You won’t usually get 12/1 about dominant Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton winning a Grand Prix, but the Brit doesn’t normally have to start 55 places back on the grid.
At the Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes have decided to take their punishment for early-season engine failures in China and Russia, where Hamilton requiring new units made a penalty later in the campaign inevitable.
The German manufacturing powerhouse has exploited a loophole that soups-up the Stevenage native’s car for the rest of the campaign, while only sending Hamilton to the back of the grid as penalties cannot be carried over from race to race.
It appears much of the work needed to be done, but still seems rather cynical.
Hamilton thinks even a top-ten finish, priced at 17/100 with bwin, will be a tough ask, but feels making the podium is not impossible, though unlikely.
Punters hold so much faith that 2/1 about the three-time drivers’ champion gatecrashing the top three will attract money, but Hamilton’s role at Spa now seems set as a sub-plot, with who can beat his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg now the main storyline.
Few would have predicted Max Verstappen to rise quite so fast, with the still-18-year-old’s F1 debut at Toro Rosso just over 18 months ago, but the Belgium-born Dutch driver is the 5/1 second-favourite behind 4/7 jolly Rosberg, who hasn’t won this event in nine attempts so far.
The teenager has come on leaps and bounds since switching from Toro Rosso to Red Bull prior to May’s Spanish Grand Prix, winning in Barcelona and hoovering up three podium finishes, including two seconds, all of which came over the past four races.
Verstappen finished ahead of Rosberg in each of those, only going down to the German once, in Hungary, since mid-June.
The youngest front-row starter in history has a great opportunity here.