Maybe Formula 1 can actually run a race this weekend.
The weather forecast for the Dutch Grand Prix is great with sunshine and temps around 70 expected all three days. That’s welcome news for F1 and its teams after the disaster that was the Belgian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen was declared the winner of the half-points race after the field ran two laps behind the safety car and F1 called it good because of rain.
F1’s rulebook didn’t allow the series to wait until Monday to try to run the race, something that’s set to be re-examined later this fall. With Sunday’s race at Zandvoort just a few hours by car away from Spa, it was easily possible for F1 to run a Monday race. Instead, fans at the track got soaked and saw two caution laps. Fans dry at home probably went and did something else.
Verstappen cut Lewis’ Hamilton’s points lead to three with the “win” and is the favorite in his home country. Verstappen is favored to post the fastest lap in the first practice, win the pole in qualifying and then win the race over Hamilton and everyone else.
Oddsmakers are bullish on a Verstappen or Hamilton win. Verstappen is +100 to win the race and Hamilton is at +130. There’s a tie at No. 3 … at +1600. Those are the odds for Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez.
Here are our picks for the race weekend. We can’t guarantee they’ll win or that the race will stay dry. But we’re confident we’ll make you a little bit of money.
Dutch Grand Prix
Sunday, Sept. 4
9 a.m. ET, ESPN2
Valtteri Bottas will finish in the top six (-350)
Bottas has the same odds as Lando Norris for this bet and he’s -175 to beat Sergio Perez head-to-head. That head-to-head bet means he’s favored to finish third, so why not seize these odds and get a near-guaranteed return.
Both Red Bull drivers will score points (-275)
The curse of the second Red Bull car could strike Perez at any moment, but we’re confident that he’ll get a top-10 finish as Verstappen battles Hamilton for the win.
Qualifying margin will be under 0.1 seconds (+100)
Zandvoort has never held a Formula 1 race on its current track layout, so we’re not entirely sure just how close the field will be in qualifying. But it reasons that Verstappen and Hamilton will be very close together in the final session, even if Verstappen has the edge.
Lando Norris to be best non-Mercedes or Red Bull driver (+110)
The track looks like it’s tailored for McLaren’s setup as the cars have excelled on less downforce-dependent tracks. That’s why Norris is the best bet among drivers outside of Mercedes and Red Bull to have the best finish.
Max Verstappen to post the fastest lap in the first practice (-120)
Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas are pretty good at posting fast laps in the first practice. But we think that Red Bull is going to have Verstappen’s car ready to rock at nearly full-speed in the first practice to give his home fans a show.