New Engine Restrictions
The breaking news coming out of Formula One this week is that teams will no longer be able to change engine performance levels during a race weekend.
This effectively means that the top-level constructors like Mercedes will theoretically have less of an advantage as they won’t be able to use high-power modes for qualifying and during the race.
This new ruling will only be enforced at the Italian Grand Prix next week, giving Mercedes an opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the constructors’ standings.
The German manufacturer have a firm stronghold on the 2020 season and look as though they are going to walk the constructors’ championship with minimal fuss for the seventh consecutive year.
While it’s difficult to look past the Mercedes duo in any race, this might just be the one to have a quick rethink on.
Firstly, Valtteri Bottas has slipped to 43 points behind his teammate, and to close that gap he’ll have to do something he’s never managed before for his current team on this circuit: beat him. The Finn came in third last year in what was just his first podium at this track since 2014.
The week break may have given him the opportunity to recuperate following some poor Sunday drives and while he’s at quite a long price, that record here doesn’t fill us with any kind of confidence.
Hamilton’s Price Short
Lewis Hamilton is unsurprisingly the market leader at a heavy odds on price considering he has a 37 point lead after four wins in six races.
His price seems far too short for us here considering he’s achieved just three wins in his 13 races around the Ardennes Forest, which includes second place behind Ferrari in each of the last two seasons.
Vettel To Finish In The Points
The Prancing Horse shouldn’t be able to replicate those victories as their new power unit doesn’t quite have the same power as their old controversial one, though the likes of Sebastian Vettel need to be considered.
While we can’t see him taking the win, and he’ll be hard pushed for a podium finish, he’s racing well despite his off-track situation. He earned himself driver of the day in Barcelona having lasted 38 laps on his soft tyres to finish seventh, and while we can’t see him repeating his victory here last year, he’s a strong bet for a points finish.
0.5 pts: Max Verstappen to win
Max Verstappen is Red Bull’s only hope this year as he sits sandwiched between the two Mercedes in the standings.
He’s not yet finished outside the top two since his third place at Styrian and while his record isn’t phenomenal on this track, he’s come on leaps and bounds this year.
He retired after a crash on the opening lap last season after Sergio Perez blindly turned into him, and with his momentum looks well worth half a point to right those wrongs and close the gap on Hamilton this time.