70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, Betting Odds & Picks
- Back on track, Valtteri Bottas knocks Lewis Hamilton off pole by .063 seconds.
- After last week’ s mechanical failure, Nico Hulkenberg qualifies third on Saturday.
- The burning question at Silverstone: What in the world is wrong with Ferrari?
70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone Odds
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+50000|
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70th Anniversary Grand Prix Predictions and Picks
Though he’s starting second on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton will be first at the finish, scoring his record eighth F1 victory at Silverstone. With Bottas on the pole, bettors get a break on Hamilton’s price this week and should take full advantage.
Lewis Hamilton -134
How to Watch the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix
|F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix Information|
|What||Emirates Formula1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix|
|When||Sunday, August 9, 9:05 a.m. EST|
|How to Watch||Watch on ESPN+ here!|
For the second straight week, under F1’s revised 2020 schedule, the series will race at the 3.661-mile, 18-turn Silverstone Circuit, which recently has been the exclusive province of six-time champion Lewis Hamilton.
The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, however, will have a different look from last week’s British Grand Prix—at least at the start. Valtteri Bottas earned the pole position in an intense final session of qualifying on Saturday and will pace the field, hoping to regain some of the points he lost to his Mercedes teammate last week.
Max Verstappen, likewise in a deep hole in the points, will start third. Unlike the British Grand Prix, where drivers tested the soft compound tire to the limit, Sunday’s race likely won’t be a one-stop affair, thanks to an even softer compound that falls off markedly during one flying lap.
Can Valtteri Bottas Back Up Pole-Winning Run with Victory on Sunday?
Last Sunday’s British Grand Prix was a tale of two tire failures. The left front tire on Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes delaminated on Lap 50 of 52. Bottas limped around nearly a full circuit before pitting and finished 11th, out of the points.
On the final lap, Lewis Hamilton also lost his left front tire, but with a 30-second lead over Max Verstappen—thanks to Verstappen’s late pit stop to set up a run at fastest lap—Hamilton was able to steer his car to victory despite losing all but 5.856 seconds of his advantage. The win left Hamilton 30 points ahead of Bottas and 36 over Verstappen in the driver standings.
But the resilient Bottas put his car on the pole for Sunday’s race by .063 seconds over his teammate. It will be difficult, however, for the Finn to retain the top spot. Hamilton is the marquee driver on the Mercedes team and will likely be in the lead before the end of the first lap.
After Disappointing Non-Start, Nico Hulkenberg Qualifies Third
Enlisted as a last-minute substitute at Racing Point after Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19, Nico Hulkenberg didn’t get to start last Sunday’s British Grand Prix because his car wouldn’t fire. With Perez still sidelined, Hulkenberg finally got a chance to showcase his talent at Silverstone and made the most of it.
The 32-year-old German driver ran 1:26.082 in Q3 to earn the third starting position in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, behind only the two Mercedes. Hulkenberg was .346 seconds faster than full-time teammate Lance Stroll, who will start sixth.
“We had always good one-lap pace this weekend,” Hulkenberg said, as reported on the F1 website. “I was pretty confident we could make it into the top 10. But to be third, I didn’t really expect that and also, couldn’t really think too much about it, to be honest. So, of course, a bit of a surprise, but for today, a nice one to take.”
Staying in a podium position will be substantially more difficult, given Hulkenberg’s lack of recent race experience. In 177 F1 starts, Hulkenberg has never finished in the top three. He was 14th in the standings last year in his final season with Renault.
The Burning Question at Silverstone: What’s Wrong with Ferrari?
For legions of Ferrari fans accustomed to seeing the bright red cars running upfront with the Mercedes, the start of the 2020 season has to be more than concerning. Yes, Charles Leclerc has managed two podium finishes in four races, but his second (Austrian GP) and third (British GP) are as much the result of good fortune as quality performance.
A low point came on Friday when the engine in lame-duck driver Sebastian Vettel’s car expired during Free Practice 2. As a precaution, Ferrari also changed the power unit in Leclerc’s car.
The engine changes, however, didn’t help during qualifying on Saturday. Leclerc could manage only the eighth fastest time and will start behind the two Mercedes, both Racing Point entries, Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault and Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri Honda.
Vettel failed to make Q3 and will start 12th, his worst grid position of the season so far. So don’t expect another miracle from Ferrari on Sunday. The vaunted team has fallen too far.
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association.