Fernando Alonso holds a 13-point lead in the drivers' standings after his second place finish at Silverstone on Sunday and his nearest pursuer, as it was for much of the British Grand Prix, is the Red Bull of Mark Webber.
We reach the half-way stage of the F1 season in Germany in less than two weeks time and these are worrying times for McLaren.
Jenson Button, after a nightmare in Q1, did well enough to get a point with tenth place at Silverstone, while Lewis Hamilton, who flattered to deceive in the early part of the race, ended up in eighth. Hamilton is now 38 points behind Championship leader Alonso in the drivers' standings.
Hamilton was inspired in the early part of the race and on his initial set of tyres actually led for a period when Alonso made his first stop. But he couldn't maintain that competitiveness and the bottom line is that McLaren is not quite quick enough to challenge at the moment. There is much to be done at team's Surrey base before the back-to-back races in Germany and Hungary.
For Alonso it was his fourth podium from the last five races and with Felipe Massa running in fourth it was a good weekend for Ferrari and one which they would have probably bit your hand off had you offered it to them on Thursday evening. After the initial disappointment of losing victory in the closing laps Alonso was pleased with his 18 points although he is only too aware that Red Bull look to be getting stronger as the year progresses.
The Spaniard remains our 15/8 favourite to regain the F1 title at BetVictor.com
but the Red Bulls are sitting, menacingly, on his tail with Vettel vying for favouritism at 2/1 and team-mate Webber 11/2. Hamilton sandwiches the Red Bulls at 4/1 but that is largely on reputation and liabilities rather than what we have seen on the circuit over the last couple of races.
Red Bull will have been delighted with their efforts in what is also their home Grand Prix, especially as Webber looked to be facing a losing battle at one point...
Vettel lost out to Massa at the start but the Red Bull pit-stop strategy enabled the two-time world champion to finish on the podium and he was catching Alonso hand over fist at the end of the race. He goes into his home GP the 9/4 favourite at BetVictor.com
with Hamilton and Alonso 9/2 and Webber 6/1 for his third win of the year.
Silverstone was also a good weekend for Lotus with both drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in the top half dozen and it is surely only a matter of time before it all falls into place and the team wins.
Having been of the opinion that Lewis Hamilton was the driver to beat in 2012 the last couple of races have been a chastening experience for all at McLaren and you get the impression it is Red Bull who believe they, once again, are the team to beat as we reach the half-way stage.
For the German Grand Prix, BetVictor.com
offers the following on who will win the race*:
Sebastian Vettel 9/4
Lewis Hamilton 9/2
Fernando Alonso 9/2
Mark Webber 6/1
For the F1 title, in terms of who might win, BetVictor.com
Fernando Alonso 15/8
Sebastian Vettel 2/1
Lewis Hamilton 4/1
Mark Webber 11/2
* Odds correct at time of going to press, but are subject to change
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