019
Charles Leclerc likely represents the best chance for Ferrari to return to the top of the podium for the first time since last September. Two weeks ago, the 22-year-old was forced to retire from the Spanish Grand Prix following an engine failure but has otherwise remained competitive despite the continued technical problems faced by the Italian team.
In addition to reaching the podium twice this year, Leclerc returns to the Belgian Grand Prix as defending champion after claiming his first career F1 win at Spa-Francorchamps last year. Despite that success, Leclerc lags as a distant +5000 to earn the win on Sunday but offers considerable value as a +500 bet to finish among the top three.
It is rumoured that Sebastian Vettel will be announced as an Aston Martin driver for 2021 at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Personally, if it’s true, I’m happy for Seb. However, I don’t believe it’s the right decision to replace Perez.
— TheF1Creator (@F1Creator) August 20, 2020
Leclerc’s teammate Sebastian Vettel has also enjoyed considerable success in Belgium. The 33-year-old has three wins to his credit, most recently in 2018, and six total podium finishes. However, unlike Leclerc, Vettel has looked largely uninspired during his final season with Ferrari, finishing 10th or worse in four of six outings, and is best avoided by sports bettors until he regains the edge that powered him to four straight F1 titles earlier in his career.
Belgian Grand Prix Recent Winners
|Year||Driver||Margin of Victory||Pole Position||Fastest Lap|
|2019||Charles Leclerc – Ferrari||0.981 sec||Charles Leclerc – Ferrari||Sebastian Vettel – Mercedes|
|2018||Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari||11.061 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes|
|2017||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||2.358 sec||Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes|
|2016||Nico Rosberg – Mercedes||14.113 sec||Nico Rosberg – Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes|
|2015||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||2.058 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Nico Rosberg – Mercedes|
|2014||Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull-Renault||3.383 sec||Nico Rosberg – Mercedes||Nico Rosberg – Mercedes|
Verstappen, Bottas Constant Threats
Of course, second favorites Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas cannot be overlooked. Born just an hour away from Spa-Francorchamps, the Belgian Grand Prix represents somewhat of a homecoming for Verstappen, who represents the greatest threat to Mercedes’ dominance in Formula 1.
5 talking points ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton holds a 37-point advantage over Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in his bid for a record-equalling seventh world title
Read Here for More:-https://t.co/eWbI94RGeY#F1 #Formula1 #BelgianGP #LewisHamilton #Auto pic.twitter.com/cXtn0UHL0q
— livesportcentre (@livesportcentr1) August 26, 2020
Currently sitting second to Hamilton in the F1 Drivers Standings, Verstappen has one win among his five straight podium finishes and has reached the podium in each of the past eight races he has finished. However, success has eluded him in Belgium, where he has failed to finish in two of the past three years. Verstappen has also struggled in qualifying at this event and has started from either the third or fourth row in each of the past three years.
Bottas has also been somewhat of a disappointment in Belgium, with his third-place finish a year ago marking a career-best on this track. However, the 31-year-old claimed the fastest lap at Spa-Francorchamps two years ago and has been a constant threat to do so at every race this season, making him worthy of a +275 wager to set the pace on Sunday.
2020 Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship Odds Tracker
Racing Point Returning to Form
Racing Point’s Pink Mercedes returned to contention two weeks ago in Spain, with teammates Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. Stroll offers the most value as a -150 bet to return to the top six.
Lewis Hamilton dominates at Spanish Grand Prix, Canada’s Lance Stroll finishes fourth https://t.co/W3ms9MHIFU pic.twitter.com/60N6u3dHCF
— Province Sports (@provincesports) August 16, 2020
But for those sports bettors not averse to risk, the +450 odds of the young Canadian claiming his first podium spot are worthy of consideration.
Picks: Valtteri Bottas – Fastest Lap (+275); Charles Leclerc – Top Three Finish (+500); Lance Stroll – Top Six Finish (-150)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.