Hamilton leads Formula 1 standings though faces stiff competition
Lewis Hamilton, although leading the Formula 1 standings, would have liked to have a bigger lead opened up at this point in the season. He is currently 10 points ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, but remains a firm odds-on 1/5 favourite with Coral to win the driver’s championship.
However, having taken pole position in the last Grand Prix in Austria, Hamilton was overtaken by Rosberg and in the end switched positions with the German to finish in second, a result which saw his sparring partner close the gap to 10 points in the title race.
Following the Austria result, Hamilton commended Rosberg, and indicated that his bad start meant he would always be competing for second. “Nico did a fantastic job today,” Hamilton said.
“At the end of the day, he was quicker during the race. I had a really bad start, which obviously lost me ground and after that I was just really pushing as hard as I could. I think in the second stint it was really just about making the distance and that’s what I was trying to do.”
Rosberg, who is a decent 7/2 price to secure the championship, was delighted after the race and by contrast to Hamilton admitted his start was considerably better.
“It’s an awesome feeling, of course, to win again here. Very, very happy,” he said. “The start made the race. It was a great start and I managed to defend in the first couple of corners and then I really just tried to push flat out this time. I was really happy with the car and happy to see the gap open up to Lewis, so it really worked out perfectly today.”
With the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next up, Hamilton will be hoping that he can make home advantage count. He is odds-on at 4/7 for victory, which would put further breathing space between him and Rosberg, even if the latter, as expected, secures a podium place.
Rosberg, meanwhile, is 7/4 for the win and, if he races like he did in Austria, he definitely has a chance. Felipe Massa, meanwhile, took third place last time out, and is currently sixth in the standings, on 62 points, five behind Williams teammate driver Valtteri Bottas, who was on the podium at Silverstone in 2014.
Massa took his career points tally to 1,000 with his finish in Austria, and managed to hold off German Sebastian Vettel to secure his third place, which it seems, was predicted.
“I think it was a great result today,” said Massa. “So we managed to get the opportunities, which it was a mistake of another team or Sebastian, I don’t know what’s happened so I cannot say, but enough, and we managed to keep the pace, which was good – but maybe a little bit slower compared to him.
“I expect him to be close to me at the end of the race and he was but I managed to keep him behind which was the most important thing, so I’m so happy for our results today, working for the team and everything. My son said I was going to finish third so he’s right and, yeah, just hope we can celebrate after this interview.”
Coral betting tip: Hamilton wins Formula 1 drivers’ championship @ 1/5