By Lee Dover | F1
The summer of sports takes a roaring turn this weekend, when Formula One (F1) comes to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.
Every year, there are thrills when drivers take the initial Farm Curve, spills around Luffield and high-octane drama up the Hangar Straight.
But just who can manoeuvre around Silverstone’s tricky turns to record victory at the 2012 British Grand Prix?
Here are eight top contenders.
1) Fernando Alonso
Where better to start than with Fernando Alonso, the man who drove to victory at Silverstone last year in a Ferrari which was struggling to keep up with the front-runners.
If the Spaniard was able to get a spluttering vehicle across the finish line in first place in 2011, surely Paddy Power’s online betting price of 11/2 for him to do it again in a far superior car has to be worth a flutter?
2) Jenson Button
The British contenders have to be considered every time that Silverstone pops up on the F1 calendar.
Jenson Button is flying the Union Jack this weekend and is an eye-catching 14/1 to finally break his British Grand Prix duck on Sunday July 8th.
The McLaren driver is pumped up for the race, stating:
Silverstone is a circuit that suits the McLaren. It’s high speed so it should be a circuit where we’re quick. We have good down force at high speed, which is something we don’t probably have at low speed, so the car should be strong there.
3) Lewis Hamilton
There’s no ‘I’ in team, or in McLaren for that matter, with the outfit having another deadly contender for the British Grand Prix in the shape of Lewis Hamilton.
And Paddy Power has seen money for Lewis.
The British boys are being backed but its Hamilton not Button who is comfortably the more popular of the McLaren pair. He’s the form man but perhaps not as reliable to get to the finish line. Lewis can often push too far when pumped up which he almost certainly will be for his home GP.
4) Sebastian Vettel
Two-time F1 world champion, the youngest title holder in the prestigious motorsport and a name which has proved dominant on the track for more than two years.
Sebastian Vettel has just about done it all already and looked to be getting back to his best when cruising inValenciatwo weeks ago, before his car suddenly broke down.
After a few tweaks by the Red Bull mechanics, Paddy Power’s odds of 5/2 for Vettel to reign in Britain have to be respected
5) Mark Webber
Webber must be getting a bit tired of being in the shadow of his Red Bull teammate though, and has a golden opportunity to go out on his own this weekend.
The Australian knows what it takes to win at Silverstone – he was high and mighty in 2010 – and is currently just behind leader Fernando Alonso in the drivers’ standings after eight races. Paddy Power is offering 12/1 that the Aussie rules on Sunday afternoon.
6) Michael Schumacher
Schumacher has been a shell of his former self pretty much all through his second stint in F1.
The German is starting to make up for lost time, however, most evidently with his third-place finish in the European Grand Prix.
Fancy Schumacher to achieve a fourth victory at Silverstone in 2012? You can get 20/1 with Paddy Power on Thursday for it to happen.
7) Nico Rosberg
While Schumacher seems to have turned a corner in F1 all of a sudden, his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg has not exactly been making headlines lately.
The German has been in consistent form though, picking up points regularly with a few recent finishes just outside a spot on the winner’s podium.
Surely it is only a matter of time before Rosberg is mixing it up with the frontrunners again. Paddy Power has odds of 16/1 that it happens this weekend – surely worthy of an each-way bet?
8) Kimi Raikkonen
If there is any driver on the grid where an each-way bet sounds appealing, then Raikkonen has to be the one to consider.
Bar his debut at Silverstone way back in 2002, the Finnish motor racing icon has always been in the points when guiding an F1 car around the famous circuit.
Paddy Power has piced Raikkonen at 12/1 to guide his Lotus car over the finish line in first position on Sunday. A tempting each-way prospect.