Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the British Grand Prix has put the cat amongst the pigeons to say the least.
Before the race, the season looked dull to say the least. The Mercedes team is sweeping all before it ad it was simply a matter of who would win between Hamilton and Rosberg. Then Hamilton’s mistake in qualifying saw him way down in sixth on the grid, whilst Rosberg (who was a whopping 29 points clear before the race began) was on pole.
But that isn’t how it all turned out as we now know. Hamilton was steadily bearing down on his teammate Rosberg around the halfway stage when the German’s car had a gearbox failure and the F1 Drivers’ Championship leader was forced to retire. Hamilton went on to win a convincing victory and, more to the point, to bust the drivers’ championship wide open between the two rivals as he cut the lead right down to a paltry four points. Meanwhile, the Williams team’s Valtteri Bottas came all the way up from 14th on the grid to finish a very creditable second at Silverstone.
Of course – all this comes after Formula One made what are possibly its biggest ever changes. They were certainly the most sudden and sweeping changes in a generation.
What this has meant in practice is that the hot pre-season favourite Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team have suffered a sudden and rather ignominious fall from grace – one they would certainly not have had to undergo without the rule changes. Now – the constructors’ championship is all but over; no-one is going to come close to the all-conquering Mercedes. But the drivers’ championship is going to be contested once again by an Englishman and a German – with Hamilton the marginal favourite to win the spoils as things stand.
So now it’s all eyes on Hockenheim in Rosberg’s own backyard. But here’s the interesting thing; the bookmakers still make Hamilton the favourite to win this one. This is largely down to the fact that he seemed to be out-driving the German at Silverstone an d may have caught Rosberg anyway – with or without gearbox failure. Also – Hamilton is hardly likely to make the same sort of qualifying mistake again – hence his favouritism.
If you‘re a gambler – it’s always worth keeping an eye on the latest Formula 1 news to try and get an edge on the competition. But for the real shrewdies out there – the current season is done and dusted and it’s all about trying to find some value for next year (any takers for Vettel or Bottas?). After all – you could barely get a bet on Vettel before the current season began despite the fact that there’d been so many changes.
Of course, it’s all about the manufacturers really and, with the knowledge that the current season is over – they’ll all be trying to steal a march on Mercedes for 2015; so for the value – have a look at Red Bull and its drivers, along with Ferrari, Williams, Force India and McLaren – because things do change, as this year has most certainly shown us.
Image: Mercedes GP