Formula 1 Finally Returns! Betting News for the Belgian Grand Prix
Formula 1 returns from the 2022 Summer break with the Belgian Grand Prix from Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in the Ardennes Forest. There is driver news and new technical regulations directly affecting betting odds and whom you should pick for the fastest qualifier as your top 6 finishers in the Belgian Grand Prix.
A Brief Overview of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps opened in 1921 and hosted its first Grand Prix in 1925. Spa-Francorchamps was an enormous track in 1925, covering 9.31 miles with one lap around the circuit. In its current Grand Prix layout, one lap of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is 20 turns over 4.352 miles (7.004 km). The current race lap record holder is Valtteri Bottas, who set a 1:46.286 in the 2018 World Constructors’ Championship winning Mercedes W-09.
Spa-Francorchamps is a power-friendly circuit that punishes cars with excess drag. Haas might have their upgrade package on both cars for the Belgian Grand Prix, but the VF-22 is a higher-drag car on the grid and shouldn’t factor high on any betting odds.
New Technical Regulation
The primary technical regulation of concern relates to the plank and skid flexibility on the floor. This new regulation eliminates Red Bull and Ferrari’s “creative” interpretation of the floor and plank mounting rules. The “creative” interpretation allowed the floor to flex more and enabled the teams to run the rear ride height lower. This shift in the technical regulations is estimated to cost Ferrari and Red Bull’s pace three-tenths (0.30) a second. While this is enough to bring Ferrari and Red Bull back toward the pack, it’s not enough of a change to affect the competitive order this weekend.
Red Bull’s RB-18 is likely to have made some of that deficit back with an upgrade for Spa and by getting down to the weight limit. Red Bull’s qualifying pace has suffered from the RB-18’s weight issues throughout 2022. Despite these new technical regulations, Red Bull and Ferrari should remain the top two teams on the Formula 1 grid. Mercedes should extend their performance gap to the rest of the pack and move closer to Red Bull and Ferrari.
Driver Market News
After a chaotic start to the Formula 1 summer break, the driver’s market cooled off, waiting for McLaren’s next move. Daniel Ricciardo will not be driving a McLaren in 2023, leaving his seat open for Oscar Piastri. As soon as the FIA’s contract recognition board resolves Piastri’s contract dispute with Alpine, expect an announcement of the highly-regarded rookie as Lando Norris’ partner at McLaren. Haas, McLaren (officially), Alfa Romero, Alpha Tauri, Williams, and Alpine are yet to confirm the drivers for their open seats for the 2023 Formula 1 calendar.
But what about Ricciardo? First, we recommend paying close attention to Ricciardo’s form during the three Belgian Grand Prix free practice sessions before considering any long-shot bet on a Q3 appearance or a top-ten finish. Despite saying and doing everything right, Ricciardo has been visibly down during media sessions for the Belgian Grand Prix. Ricciardo, along with the likes of Mick Schumacher and Zhou Guanyu, will all be driving to impress teams and secure a seat for 2023.
Ferrari reserve driver and former Alfa Romero driver Antonio Giovinazzi was announced for two practice sessions with Haas, leading to speculation of a move to Haas. However, recent Belgian Grand Prix paddock rumors have Ricciardo connected to a potential union with fellow Drive to Survive star Guenther Steiner and Haas’ open Formula 1 seat. Mick Schumacher is rumored as a possible option for the open seat at Alpine. Significant focus will be on Ricciardo during the Belgian Grand Prix – he has everything to play for and is at an all-time low in his Formula 1 career.
A potential move to a fun and improving project like Haas might be the motivation Ricciardo needs to squeeze a top ten finish out of the MCL-36.
The Belgian Grand Prix takes place from Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps from August 26th to August 29th, 2022.
LATE BREAKING NEWS
Moments before publication, the Belgian Grand Prix free practice 1 was underway. The FIA announced that Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon, Valterri Bottas, Mick Schumacher, and Charles Leclerc will all be taking various grid penalties. This needs to factor into your betting picks for the Belgian Grand Prix. Expect betting odds on Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez as the fastest qualifier to change before qualifying begins on Saturday.