Belgian Grand Prix Betting: The perfect track for Hamilton to show his style

Style icon - Lewis Hamilton loves his fashion
Style icon - Lewis Hamilton loves his fashion
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Lewis Hamilton has used the close season to do some modelling in Cuba, but Ralph Ellis says it is the sleek lines of his Mercedes car which will count as F1 returns to the track.

"Hamilton has a sense of history, and will know full well that this is his 200th Grand Prix. What better occasion to match Michael Schumacher’s record of 68 pole positions?"

Hamilton's golden opportunity at Spa

When it comes to fashion, I wouldn't always say that Lewis Hamilton has got style. Maybe it's an age thing, but some of his grunge type clothes don't work for me at all.

There are times, though, when he can look absolutely the business. There's a superb picture on his Instagram page, for instance, of him posing next to a classic old red car wearing a matching Gucci shirt during a trip to Cuba.

One thing about Hamilton this year which is a style icon, all the time, however is his Mercedes Formula One car. If there is one thing the designers of the 2017 model got right it is the smooth flowing lines.

And it is that superb aerodynamic quality which is going to become crucial for Hamilton in the second half of the F1 season if he is going to justify his current price of [1.81] by catching up Sebastian Vettel's 14 point lead in the Drivers' Championship.

If he's going to do it, he couldn't have chosen a better place than Belgium for the last nine races to begin. The historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit, with its flowing genteel curves and fast straights around a 4.35 mile lap, could have been built with this Mercedes in mind.

It has been a fascinating duel so far between Hamilton and Vettel, in which both have won four races. But one pattern that has become clear is that tight, twisty circuits like Hungary suit the Ferrari, while faster flowing ones like Silverstone play to the Mercedes strengths.

So Hamilton has a huge opportunity in the next two races in Belgium and then Italy to stamp his authority on the title contest.

Gentleman's agreement with Bottas could pay dividends

He is [1.88] to be the race winner, with Vettel [5.5] and team mate Valtteri Bottas [6.6]. While I've warned all season to be wary of backing at odds-on, this might be an exception.

Hamilton has a sense of history, and will know full well that this is his 200th Grand Prix. What better occasion, for a start, to match Michael Schumacher's record of 68 pole positions? Mercedes have taken pole in eight of the 11 races so far and it's hard to see them not doing it again here.

Even the weather forecast, which can be so unpredictable at a track with its own microclimate where often it is raining on one corner and dry at the next, seems to be on Hamilton's side. There are showers forecast for Sunday, but not until 5pm which will be long after the champagne has been sprayed around the podium.

There's another bit of Hamilton style which might help him in the weeks to come - the way he backed off to let team mate Valteri Bottas finish third in Hungary as part of a gentleman's agreement made during the race.

It seemed odd that he would give up three Championship points, especially when Vettel was cruising to victory.

But there will be times in future races where Hamilton is leading and needs Bottas to hold up the challenge of his biggest rival, and then it would be payback time in a way that could bring him far more than the three points he has already lost.

Spa hasn't always been the happiest of places for Hamilton. He won there in 2015 but last year finished third with Nico Rosberg taking the chequered flag, a result that ultimately proved pivotal for the German taking the drivers' title.

And of course there was that crash with Rosberg in 2014, one of the lowest points of a rivalry with his team mate which became increasingly bitter.

This year it is his big opportunity to make a statement, though. And not just about his fashion sense.

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