Mercedes may have become more and more dominant as this Formula One season has evolved, but with little to split drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at present, the sport has hardly turned predictable.
Even last term, when Hamilton won 11 of 19 races and eventually a second championship, his teammate and long-time friend took the Stevenage native all the way to the final night in Abu Dhabi, yet Rosberg rarely seemed to hold an advantage.
Gearbox failures and careless team orders have usually been blamed for Hamilton ceding victory to his fellow 30-year-old, and nine wins for the former in the past 11 Grand Prix prior to Spain’s offering seven weeks ago seemed to confirm such theories.
However, Rosberg won in Barcelona and twice in three tries since, despite Hamilton’s near-clean sweep of poles continuing; he made it eight out of nine for the season at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix, but only pipped the German in Q3.
Intriguingly, Hamilton has grabbed pole twice before in his home Grand Prix and failed to win both times, with the two-time world champion’s 2008 and 2014 Silverstone successes coming from fourth and sixth on the grid.
It’s therefore unsurprising that there was little movement in the bwin.com market following his qualifying triumph, with Hamilton the 9/20 favourite for only his second win in five races, while Rosberg is 2/1 for a fourth in the same timeframe. It’s clear where the value lies.
After a tough weekend at their home Grand Prix last time out, Red Bull look in much better shape after Daniil Kvyat claimed seventh on the grid, although teammate Daniel Ricciardo will be disappointed with tenth.
Having finished fourth when qualifying fifth in Montreal three races back, Kvyat looks a fair price at 2/1 to crash the top six again.
McLaren’s woes continue, with only Manor’s Will Stevens and Roberto Mehri keeping fellow Anglo-Iberian combo and former world championship-winning pair Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button off the bottom of the pile.