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2016 Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton's 30 place grid penatly isn't going to do much to push him closer to a fourth world title this weekend. After a hard fought race in Hungary he gained the lead in the championship for the first time this season, and then extended it again in Germany. That nineteen point lead over his teammate Nico Rosberg may well evaporate this weekend, though, depending on how successfully he can make his way back through the field starting from last.

The Red Bull cars looked impressively quick during practice, and the old theory that they were always designed for downforce over pure speed has ben exploded once again. Mercedes didn't run on the soft tyres at all in practice, though, having chosen to save all of theirs for qualifying on Saturday, and it's likely they've got more than enough pace to take on and beat the Red Bulls in the fight for pole position.

How much Lewis Hamilton will fight for that is questionable given that all he will achieve is wasting tyres that might be of use to him in the race. We think Nico Rosberg is more than likely to be on pole for the start of the race, and the best place to back him to have the fastest Q3 time is at Ladbrokes, who are offering a predicatably short 2/5.

However, in the best car and with a determination to not give away too many points to his teammate this weekend, we think Hamilton is likely to put in a storming race. He'll be helped by any safety cars, which aren't uncommon in Spa-Francorchamps, and we think it may well be worth a punt on Hamilton finishing the race on the podium despite starting about as far back as it's possible to get. The best place to back that is at StanJames, at a decent 7/4.

Finally, McLaren have brought a new engine to Spa and it's looked quick so far. With this often being a high attrition race, we think there might be a chance of a decent points scoring finish this weekend. Alonso has already hit problems and will suffer a grid penalty as a result, so we think Button is the one to back here.

The best place to put your money on Button managing a top six finish is at SkyBet, who are offering a tempting 9/1.

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

This weekend's Monaco grand prix promises to be an exciting race, even though the track is notorious for offering few passing opportunities.

There's more than one way to win a grand prix, as both Mercedes and Red Bull showed last time out in Spain. Mercedes more accurately showed how to lose a grand prix, as both of their drivers crashed out together going into the fourth corner of the first lap. In some ways it's a surprise that it's taken this long to happen - previous examples in F1 history suggest that two highly talented drivers in equal machinery who know they are faster than the rest of the field tend to get scrappy quite fast. Fortunately for Mercedes there doesn't seem to be much bad blood between Hamilton and Rosberg over the accident, and really had the collision occurred between any two other cars in the field it would likely have been dismissed as a racing incident almost immediately.

Red Bull, by contrast, showed how to win a race, but not quite in the way you might expect. After the Mercedes cars wiped each other out Daniel Ricciardo seemed to be in control of the race. But a different pit strategy compared to his new teammate Max Verstappen saw the man who is ostensibly Red Bull's lead driver emerge in fourth place while the Dutchman went on to become the youngest man ever to win in Formula 1.

Ricciardo's anger at the way the strategy robbed him of a win is completely understandable. His performance thus far this weekend, though, has been remarkable. He was fastest in second practice, faster than Lewis Hamilton by over half a second, and although the new engine in the back of his car goes some way towards that the boost it provides goes only a small way towards explaining the gap. He also lead Verstappen by nearly a second, and it looks like Ricciardo is ready to stamp his authority all over this race.

We know Mercedes always seem to find a bit more pace on a Saturday, but on this form we'd be daft not to tip Ricciardo for pole position in qualifying. The best place to back that is at BoyleSports, offering a price of 9/4.

This being Monaco, whoever in on pole has the strongest chance of winning the race, and given we've tipped Ricciardo for pole we have to say we think he's worth backing for the win too. The best place to take that is at StanJames, who will give you a very decent 5/2.

Finally, this being Monaco, it's unlikely we'll make it to the end without more than a few retirements. We're tempted to take a punt on the first person to go, and, assuming there are no major first corner pileups, it makes sense to go for a driver with less experience at this circuit.

Manor driver Rio Haryanto has already had one big crash this weekend and rather fits the bill, and the best place to back him as first driver to retire is at SkyBet, who will give you a tempting 14/1.

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