Free tips Belgium Grand Prix Preview & Betting Tips (1pm, Sunday)
Popular Spa Can Throw Up a Popular Winner
Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit is the longest lap distance on the F1 calendar, measuring 7.004 kilometers. It consequently has the lowest number of race laps, with just 44. It also has several long, flat-out sections.
Teams are acutely aware tyre wear is high at this circuit and the long lap distance at Spa brings some unique challenges. For example, if a car gets damaged early in the lap, more time is lost getting back to the pits. The weather is also very changeable at Spa, so conditions can vary massively from corner to corner.
From the exit of La Source to the braking zone for Les Combes, the drivers have their foot firmly on the throttle for around 23 seconds (and 1,875 metres) of track layout. Additionally, there’s a difference of around 100 metres between the highest (Les Combes, Turn-7) and the lowest parts (Stavelot, Turn-15) of the track.
Incidentally, because of the track’s history and iconic corners, this is one of the few tracks in F1 where engineers tend to refer to the turns by name rather than number. It is massively popular with drivers and teams. Stats, such as 80% of the lap distance is taken at full throttle, one of the highest percentages of any F1 track on the 2022 calendar, makes fans happy too.
The ‘tow’ at Spa-Francorchamps is very powerful due to its long straights, particularly the section after Raidillon. On the first lap this is even more powerful, because drivers chasing can pick up a tow from multiple cars. The lack of DRS on lap one also increases this effect.
So, who will this track suit, and which teams will struggle with the high speeds and requisite low-downforce demands? The bookmakers believe Max Verstappen is the man to bet and we cannot disagree.
The Dutch driver, massively popular in Belgium as he was born in the country, is on a roll winning seven of his last 10 race starts. His chief rival, Charles Leclerc has produced a sequence of results that has left his Ferrari team red-faced. The 24-year-old has claimed just one podium finish in his last eight starts.
Ferrari has a fast car, no question. But accidents, mishaps and some baffling strategy calls have seen team hammered in the press. At the best of times, it would appear they are trying to gift Red Bull’s Max Verstappen the world title.
That could be harsh but the simple fact, in regards to Sunday’s race, is the demands of Spa. The iconic venue is simply not favourable to the Italian team’s 2022 car. It has repeatedly shown that lower-speed tracks with plenty of corners – known as ‘high-downforce’ circuits – is what is needed for either Charles Leclerc or teammate Carlos Sainz to shine.
If a simple win bet on Verstappen at even-money is a little short, playing his teammate, Sergio Perez, is possibly a better route to profit. The Mexican won the Monaco Grand Prix earlier in the season and while that form has tapered off, such is the potential of his car at this high-speed track, he could definitely find himself on the podium.
The best bet options are an each-way wager at 20/1 or a place only (AKA ‘podium finish’) bet at 7/4. As each-way terms are positions 1-2, the second option could be considered the most prudent play.
Belgium Grand Prix Prediction
Sergio Perez Podium Finish at 7/4
* Betting odds quoted correct at the time of writing. All odds subject to changes.