German Grand Prix Betting: Rampant Mercedes Set For Double Home Win


He may have missed out on victory at Silverstone due to an errant gearbox, but since then it's been a week to remember for Nico Rosberg.

He married his partner Vivian, put his name to a new contract with the all-conquering Mercedes Formula One team, and designed himself a special crash helmet for this weekend's race to commemorate Germany's recent football success.

All that's left is for him to claim victory at the Hockenheimring on Sunday for him and his Stuttgart-based team. It would be the icing on an already rather well-frosted cake, but as has been the case all season long the Unibet odds favour the driver in the other car.

Lewis Hamilton may have made a dig at Rosberg's nationality in the run-up to the race - pointing out his fellow Monaco resident never raced under the German flag in their junior years - but he would enjoy nothing more than depriving his team mate of victory in one of the races Rosberg can consider his home event. And as usual Hamilton starts the weekend as favourite to do so, on 1.55 for pole position and 1.60 to win, with Rosberg on 2.30 and 2.50 respectively.

Is it worth betting against Mercedes?

With Mercedes enjoying such a huge performance advantage over their rivals at the moment, you have to get creative to find worthwhile betting opportunities. In the qualifying head-to-heads, for example, Kimi Raikkonen is at 4.75 to beat Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso. He's only done so twice in nine occasions so far this year, however. Similarly Marcus Ericsson is on 3.60 to beat Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham, though again the score line is seven-two in Kobayashi's favour.

Mercedes are not invulnerable, as we've seen already this season. Their drivers haven't always got the best out of the W05, particularly in qualifying where both have made mistakes or come up short. And reliability is a bugbear for the team - Rosberg's retirement at Silverstone was their third of the year.

Conditions

The early weather forecast for Sunday's race makes interesting reading. Several days of hot weather are about give way to sizeable thunderstorms which could arrive in time to make life interesting for the drivers.

We've seen wet weather interfere with qualifying on several occasions this year but it's yet to have an effect on a race. Red Bull will be hoping that changes this weekend, as it would play right into their hands. A well-timed rainstorm would be just when they need to neutralise their straight-line speed disadvantage and amplify their car's strongest asset - its superior downforce and grip.

Four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel is plenty handy in the wet as well, and would leap at the chance to make it a second consecutive victory at home in what has been a very tough season for him so far. His odds on winning are up at 25.00, as are his team mate Daniel Ricciardo's.

Conclusion

As always it's important not to read too much into the long-term weather forecast. If, for example, it turns out the storms will arrive earlier, then Red Bull's qualifying odds will become much more interesting. At present both Vettel and Ricciardo are on 34.00 to claim pole position.

There is one final variable to keep in mind this weekend. A rules change means several teams are likely to run without a sophisticated suspension system known as FRIC. This is likely to affect some teams more than others, and could bring Mercedes' rivals closer within range.

Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic.