We already know that this weekend will see the British Open Golf Championship competed for at Royal St Georges, but across the UK there are at least two other major sporting events taking place at the same time.

Starting on Friday, and with a new qualification system being trialled for the first time across the weekend, the British Grand Prix will take place on Sunday with the somewhat unusual prospect of home fan hope Lewis Hamilton not being the favourite to win the race.

Then on Saturday, the famous World Matchplay Darts tournament will get underway as it returns this year to its spiritual home of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. Second only to the World Championship in prestige, this 8-day event will see 32 of the top players competing in match play rather than the standard set play, in order to win the coveted trophy and a £150,000 top prize.

We are going to preview both of these big sports events below, but remember that if you fancy a bet on either of them, either pre-event, or once the race or tournament is in progress, then bet365 Sport offers outstanding betting options for all markets.

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Let’s now take a look at both these big sporting events taking place across the UK from this weekend, starting with the action from Silverstone.

British Grand Prix – Preview

The British Grand Prix is always one of the most eagerly awaited sports events of the year for motor sports fans in the UK, and this year not only will a crowd be in attendance, but they will also be the first to see a potential new qualifying system used for Formula 1 racing.

  • New Qualifying System Trialled

For some time now, one of the biggest criticisms of F1 racing has been that the usual format for qualifying of a practice day on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and then the race on Sunday was not a great spectacle for fans, especially those that had purchased tickets for the entire weekend.

F1 chief Ross Brawn has come up with a new plan which will see a qualifying session held on the Friday, the results of which will determine the grid for a 17-lap Sprint Race on Saturday. The final positions of that sprint race will then determine what the positions are on the grid for Sunday’s race.

Silverstone, along with Monza and one as yet unannounced other circuit, has been selected as the tracks on which to try out this new qualification system this season and if it is a success, then there is the likelihood that it will be rolled out across more races.

It will be interesting to see whether this new innovation appeals to fans, teams and drivers and we will get our first look at the new qualifying system this weekend.

  • Verstappen And Red Bull Hold The Advantage

Another unusual factor for this weekend is that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes don’t come into this race as the dominant team in F1. At the moment, it is Red Bull and their main driver Max Verstappen who hold that title after a number of dominant performances in recent races.

Verstappen has won four of the last five races in the competition, while Hamilton, so often the winner in previous years, has not even made the podium in three of those five races.

Hamilton has won three races this year in Bahrain, Portugal and Spain, but in recent races his Mercedes has been well off the pace being set by Red Bull and in particular Max Verstappen’s car.

Verstappen leads the Drivers Championship by 32 points after amassing five wins this season. He has 182 points ahead of Hamilton who has 150. Sergio Perez, the only other driver to win a race this season, lies third on 104, just three points ahead of British driver Lando Norris of McLaren on 101.

In the Constructors Championship, Red Bull’s (286) lead is even more pronounced as they hold a 44 point lead over Mercedes (242) who themselves are 101 points ahead of McLaren (141) in third with Ferrari fourth on 122.

  • Will Hamilton Bounce Back On Home Soil?

Bet365 Sport have Hamilton as the 13/8 second favourite to win the race behind Max Verstappen who is 8/11 to win his fourth race in a row in the Championship. With the Red Bull car seemingly faster and more reliable than the Mercedes, allied to some uncharacteristic mistakes made by both Hamilton and his team of late, those odds do seem about right.

I can’t really see anyone challenging these two for the win this weekend unless something strange happens and in truth, Verstappen does hold all the aces here, so I would back the Dutchman to extend his lead in the Driver’s Championship with a win here.

  • Tip – Verstappen to win – 8/11

World Matchplay Darts – Preview

On Saturday, the World Matchplay Darts Championship returns to the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, the spiritual home of the tournament that is second in prestige only to the World Championship.

The event, which is played in a straight leg format, or match play, rather than through sets, is one of the most entertaining and exciting tournaments of the year and draws packed crowds to the venue at the height of the British summer.

Last year, the tournament was held in Milton Keynes and Belgian Dmitri van den Bergh landed the victory when beating Gary Anderson in the final. Those two players, along with James Wade, Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross are the only players in the field to have previously won the event.

  • Potential Contenders?

32 players will compete in the first round of the tournament, with the 16 seeds drawn against the 16 players that qualified for the event. This includes the current World Champion Gerwyn Price, as well as second seed Peter Wright and third seed Michael van Gerwen.

Van Gerwyn and Price lead the betting with bet365 for the outright winner of the event, with van Gerwen the slight 9/2 favourite over Price who is a 5/1 shot.

Outside of that duo, it is the in form Jose De Sousa who is a joint third favourite along with Peter Wright ay 7/1, with Dmitri van den Bergh a 12/1 shot and the in-form Welshman Jonny Clayton a 14/1 chance.

James Wade, a six time finalist here, losing on five occasions is an 18/1 chance with Gary Anderson at 25/1 and Nathan Aspinall a 28/1 shot along with Rob Cross and Krzysztof Ratajski.

  • Format Favours Consistency

In Match play, consistency and the ability to win games repeatedly is the key, which is why Phil Taylor won an incredible 16 Matchplay titles in his legendary career, so much so the trophy now bears his name. It is also why James Wade has done well in the tournament previously too.

With that in mind and with no player in really blistering form heading into this event, I think De Souza is a good bet at 7/1, but if you fancy a more outside bet then Nathan Aspinall at 28/1 also offers good value for money.

  • Tip – Jose De Souza to win at 7/1, but Nathan Aspinall is a decent each way bet at 28/1.