Belgian Grand Prix Betting Tips & Preview – Sunday 26th August 2018

Belgian Grand Prix Track Guide

After a month off, Formula 1 returns this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix. The lead up to the break was a pivotal part of the campaign, but how the drivers start the second half will also be key. Right now, Lewis Hamilton is out to press home his advantage and wrap up another title. Can anyone get close to him in this race, or is the champion going to extend his lead?

Time is ticking down, and Hamilton can now boast a 24 point lead at the summit of the standings. The title race between the Mercedes man and Sebastian Vettel has been thrilling thus far but if the Ferrari driver slips up here he risks handing away the title. However, the reigning champion is in fine form, and it’s going to be hard to stop him.

Top Tips

Lewis Hamilton to win @ 11/8

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

We kick off the final nine races of the season here, with Belgium welcoming the world’s top drivers. The Belgian Grand Prix – an almost constant staple of the Formula 1 calendar – has been held in Spa every year since 1984. It’s a well-known venue, somewhere which has seen recent victories for both of the top two, so they’ll be aiming for a repeat.

RoundCountryCircuitRace Distance
13/21 Belgium Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps 308km / 44 Laps


 DateStart TimeFinish TimeForecast ConditionsTV Coverage
Practice 1 Fri 24th August 10:00 11:30 Dry / 14° -
Practice 2 Fri 24th August 14:00 15:30 Wet / 13° -
Practice 3 Sat 25th August 11:00 12:30 Dry / 12° -
Qualifying Sat 25th August 14:00 15:30 Dry / 14° Sky F1
Race Sun 26th August 14:10 16:30 Dry / 14° Sky F1

Previous Race Results (2017)

Hamilton should have fine memories of Spa, after picking up maximum points here 12 months ago. The Mercedes driver topped qualifying and held on to that spot throughout the race, ending up over two seconds clear of his nearest challenger. That win took him within seven points of leader Sebastian Vettel, and it was seen as a key point in the Brit’s push for another world title.

Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo came in after the top two, but he was 10 seconds off the lead as he took third. He was alongside the supporting drivers for Ferrari and Mercedes, who all struggled to compete with the top two. Valtteri Bottas in particular would have been disappointed with his race here last year, dropping from third on the grid to fifth in the race.

PositionDriverCarGrid PositionPoints
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1 25
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 2 18
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 6 15
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 4 12
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 3 10
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 7 8
7 Romain Grosjean Haas 11 6
8 Felipe Massa Williams 16 4
9 Esteban Ocon Force India 9 2
10 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 13 1

Race News: Alonso Retires to Spark Midseason Moves

Fernando Alonso has had a tough few years with McLaren, but he’s decided to bring that to an end. The Spaniard has called time on his career, as he’s set to retire at the end of the campaign. The two-time world champion is currently ninth in the standings, and that would be his best finish since returning to McLaren. His last three years have seen him struggle without the resources to challenge for success. The Spaniard did win in Le Mans earlier this year, securing the second of the triple crown of motorsport. However, his chances of completing that are now in doubt, following his retirement.

McLaren have moved for Carlos Sainz to replace Alonso. Stoffel Vandoorne and Lando Norris are in contention to team up with Sainz, as they look to make big changes next season. Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly is set to replace Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull.

Analysis: Hamilton Returning in Form

The summer break arguably came at the wrong time for Hamilton, who had just won back to back races. However, he’ll be out to continue that form in Belgium this weekend. The gap that has opened up between him and Vettel should worry Ferrari, especially as the early season battle has now become incredibly one-sided in Mercedes’ favour.

The champion has a strong record in Belgium, winning two of the last three races here. However, his team maintain there’s no clear favourite for this race, and that the title battle will be close until the end of the season. However, the Silver Arrows have said this more than enough in the past. Given the swing in momentum they’ve had in their favour, it’s hard to think that they are thinking that way behind the scenes.

Final Verdict: Hamilton To Win

Hamilton is our pick to win, with his form and record at this circuit making him the clear favourite in our eyes. His price of 11/8 to win the race is great value, and we see the Mercedes man extending his lead at the top. In addition, he seems like a good pick to top qualifying at 6/5.

Meanwhile, we think that the second and third places will be claimed by Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen should follow Vettel home here. The Finn has recorded five straight finishes inside the top three, and at 8/11 for a podium finish we think Raikkonen is worth backing for another top three appearance.


Belgian Grand Prix Drivers 2013
CaterhamF1, Flickr

There are few more iconic and well-known racetracks in the world than Spa, situated in Stavelot, Belgium. The track is the longest on the F1 calendar and is often thought to be a brutal test for both drivers and cars.

It’s been about in some form since 1920 and was originally developed as a speed course, with many of those original features still on show today. Over the years, as the cars have developed, the track has had to be modified as it’s claimed many lives in the years it’s been open.

Track Highlights

Belgian Grand Prix Track
The Organiser, Flickr

The track is often referred to as the “spiritual home of F1” and is held right in the middle of the circuit and as part of the European swing of races. At just over 7km it remains the longest circuit of the season, including long straights and fast, sweeping corners, coupled with its picturesque setting, mean that many regard it as the greatest racetrack in the world.

The changeable weather and big elevation changes of over 100m, along with legendary corners such as Eau Rouge and Blanchimont maintain its reputation as one of Formula 1’s most demanding challenges. The track is very much a part of the old-school and that’s how it’s set up to be. Fans from all over the world travel to the track to see a possible piece of history in the marking.

The run into turn 1 is very short, in fact, it’s one of the shortest in the calendar. The turn isn’t all that tight, but at the start of the race will offer some room for overtaking and can be utilised later in the race as well.

They then head down the bank as the car rapidly accelerates due to the elevation change and into the first of the iconic corners; Eau Rouge. The drivers need to take a deep breath – literally- as the compression from the elevation change is heavy at the base of the hill then very light as it comes up over the top, almost as it were to take off.

The cars then come up to the top straight and it’s not uncommon for cars to be hitting over 340kmph as they approach the chicane section. Turn 5 is very open and has a relatively short breaking zone. The cars are then flung straight into turn 6 which pulls the car across to the kerb and then going through turn 7 pretty much flat out, using the whole apex and the kerb on the apex.

The cars start to the steep decent again through turn 8, which is a sweeping hairpin. The driver must clip the kerb early before positioning the car into the middle of the road and gaining the correct approach for turn 9.

Turns 10 and 11 are probably the most iconic on the race track. Drivers are pretty much flat out between the two sweeping left handers, reaching speeds of 280 kmph in each, barely lifting between the two and using as much kerb as they dare to get a better racing line.

The run to turn 12 allows the drivers to take a quick breather after the almost 5G that is created in the previous two turns. Speeds decrease to around 180 kmph and sees a short run out through turn 13. They then approach Turn 14 and what is regarded as the end of sector 2. This is a point of reference for the driver to signify if they are on a good lap or not.

The drivers are then flat out through turn 15 and onto the back straight. It’s one of the most secluded parts of the racetrack with stunning views of the surrounding forest and very few spectators. It’s the fastest part of the track as well as cars are flat out through this section and through the kink at Blanchimont.

The driver then comes up to the relatively new chicane. A good line and run in here is vital to get good traction through the last turn and then back through the finish line. Drivers are required to have both great skill and bravery, especially in the back straight section where only the bravest will be able to keep their foot to floor and gain vital time over their opponents.


Antonia Ascari, 1925 Belgian Grand Prix Winner
Antonia Ascari, 1925 Belgian Grand Prix Winner, Wikipedia

The track has changed considerably over the years since it first opened in 1920. But, the characteristics haven’t changed. Form what was once a fast, sweeping tracking is very much what you see today, although with added corners and safety measures to ensure driver safety is a priority.

2004-2009 – Kimi’s Dominance

Kimi Raikkonen will always be regarded as one of the best around the Spa circuit. From 2004 through to 2009 (race wasn’t run in 2006) he won an incredible 4 times from 5 races. The one race he failed to win was in 2008 when he crashed after just 4 laps after having managed to jump from 4thposition on the grid to second in his Ferrari.

1998 – Chaos & Carnage

The 1998 Belgium Grand Prix at Spa is one of the most iconic in the sports history. The race was eventually won by that of Damon hill, fending off Ralf Schumacher, his team mate by little under 1 second. But, it was what happened at the start of the race that everyone remembers.

On the first lap, David Coulthard lost control of his McLaren which caused a huge crash that involved 13 cars in total. 8 of those cars would retire after not even completing 1 lap and the race only had 8 cars finish the race, ironically, with 1 of those being that of Coulthard’s that has caused so much destruction at the start…. albeit 5 laps down on the winner!

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