After being made to pay for opposing Max Verstappen in the last couple of races, we’re siding with him in our British Grand Prix predictions.
The flying Dutchman has stormed 46 points clear at the top of the drivers’ championship following wins in Azerbaijan and Canada and now has a score to settle at Silverstone.
With six victories from nine outings in 2022, it is hard to argue with those who believe the Red Bull ace is in a class of his own at present.
After dominating on the streets of Baku, Verstappen produced an equally impressive display at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
A late challenge from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz kept things interesting but the result never really looked in danger.
“The last few laps were a lot of fun,” he said. “It was really exciting at the end.”
Team boss Christian Horner added: “Max was dominant all weekend and the amount of pressure he had to soak up in that last 15 laps was really impressive.
“He was super-cool, as we had a radio issue as well; I think he could hear us but we couldn’t hear him.
“But the way he managed the race, the way that he controlled the pace, the tyres, was a masterclass.”
After six straight wins for Red Bull, Horner added: “We’ve put a great run together, it’s great to be heading to Silverstone leading both championships.
“Max is in the form of his life, the team are doing a great job.”
Red Bull number two Sergio Perez was forced to retire after just eight laps in Canada due to a gearbox issue and is 10.0 to prevail at Silverstone.
Leclerc won two of the opening three rounds to lead Verstappen by 46 points at that stage but the Monegasque has endured a torrid run since.
Retirements in Spain and Azerbaijan were sandwiched by a strategy faux pas from his team in Monaco which denied him a probable win.
Montreal was a case of damage limitation after he started at the back following engine penalties, although he did drive well to finish fifth.
Ferrari will take some confidence from their speed in Canada, where Sainz hustled Verstappen to the chequered flag following a late safety car.
The fast-flowing Silverstone circuit could play to their strengths but those reliability issues remain an obvious concern.
Hamilton’s campaign has been derailed by Mercedes’ porpoising woes but Montreal was a much more encouraging effort.
The seven-time world champion qualified fourth in the rain before improving one spot in the race to claim his first podium since the opening round in Bahrain.
Toto Wolff warned that “one swallow doesn’t make a summer” but some will have seen enough to have a patriotic punt on Hamilton in their British Grand Prix betting tips.
He is 11.0 to make it eight wins in nine years at Silverstone, with team-mate George Russell quoted at the same price.
Past British Grand Prix winners
2021 Hamilton (Mercedes), Leclerc, Bottas
2020 Hamilton (Mercedes), Verstappen, Leclerc
2019 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas, Leclerc
2018 Vettel (Ferrari), Hamilton, Raikkonen
2017 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas, Raikkonen
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