All eyes will be on Red Bull as they look to go where no other F1 team has ever gone before by winning every race on offer within a single campaign.
They are 12 races into this epic quest and potential race win number 13 comes with the added pressure of being in front of Max Verstappen’s ‘Orange Army’, an expectant fanbase ready to see yet another victory at his home Grand Prix.
But, with Verstappen such a heavy favourite to win, value ultimately lies elsewhere this weekend at Zandvoort.
McLaren’s sudden surge up the F1 field came to a shuddering halt at the Belgian Grand Prix just before the summer break kicked in. The wet weather completely negated their extreme rear wing set-up, but a less power-sensitive track like Zandvoort should play into the team’s hands…providing it stays dry!
Norris recorded back-to-back podium finishes for the first time in his F1 career before the Belgium blip and there is no reason to jump off the McLaren hype train just yet after only one below-par race.
While much has been made of the seismic gulf between Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez this season, there are actually two other team-mate battles with an even greater disparity. One is Alex Albon dominating Logan Sargeant at Williams, the other is Fernando Alonso absolutely crushing the Aston Martin owner’s son, Lance Stroll.
You may think Lance has a seat for life when his father runs the show, but Aston Martin investors will not be happy if both cars are not reaching their full potential regardless of which driver is in the seat.
Lance Stroll is by no means a bad driver, though, it’s just Alonso is that good. With the two-time World Champion stealing the limelight, Stroll is still quietly picking up points with five top 10 finishes in his last six races.
He is a decent price to make it six from seven.
With each passing year in Formula 1, car reliability is becoming stronger. The days of race retirements reaching close to double figures is a thing of the past and this 2023 season in particular has been an excellent showcase of the incredible engineering on display up and down the F1 paddock.
In the 12 races so far this season, only two races have seen three or more DNFs and we have already had another two races where the entire field has been able to record a classified result.
This bet would have also landed in the 2021 and 2022 editions of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and we are at the point of the season now where most, if not all, reliability gremlins have been addressed.
Fingers crossed we can avoid a chaotic race start to help us along the way.