Side with Perez and Grosjean

  • By: Tom Millard
  • Last Updated: September 1 2012, 18:15 BST

Sergio Perez: Should be backed to reach the podium


2pts Sergio Perez to finish on the podium at 4/1 (Stan James).

2pts Romain Grosjean to finish on the podium at 6/1 (Bet365, BetFred, Bet Victor).

Jenson Button's stunning pace in Q2 and Q3 took the paddock by surprise and it's the Englishman who will start Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix as the 7/5 market leader.

Button's pole position time was three-tenths quicker than his nearest rival, Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, and six-tenths faster than much-fancied Kimi Raikkonen, who lines up third for Lotus.

Had the Finn's time been just a fraction behind the pole-sitter we'd have happily jumped on the Raikkonen bandwagon at 7/2 but Button seems to have found a sweet spot with the upgraded McLaren and team-mate Lewis Hamilton suggested it's Button's race to lose.

"Jenson should win easy with that speed," he said in a tweet, which he later removed, adding that it was the upgraded rear wing on Button's car which made the difference.

The ease of overtaking means that Spa is probably the least important circuit on the calendar on which to secure pole position but Raikkonen has serious time to find in order to out-race his fellow former world champion.

He may well be able to overturn the deficit in race conditions but it's difficult to argue with the assessment of the market from the evidence of qualifying.

Kobayashi and his his team-mate, Sergio Perez, line up second and fourth (following Williams driver Pastor Maldonado's three-place demotion) and it's no surprise to see the Mexican being underrated once again by the layers.

We've long given up trying to work out why the Sauber works on some circuits and not others; suffice to say that it's very quick here and looks a genuine threat for victory.

Perez and Kobayashi could only manage 14th and 18th respectively in Hungary last time out but came fourth and sixth at Hockenheim before that, while Perez was on the podium as recently as June in Montreal.

Only poor qualifying performances have allowed both drivers to hide under the radar in a number of races this season, but their race pace has often been right up with the leaders.

Stan James price the Mexican at 4/1 to finish on the podium, which looks worth a bet.

Also take the 6/1 on Romain Grosjean in the same market,.

The Frenchman struggled in qualifying but has been bumped up to eighth after a grid penalty befell Red Bull's Mark Webber.

If Raikkonen, driving the same car, is 7/2 to win the race then his team-mate shouldn't be almost twice that price for a podium finish from two rows further back.

Like the Sauber, we expect the Lotus to be strong in race trim so Grosjean shouldn't have too much trouble dispatching the likes of Hamilton (who starts seventh), Maldonado (sixth) and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (fifth) over the course of the race.

  • Preview posted at 1815 BST on 01/09/2012.