The smell of burning rubber isn’t exactly unfamiliar in Milton Keynes. We’ve all watched enough episodes of Police Camera Action where someone has flipped their Citreon Saxo after taking one of those little mini-roundabouts too quickly. However this weekend it will be different, as 20 miles up the road Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula 1 circus comes to town for the British Grand Prix.
Mercedes are dominating the season thus far, winning seven of the eight races and unsurprisingly Lewis Hamilton is odds-on at 8/11 to win his home Grand Prix – a race he has won previously in 2008. But that was the only time a Brit has won this race in 13 years, and there has been just one homegrown hero on the podium in the last five years. That was Hamilton again notching second in 2010, but he is the exception to a rule that suggests backing Brits in their home Grand Prix isn’t going to make you rich overnight.
Lewis Hamilton’s seven races in the British Grand Prix have yielded a fair bit of success. He has three podium finishes and has been out of the top 10 just once in seven visits. Although he hasn’t had the pleasure of being drowned in cheap champagne on a windy podium in Silverstone since 2010 his form is still considerably better than most Brits.
- In the last 25 years a Brit has raced in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 90 occasions
- 31 times, they did not finish the race
- And on just 14 occasions did they make the podium, notching seven wins
- 53 per cent of the time the British driver either finished 10th or worse or didn’t even complete the race
- Only once in the last 25 years have we had a British one-two when David Coulthard led Eddie Irvine home in 1999
Upsetting the odds
Hamilton has more success here than those Brit stats would suggest , however at the odds, team-mate Nico Rosberg is a far more attractive proposition at 6/4. Taking Hamilton’s average points tally per race into account, Silverstone ranks somewhere in the middle so it’s far from his favourite stretch of road. At tracks he has raced seven times or more in his F1 career he has the best return from Hungary where, using the 2014 scoring method throughout, he has racked up an average of 17.43 points per race. This is courtesy of four wins in seven attempts there and a third place finish to boot. China also ranks highly for Lewis with a return of 16.38 after five podium finishes there in the last five years.
At the British Grand Prix he averages 12.29 points a race, which, although is still an impressive haul, ranks below Canada, Malaysia and Monaco in terms of Hamilton’s average success. The pressure of being at home might weigh a touch heavy on the Mercedes driver’s shoulders and Rosberg is yet to finish outside the first two this season, which might just give him the edge in terms of punting.
Don’t push the Button
Jenson Button is 200/1 to win the British Grand Prix and 25/1 to make the podium, but it would make sense to steer clear of those odds as Button’s form around the track makes Maureen from Driving School look like an accomplished driver.
Button is, let’s not forget, a former World Champion, but he has never graced the podium at Silverstone in 14 attempts and it’s hard to see that stat changing this weekend. His best finish was fourth (in 2010 and 2004) but 57 per cent of the time he has finished 10th or worse, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Button out of the points again at his home track.
Silverstone is actually one of Button’s worst tracks in terms of performance. Using the 2014 scoring system for all races, he would have averaged just 4.14 points there per race which is well below the other tracks he has visited 14 times or more in his career. Japan is his most favourable circuit, closely followed by Malaysia and Brazil, where he racks up on average more than double the points he wins in Britain.
So on Sunday grab yourself a stein of Weissbier and trade the roast dinner in for a couple of bratwursts as you cheer on Rosberg. Your stomach probably won’t thank you, but your bank balance just might.