By News Team
27th August 2020
With a full 2020 season schedule now set by the FIA, the F1 circus rolls into Belgium this weekend as Spa plays host to the seventh race of the season.
A slight Silverstone blip aside, Mercedes’ dominance has continued so far this campaign with six-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton stretching his early lead in the Driver Standings to 37 points.
The midfield battle continues to provide interest for the neutrals as Ferrari’s struggles have brought the likes of McLaren, Renault and Racing Point closer to the chasing pack.
More Merc dominance?
Seeing the Silver Arrows off in the distance will not have been a surprise to F1 fans, but the sheer size of the gap to the rest of the grid was somewhat unexpected at the beginning of the campaign. Lewis Hamilton won the last race in Spain by nearly 25 seconds after a mistake by Valtteri Bottas saw him drop two places after the first turn.
Interestingly the only race the Mercedes didn’t win so far this year was the 70th Anniversary GP in which tyre manufacturers Pirelli introduced softer compound tyres and Mercedes suffered badly from blistering on the fast track. Once again Pirelli have offered the softer C2, C3 and C4 compounds for this race, meaning once again we could see the Mercedes have tyre wear problems in Belgium.
The track temperatures may not be as high as they were at Silverstone so if both the Mercedes can manage any potential degradation on the soft compounds, they should have more than enough car behind them on Sunday. With four wins out of six this year, Lewis Hamilton is 1/2 to win on Sunday, with teammate Valtteri Bottas 7/2 to win.
The Podium Battle
Aside from the mercurial Max Verstappen, who seems to be extracting way more from his Red Bull than teammate Alex Albon, the battle to try and get close to the Mercedes has been one of the most interesting aspects of the season so far.
In particular, the Racing Points have made the most significant strides from last year, with Lance Stroll currently sitting pretty in fifth place in the Driver Standings. Stroll has finished fourth on two occasions this campaign and will be hoping he can take advantage of any mistakes from the front runners to go one better this time around. The Canadian is 9/2 to land a podium finish on Sunday.
Despite his teammates Sebastian Vettel’s struggles, Charles Leclerc has managed to get his underperforming Ferrari on the podium twice already this season after finishing second in the opening race of the season in Austria and third in the British Grand Prix. Ferrari have a strong record at this track, with wins on each of the last two visits to Belgium. He may have to run a long stint on soft tyres to do so, but Leclerc 11/2 to land another podium finish.