F1 British Grand Prix preview: Don't write off Hamilton at home
It’s a big day of sport in Great Britain on Sunday with the final round of the British Open golf and also the British Grand Prix at the famous Silverstone circuit.
Formula One is making history this weekend with a change to its qualifying format. Six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was the fastest driver in Friday’s qualifying session, but instead of setting the grid for Sunday’s race, that merely gave him the right to start first in Saturday’s inaugural Sprint race–a 17-lap mini-race. The Saturday showdown did indeed mix up the grid, with world championship leader Max Verstappen shooting into the lead at the start and fending off Hamilton to take pole position for the Grand Prix itself, which will be shown live on ESPN at 10am Sunday.
American motorsports fans should be in for a morning treat at a sizzling Silverstone, which has been bathed in sunshine this weekend.
British Grand Prix pick – Lewis Hamilton (+145)
Max Verstappen (pictured below) won the Sprint despite starting second on the grid and the dynamic Dutchman looks short odds at -175 with DraftKings Sportsbook to convert it into his sixth victory of the year in the tenth race of the 2021 season.
Lewis Hamilton won three of the first four races this season, but has been clearly second-best since, and trails Verstappen by 33 points in the championship table. However, aerodynamic upgrades have moved his Mercedes team back closer to the pace of Verstappen’s Red Bull outfit this week, as highlighted by his qualifying performance on Friday.
The Mercedes has more speed down the straightaways, whereas the Red Bull has the edge in the turns, which should make for an interesting race. FanDuel Sportsbook makes Hamilton just a +120 shot, but DraftKings offers a more appealing +145 and that looks worth a wager.
The Sprint was contested solely on one set of the soft compound tires, but tire strategy will be more of a factor in the race, with the medium and hard compounds mainly in use.
Bettors should factor in Hamilton’s incredible record in his home race. Hamilton has won six of the last seven British Grand Prix (and seven in all), although he finished second to Verstappen last year in a second race at Silverstone which was named the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Mercedes also have tactical options with their No. 2 driver, Valtteri Bottas, close up in third in the grid, whereas Verstappen’s Mexican teammate Sergio Perez was the biggest loser of the Sprint, spinning off the track after qualifying fifth on Friday. He starts at the back of the grid, unable to offer any support to the pole-sitter.