The race is over.
First place: Max Verstappen.
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The Formula 1 season reaches its mid-point at the German Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton is cruising towards his sixth world title.
A lot of eyes will be on Sebastian Vettel’s homecoming, but it could not come at a much more difficult time. The pressure which has built up over the course of a frankly awful season for the German is starting to tell.
There has even been talk of a possible sabbatical for the four-time champion after he failed to make the most of the safety car in Britain and subsequently went into the back of Max Verstappen.
To put his demise in even sharper focus, Verstappen would go on to engage in a pulsating race against Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc. That says it all about how the pendulum has swung in recent months.
Hamilton, by contrast, will be confident of more success having won in Germany the last two times it’s been held there.
Bottas to win
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate is still his most potent threat, the pair having secured a 1-2 finish seven times already this season, hence why bookmaker have the Finn as second favourite.
Sebastian Vettel to finish 1-3
It seems bookmakers are still reluctant to write off Vettel, especially in his native land, but his odds come with an obvious word of caution given his recent plight. If Hamilton’s success is getting ever more predictable, then at least he won’t find himself under anything like the kind of scrutiny Sebastian Vettel is having to cope with.
Leclerc to win
Sportsbooks must be getting increasingly nervous about the 21-year-old as he continues to upset the established handful of drivers. His odds for an individual Grand Prix win remain relatively long but as the season progresses, they are getting shorter all the time.
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There continues to be little value in backing Hamilton, for obvious reasons, but Bottas is the next most appealing driver in the outright market.
The 29-year-old has won two races this year, in Australia and Azerbaijan in March and April. Only once has he finished outside the top three all season and that was in Canada, where he came fourth. There have been no disasters, no DNF’s, and Bottas’ consistency deserves to be recognised even if it would still be considered an upset if he were to outdo Hamilton.
Mercedes will dominate again, with Hamilton and Bottas going toe-to-toe. Watch out too, for Verstappen, who is in decent form and can take advantage if Ferrari slip up again.
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John Abrams is a passionate sports fanatic who follows NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAAF, NCAAB and Formula 1. A former sports trader, John has an unquestioned thirst for sports knowledge and often fills his time playing fantasy or placing wagers online.
All Predictions by John Abrams