Red Bull to deliver mid-season reminder

Red Bull

The 2018 Formula 1 season passes the halfway mark this weekend at the German Grand Prix and it is very much still all to play for. Ferrari are sitting pretty at the top of both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings with Mercedes snapping at their heels.

However, could the slower Hockenheimring provide the perfect platform for Red Bull to force their way back into the title picture?

Max Verstappen to win German GP @ 9.75

The young Dutchman was enjoying an excellent return of form after a difficult start to the campaign before the British Grand Prix last time out. The Red Bull driver was looking to make it three podium finishes on the bounce at Silverstone but instead endured a miserable weekend, failing to finish the race.

 The high-speed nature of Silverstone meant it was always going to be a tough weekend for Verstappen and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo but the Hockenheimring should be more to their liking.

Red Bull have performed well on F1’s slower tracks, Ricciardo coming out on top in Monaco, and both drivers are worth considering. Both men finished on the podium the last time the German GP was held at this circuit two years ago, while Red Bull have as many wins (three) to their name as Mercedes this season.

Ricciardo is 10.75 to win his third race of the season, while the Australian is 3.50 to finish on the podium. Red Bull are 6.25 to have the winning car on Sunday.

As for Ferrari, they ran Red Bull close in Monaco and Drivers’ championship leader Sebastian Vettel will be desperate to triumph in his home Grand Prix, a feat he has not managed at the Hockenheimring.

Unlike in Monte Carlo, where the lack of overtaking opportunities killed Vettel’s chances, there will be places to pass in Germany and Vettel (2.65 race winner) is likely to be Red Bull’s biggest threat.

Mercedes will be hopeful they can perform better on a slower circuit and Hamilton heads into the weekend as the 2.35 favourite having won this race the last time it was on the calendar in 2016.

The Silver Arrows have won the last two German Grand Prix and could desperately do with completing the hat-trick after winning just one of the last five races, leaving them 20 points behind Ferrari in the Constructors’ standings.

Nico Hulkenberg top six finish @ 3.50

Renault’s Hulkenberg kept up his record of scoring points in every race he has finished this season with sixth place at Silverstone and could lead the charge to be ‘best of the rest’.

Much like Vettel, Hulkenberg will be desperate to do well on home soil and should have the tools he needs to challenge for a top six finish, both Renaults finishing in the top-10 in Monaco.

With Haas admitting they might struggle on the slower sections of the track, Hulkenberg and team-mate Carlos Sainz (4.90 top six finish) are likely to dominate the middle of the pack.