Lewis Hamilton may be on course for an almost-certain world title but James Gray has spied a chink in the Mercedes armour that may open the door on Sunday in Germany...
"If the weather is right, Max Verstappen has the skills and the car to make an 8/1 to win the German Grand Prix look like a great price"
Normal service was resumed at the British Grand Prix last time out as Lewis Hamilton broke yet another record in his startling career, securing his sixth victory on home soil and moving clear of five-time winners Jim Clark and Alain Prost.
It also put paid to any hint of a wobble that might have emanated from Mercedes' first failure to win a race with Hamilton finishing fifth in Austria. The Brit is now 39 points clear of Valtteri Bottas at the top of the F1 World Drivers' Championship and his nearest non-Mercedes rival - Max Verstappen - is almost 100 points a drift. Hamilton is deserving of his 1/50 price to secure yet another world title.
All signs point to Red Bull moving forward
Despite Hamilton's domination, there is still plenty of excitement left in the season, primarily because there are reasons to be optimistic about Red Bull's 9/1 chances of providing the winning driver this weekend. For starters, there's the weather.
While we have all been melting in the UK this week, Germany has been hit by similar weather systems and although the forecast is for it to relent somewhat, Red Bull will be doing their sun dances at every spare moment, because if Mercedes have a weakness, it is undoubtably trying to cool the car in hot conditions. They struggled in Austria when the mercury hit 40 while Red Bull picked up their first win of the year.
Even if the weather does break, it is likely to do so in spectacular fashion with thunder, lightning and rain, something else that traditionally favours Red Bull and especially Max Verstappen, who looks a great bet to win the race at 8/1.
Honda power a reason to be cheerful!
Not only will Red Bull likely enjoy the weather no matter what it throws at them this weekend, they should also enjoy the circuit as Honda are finally starting to come good in F1. The old Hockenheimring used to be a series of straights joined by chicanes but since the redesign, it is a more technical, downforce-reliant track. It still features plenty of high-speed corners though, something that would usually fill the likes of Red Bull boss Christian Horner with dread. But the Brit is far from pessimistic.
"We have confidence going to Hockenheim given the performance [at Silverstone]," Horner said.
"You are flat out on the lap for pretty much the equivalent of the entire Barcelona lap.
"So that is encouraging for us, and certainly for a circuit like Hockenheim that is less power sensitive."
His logic is that if they showed such good pace at somewhere like Silverstone, a weak track for them, then the season should start to come towards them.
With that in mind, regular readers will know I always think second drivers are underrated and Pierre Gasly, for all the flak he has taken, was brilliant at Silverstone and is a driver with a proven track record. I'm backing Gasly to have another good weekend in a speedy Red Bull and finish on the podium at 12/1.
The Hulk to give the Germans cheer
It was agony for home fans last year when Sebastian Vettel locked his rear brakes and beached the car from the lead just 15 laps from the finish. Michael Schumacher remains the only German to win his home race since the 1930s and how Vettel would be desperate to join him on that very short list.
However, it maybe that the supporters have to get a little more creative in their search for something to shout about and they should look no further than Nico Hulkenberg, the grid's second-most enigmatic (after Kimi Raikkonen of course) driver, in the grid's most enigmatic car, the Renault.
The French team are definitely moving in the right direction with six top-10 finishes in the last five races and 'The Hulk' has a remarkable record on home tarmac: not since 2010, his debut F1 season, has the 31-year-old failed to earn points in Germany, including a fine fifth last time around.
With two longer price punts on the docket this week, I like Hulkenberg at 4/6 to finish in the points once again and keep that run going.