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French Grand Prix: No reason to oppose Hamilton

The eighth round of the Formula One championship takes place this weekend when Le Castellet hosts the French Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton holds a 29-point lead in the drivers' championship following his controversial win last time out in Canada.

We have studied the French Grand Prix odds to pick out our three best bets for the weekend.

French Grand Prix Betting Tips

Hamilton was crowned the winner of a remarkable Canadian Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel's victory was chalked off following a five-second penalty.

Vettel took the chequered flag at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but was sensationally demoted to runner-up after he was controversially penalised for a near-collision with Hamilton on lap 48.

Vettel was furious with the decision and when informed of the stewards' verdict he said over the radio: "They are stealing the race from us."

Hamilton crossed the line 1.3 seconds behind Vettel to ensure he would take the fifth win of his championship defence, and extend his title lead to 29 points after Valtteri Bottas finished fourth. Charles Leclerc completed the podium positions.

Vettel now trails Hamilton by a whopping 62 points in the title race, a tally which seemed unthinkable when Ferrari packed down after an impressive pre-season testing.

Mercedes are unbeaten from the seven races this year but Ferrari have had the machinery to win at least three times - in Bahrain, Azerbaijan and Canada.

Mercedes' two biggest errors of the year - putting Hamilton on the wrong tyres in Monaco and engine setbacks in Canada - have gone unpunished.

Vettel might blame the stewards in Canada but in truth it was another mistake from a list which is seriously tarnishing his reputation.

He will contest Sunday's race without a win in 300 days, during which time Hamilton has enjoyed 11 victories, and Ferrari have admitted this is a venue which does not suit them.

Team boss Mattia Binotto said: "Paul Ricard was a tricky circuit for us last year and we know this kind of track isn't particularly favourable for our package."

There appears little reason to oppose Hamilton and we're backing him for another win at 10/11 as the first of our French Grand Prix predictions.

In contrast to Vettel, Max Verstappen has not put a foot wrong this season and the Dutchman - fourth in the standings - will benefit from an upgraded Honda engine in the back of his Red Bull this weekend.

The Japanese manufacturer hope their new piece of kit will be more powerful, and Verstappen's team-mate Pierre Gasly and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat will also be armed with a fresh power unit. Kvyat, however, will have to serve a grid penalty for exceeding the number of engine parts a driver is allowed to use during the season.

Verstappen has had two podium finishes this season but was fourth on four occasions and assuming his car is quicker this weekend, we like French Grand Prix odds of 5/2 for Verstappen to finish on the podium while Gasly is 8/11 for a fourth top-six finish of the year.

Acca Bonus up to 100% - Place a treble or higher across any sport and if it wins, we'll boost your winnings in cash. Remember to check that all your selections are higher than 1.50 (1/2). T&Cs apply.

Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in F1