AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: German Grand Prix

This will be the 125th year in motorsport for Mercedes and their 200th Grand Prix at Hockenheim, so if Lewis Hamilton manages to win from pole position the victory will be very apt indeed.

The Brit starts from his first pole position at the circuit since 2008 and understandably is a short-priced favourite to take an eighth win this season. However, he is just 40/85 to do so, a price which offers no value even before one takes the forecast rain into account โ€“ and there appears to be a fair amount of it โ€“ and also how Hamilton is battling an illness which put even his preparation for this race into doubt before qualifying.

“I was really not expecting to be able to fight for pole today. I felt pretty bad this morning and there was a moment when we weren’t even sure we would be doing the weekend.โ€ Those were the words Hamilton used before qualifying and whilst he did take pole, the effort of a full race is much harder here and something to consider.

Hamilton added: “It has been a real challenge and tomorrow is going to be worse.ย Just doing 12 laps today – and yesterday in practice – was so hard. I don’t know how tomorrow will go.โ€ Hardly helpful vibes for an odds on favourite.

German Grand Prix
Live on Sky Sports F1 HD

Hamilton has been helped not only by the pace of his car, but also the continuing mishaps of Ferrari, who had looked as quick as the Mercedes before the cars of both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel went out with engine problems that left them 10th and last respectively. They should cut through the field, although a podium and points finish might be the best that either could hope for respectively.

In any case, Red Bullโ€™s Max Verstappen should give Hamilton a hell of a race. Verstappen has the record of most wins without a pole position, and he took a brilliant victory from eighth on the grid in Austria and was unlucky to get taken out late on in the British Grand Prix when maybe closing in on second. He starts second here and is a tempting option for victory at 13/5, especially given his skill in the wet. It would be unwise to count out Valteri Bottas at 15/2 either.

From the rest of the field, the value might lie with Racing Point. They have brought an upgraded car to Hockenheim that impressed in qualifying, and Sergio Perez did well to finish eighth in qualifying. The 4/6 that he brings the car home in the top 10 looks very fair if he can make it through the race.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
BACK Max Verstappen 5 pts at 13/5 with
BACK Sergio Perez Points Finish 6 pts at 4/6 with

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 170.57 points
(excluding Ryan Sidebottom Ashes bet, Tour De France (1 update), Blue Horseshoe Open and St Jude Preview)