Well, that's probably the worst misjudgement of a bet I've made this season. Slightly annoyingly, most of those I considered would've come off, and the one I went for was miles wrong. I'll go into that in more detail later, but that's two red races in a row, alas.
Hat tip to Mr. Putney, whose bet on Button for points at 8/11 (pre-qualifying) went rather better.
The race was quite entertaining, though probably not a classic.
Vettel and Hulkenberg had bad starts (possibly because they started on the slower, even side) allowing Hamilton to rapidly climb to 4th, with Magnussen in 3rd, early on. However, Raikkonen lost control on the opening lap. Massa could take only minimal avoiding action as a Caterham immediately ahead of him blocked most of his view, but was able to avoid a T-bone collision which could've been even worse. Raikkonen seems to be ok, but the accident took not only himself but Massa out of the race. [Massa had a dreadful start and was last off the line, hence the Caterham being ahead].
A red flag then came out and the cars lined up on the grid in race order.
Repairing the Armco barrier meant a delay of an hour, which prompted Niki Lauda to tell the BBC that the sport was over-regulated, which is a valid point, though not an indisputable one.
The re-start occurred, eventually, behind the safety car. Oddly, Vettel and Hulkenberg drifted inexorably backwards, whereas Button more or less hung on (unlike his younger team mate). Once Hamilton got into 2nd it looked like we'd have a nice contest between the two but then Rosberg's gearbox failed and he suffered his first DNF of the year. He retains the lead, but it's whittled away to almost nothing.
Meanwhile, Bottas was charging through the field. It must be said that the Williams is currently the second fastest car. Ricciardo got 3rd, but that was due to strategy (Vettel was 5th, but made one more stop). Vettel and Alonso had a very tight battle for 5th, but the Red Bull was faster. Then came Magnussen.
Hulkenberg was 8th. Force India are significantly off the pace now, and I was just wrong about their prospects. Right now, they're slower than Mercedes, Williams, Red Bull, Ferrari and perhaps even McLaren.
Kvyat and Vergne got the final points positions, which is a very nice result for a team that has been suffering reliability problems. Perez was just behind, but suffered an off on the initial lap which probably stopped him claiming 10th or higher.
There has been a shift, I think, in performance. Williams, who seemed second fastest in Australia, have returned to that position. Red Bull are a shade ahead of Ferrari, and Force India have gone backwards, presumably due to lack of updates. The McLaren was surprisingly good around Silverstone, so we'll have to wait and see if that's a one-off or the start of a trend.
Disappointed to bet on something that was not merely slightly wrong, but immensely wrong. Still, a bet comes off or it does not, you don't lose extra for it being especially bad.
Rosberg now has only a 4 point lead over Hamilton, with just over half the season to go. There are two more races (Germany and Hungary) before we reach the mid-season interval and have a prolonged (4 week, I think) break.
The Constructors' is pretty interesting. Whilst Mercedes is nailed on for the top spot and Red Bull are highly likely to get 2nd, the battle for 3rd is nice and tight.
Red Bull 168
Force India 91
I expect to see Williams surpass Ferrari. They would have done so today, had Massa not been unfortunate. I suspect that tight four way battle may diverge into a Force India Vs McLaren and Williams Vs Ferrari pair of tussles, but it depends how things develop. It's pretty nicely poised.
Hockenheim is the next circuit, and we go off to Germany in a fortnight.