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The Tenner Bet

The Tenner Bet has a 100% record when it comes to Formula One so, you would imagine it may be worth listening to what I am going to say next.

But consider this rider: I have only ever placed three bets on motor racing in my 20-odd years of gambling, all of them in the last month.

Have I really hit upon my life's calling or is this merely extended beginner's luck? We are about to find out, as the F1 season resumes with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps tomorrow.

Fernando Alonso leads the drivers' championship from Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are ahead of Ferrari in the constructors' competition. That will not change this weekend but the gap could be narrowed, albeit incrementally, in both sets of standings.

POLE POSITION

The weather is likely to play a major part in determining who takes the front of the grid with a smattering of rain forecast for qualifying.

That should make predicting who will occupy pole a difficult task and history shows no definite trend. A bet on the Sauber pair of Kamui Kobayashi and/or Sergio Perez to finish in the top 10 might be worth considering.

THE RACE

Lewis Hamilton is all the rage for this race and his win in Hungary would certainly give cause for optimism but at 3/1 it's hard to back him with any great conviction.

As for the Red Bulls, Spa historically favours teams with low down-force units and the pace of Vettel and Webber is unlikely to be enough on its own. Vettel did win here last year but in a car that was far superior to any of its rivals.

Instead it is Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus who offers greatest appeal. He is a four-time winner at Spa and has finished on the podium in three of his last four races.

Alonso remains the form driver but has a distinctly average record here, with just two podium finishes since his first race at Spa in 2004. As we have seen in recent weeks, consistent form at a track can be almost as important as the car in question.

THE TEAMS

Mercedes have toiled for most of the season and that seems unlikely to change, not least with the increased potential for rain. Michael Schumacher has had to retire in six of his 11 races and the team have recorded just three double points finishes (both cars in the top 10).

His team-mate Nico Rosberg has not been in the top six since his second at Monaco in May. The 9/10 on offer about Mercedes not producing a double points finish looks worth considering. The 2/1 on a McLaren victory is not too shabby either given Hamilton's price of 3/1.

THE SELECTION

Kimi Raikkonen has proved to be a formidable driver at this circuit, having won the race four times, and, indeed, his last F1 victory came here in 2009.

The Lotus has had new updates, specifically a double DRS system, which have been added in an attempt to keep the car competitive over the second half of the season and given the recent podium finishes the Finn is worthy of an each-way punt at 101/20 (youwin). McLaren (2/1, skybet) to add to their 11 Belgian wins is the other pick.

SEASON'S TOTAL

Last week's selection, Li Na, exited the US Open yesterday following a surprise defeat at the hands of Laura Robson meaning the overall total drops to -£20.

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