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Alonso's dominance continues, increasing championship lead further

Race Results
1st
Alonso
2nd
Button
3rd
Raikkonen
4th
Kobayashi
5th
Vettel
6th
Perez
6th
Schumacher
8th
Webber
9th
Hulkenberg
10th
Rosberg
11th
di Resta
12th
Massa
13th
Ricciardo
14th
Vergne
15th
Maldonado
16th
Petrov
17th
Senna
18th
Grosjean
Yet another win for Alonso puts him 34 points clear in the championship. His win at Hockenheim, however, was not dominant: Vettel or Button were never further than a few seconds behind. Had Vettel, Hamilton or Webber been on pole it is difficult to imagine Alonso making a pass but Alonso probably only took pole due to the rain. Alonso looks good for the championship but not yet for regular race victories.

The two most interesting results were Button and Perez. After a run of six terrible races, Button came second after Vettel's penalty and at times looked a contender for victory. There no good reason to believe Button's performance is a one off, so he should be the fifth man in the field contending for victory once again. Perez came an impressive 6th, having started 17th after a five place penalty. Without that penalty he probably would have finished 4th, converting into a podium after Vettel's twenty second penalty and paying off at 32/1 (33.00) from Ladbrokes.

The race was disappointing for Rosberg and Webber but they could have been expected higher up the grid without their gear box penalties. The major disappointment was Grosjean finishing 18th, having never finished below 6th except due to retirement.

Belgium GP race weekend 31st August to 2nd September. Click to see live odds for next race.

Image © nic_r

Alonso takes pole in wet qualifying two races in a row

Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Alonso
2nd
Vettel
3rd
Webber
4th
Schumacher
5th
Hulkenberg
6th
Maldonado
6th
Button
8th
Hamilton
9th
di Resta
10th
Raikkonen
11th
Ricciardo
12th
Perez
13th
Kobayashi
14th
Massa
15th
Grosjean
16th
Senna
17th
Rosberg
18th
Vergne

Saturday saw a very unusual qualifying session, with fastest times in each round being set on a different type of tire. Raikkonen was half a second faster in the dry. Hamilton was second in Q1 and half a second quickest on intermediates in Q2. Unfortunately, the McLaren struggles to get heat into the full wet tires, leaving him in 7th. Alsonso took pole with Vettel in second. This is quite incredible, Alonso went two years without topping qualifying and now took pole twice in a row. This may suggest the Ferrari is improving or could speak of Alonso's skill in the rain.

The big factor is rain. Currently dry weather is predicted. If so, Alonso or Vettel are the only realistic bets, with Hockenheim almost always won from front of the grid. Also, other usual race winners will be held up by Hulkenberg and then have to pass Schumacher, giving the Alonso and Vettel a huge advantage. Vettel may have a number of advantages. At Hockenheim, there is little advantage to starting on either side of the track. Also, one stopping at Hockenheim might be the best strategy, to the disadvantage of Ferrari who struggle with the harder tire. It will be close so live betting might be best. However, with a few advantages and slightly higher odds, Vettel is the better bet. Both drivers have odds of 2.1 (3.00) from StanJames Schumacher would be an outsider bet, usually struggling to keep up with the Red Bull and Ferrari. The Mercedes seems temperamental, such as complete dominance in China and simply falling back from good qualifying in Silverstone. With very high odds of 11/1 (12.00) from 888sport, he might be worth a bet on Hockenheim being a course the Mercedes can deliver pace on.

If it rain then the victory is more open. Alonso seems excellent in the rain so may have an edge over Vettel. Watch Schumacher and Button also, so this may be one for live betting.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 22nd, 00.52 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © nic_r

Heavy rain at Hockenheim practice sessions.

Free Practice Results
        FP1
FP2
1st
Button
Maldonado
2nd
Hamilton
Rosberg
3rd
Alonso
Vettel
4th
Schumacher
Perez
5th
Perez
Grosjean
6th
Hulkenberg
Hulkenberg
6th
Rosberg
Ricciardo
8th
Massa
Button
9th
Maldonado
Webber
10th
Grosjean
Raikkonen
11th
Kobayashi
Vergne
12th
Vettel
Massa
13th
Bottas
Kobayashi
14th
Ricciardo
Pic
15th
Raikkonen
Glock
16th
Bianchi
Senna
17th
Vergne
Kovalainen
18th
Petrov
di Resta
19th
Kovalainen
Hamilton
20th
Webber
Alonso
21nd
Pic
Petrov
22nd
Glock
Karthikeyan
23rd
de la Rosa
Schumacher
24th
Clos
de la Rossa

With rain interrupting both practise sessions they only provided limited information about driver potential this weekend. The drenched FP2 can largely be written off, the fastest time was 11 seconds slower than FP1 but the sections of clear running in FP1 has some interesting hints. Button topping the first session with Hamilton close behind is the major surprise. After their recent poor performance, the upgrade package brought to Hockenheim seems to have paid off. Hamilton still looks good for pole with Vettel off the pace during dry running. Button still has high odds after his poor performance but if the upgrades have restored his competitive edge substantial money could be made on a victory at 13/1 (14.00) from StanJames or a podium at 5/1 (6/00) from Ladbrokes. Alonso came 3rd, keeping up the pace of recent races. Pole is unlikely for the Spaniard but he will look to continue his challenges for victory. Red Bull came 12th and 20th but they are just hiding their pace and only FP3 will give information about their potential.

Schumacher timed 4th and Rosberg 7th suggesting they will challenge for a podium and certainly a top six position. Both have 3/2 (2.50) from Bet 365. Perez came 5th, looking very good for a high pay off bet on a podium since likely high tire degradation will work to his advantage, with odds of 32/1 (33.00) from Ladbrokes. Lotus have brought an experimental DRS system but never had much opportunity to test it in FP1. It is unknown if they will use it this race but if they do focus on Lotus for live betting: they usually do better in the race than qualifying and with an experimental system to boot they may pull some surprises if it works.

Odds above accurate at Friday 20th, 18.41 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © nic_r