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Lewis Hamilton has a mediocre British Grand Prix record but he is the fastest driver in the fastest car and, therefore, he is the most logical bet in his home Formula One race.
To the unsophisticated eye, Mercedes has not performed well in each of the last two grands prix but one can put down a lot of that to the tracks in Canada and Austria being very hard on braking systems, which hurt the Silver Arrows.
The braking system of Hamilton’s Mercedes failed on lap 46 of the Canadian Grand Prix. Hamilton lost second place when he went wide because of brake problems and eventually he had to retire because his Mercedes was too dangerous to drive at top speed. The Canadian Grand Prix performance of Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, was compromised as well.
Rosberg and Hamilton finished first and second respectively in the Austrian Grand Prix but they had to nurse their cars through the final few laps after receiving instructions from their Mercedes mechanics not to push too hard for fear of another braking system failure attributable to heat.
The good news for Mercedes is Silverstone, the circuit that is nearest to the base of most Formula One outfits, is very different to the ones in Canada and Austria. Silverstone is a high-speed track with fast, sweeping corners that do not place cars under anything approaching the breaking pressure of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and the Red Bull Ring.
So, with one expecting Mercedes to make it eight wins out of nine races this season, it boils down to a choice between Hamilton the home hero and Rosberg the defending champion.
Hamilton’s British Grand Prix record is average, with the Stevenage-born driver’s results being one first, one second, one third, two fourths, one eighth and one 18th, plus two pole positions on which he failed to capitalise. One of the explanations put forward for Hamilton’s British Grand Prix record being unspectacular is that he is an emotional man and, perhaps, the emotion of racing in front of his home crowd gets to him. That may be true but Mercedes has been dominant this year and even the most ardent Rosberg fan would surely admit that Hamilton is the quicker driver.
Rosberg will have his followers, not least because he won the 2013 British Grand Prix by less than one second from Mark Webber. But one should note that Hamilton started the race from pole and he was leading until the left-rear tyre of his Mercedes punctured on lap eight. Hamilton made it to the pits but his victory chance was gone and he ended up finishing fourth, less than eight seconds behind Rosberg.
Hamilton is available at odds of 1.73 with Paddy Power and William Hill to win the British Grand Prix, which is more than reasonable in the circumstances. Silverstone rewards very aggressive driving so that is advantage Hamilton over Rosberg and, also, there has to be a chance that the German will drive conservatively given the state of the Formula One title race. Rosberg does not need to win races to win the championship – following home Hamilton and capitalising on any bad luck that the British driver experiences will make him very difficult to overtake in the points standings.
If one wants to place an exotic British Grand Prix bet then William Hill is offering odds of 2.00 about more than 17 and a half finishers. Silverstone is not a car-wrecking circuit and the percentage of finishers has been above the required 81.8 per cent in four of the last five races at the venue.
Hamilton to win British Grand Prix
Race Sunday 6th July 13:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Paddy Power, William Hill
Over 17.5 finishers
Race Sunday 6th July 13:00 GMT
Where to Bet: William Hill
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