Bettors backed Lewis Hamilton to win an eighth Drivers’ Championship on the Betfair Exchange after his famous victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday.
Hamilton is 2.942/1 in the championship betting following a win that put him right back in title contention with the season approaching its halfway point.
Max Verstappen, who crashed out of the race, leads the UK driver in the standings by eight points and is still the championship favourite at 1.564/7.
But if Verstappen, who had won the three previous Grand Prix, were in any doubt he now knows for sure that he will be pushed all the way in the remaining 11 races.
Hamilton drifted to 4.57/2 after Verstappen’s win in Austria a fortnight ago but the British drivers’ win at Silverstone saw his odds shorten.
Silverstone crash sparks intense rivalry
The rivalry between Hamilton and Verstappen will only intensify after Sunday’s race in which they collided on the first lap. Verstappen crashed out while Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty.
The Brit overcame that to take his first victory for five races and was later branded “disrespectful” by Verstappen for his bullish celebrations on the podium.
Glad I’m ok. Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track. Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behavior but we move on pic.twitter.com/iCrgyYWYkm
? Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 18, 2021
For Hamilton it was an eighth British GP win and one that puts his season right back on track. He said afterwards: “I just try and stay measured in my approach – particularly with Max, he’s very aggressive. And then today, I was fully alongside him and he didn’t give me the space, so…
“But regardless of whether I agree with the penalty, I take it on the chin and I just kept working. I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way.”
He’s been hampered by his Mercedes car this season and his team are still working to improve it. Some commentators suspected Mercedes were prepared to sacrifice this season with a view to having a car in prime shape for next season but team principal Toto Wolff denied this and Sunday’s win appears to have proved him right.
Hamilton knows Verstappen has the faster car in the Red Bull but the British driver, who is tied with Michael Schumacher on seven for the record number of Drivers’ Championships, looks set to give it his all from here on.
Next up is the Hungarian Grand Prix on 1 August, on one of Hamilton’s favourite circuits, where Verstappen will be desperate to hit back.