Hamilton Favourite as F1 Heads To Hungary

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Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes confident of victory in Hungary.

Lewis Hamilton celebrating with fans after winning 2019 F1 championshipi

After eventful back-to-back races in Austria, Formula 1 heads to Hungary for the third race in three weekends.

Valtteri Bottas leads the championship after a win and a second place at the Red Bull Ring, but his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton is a warm 20/33 favourite for victory in Budapest.

In the absence of Monaco, the Hungaroring will see the slowest average lap speed of any circuit on the 2020 calendar and it’s very possible we will see a different pecking order than at the flowing Austrian circuit.

Blazing sunshine is often a feature of races in Hungary, but there is a risk of showers throughout this weekend which could also have a say in the result.

Verstappen Hopes for Another Hungary Pole

Max Verstappen took his maiden pole position in Hungary last year, driving the nimble Red Bull. The fiery Dutchman proved the closest challenger to Mercedes in Austria, although never looked a realistic candidate for victory.

Verstappen led much of last year’s race in Budapest before a strategic gamble paid off for Hamilton. After an extra pitstop for fresh tyres, Hamilton reeled in Verstappen and swept into the lead with four laps to go. It was Hamilton’s seventh victory at the circuit in 13 appearances.

Verstappen is a 15/4 chance to go one better this time, and 4/1 to repeat last year’s pole-winning performance in qualifying which could be a nice bet for punters to consider.

Ferrari Struggling

Ferrari, meanwhile, have suffered a fairly miserable start to their season. F1’s most historic team picked up a second-place in the first Austrian race after an inspired drive from Charles Leclerc in a race of attrition, but the Monegasque driver went from hero to zero last weekend, as he ploughed into team-mate Sebastian Vettel on the first lap, causing terminal damage to both cars.

The fact that only one car scraped into the top-ten shootout in qualifying in both races shows how far the Scuderia are lagging behind in terms of outright speed.

However, their race pace looked more competitive in the season-opener – something they didn’t get a chance to measure last weekend. They could also find the twisty Hungaroring more suitable for the car, which is significantly down on power compared to last year’s machine. In pre-season testing at Barcelona, the Ferraris were closer to the pace through the lower-speed sections of the track.

Leclerc is 9/1 for a place on Sunday’s podium, with Vettel at a tempting 10/1 to reach the Hungaroring podium for the fourth year in a row.

More Hungaroring Joy for McLaren?

McLaren sit second in the constructors’ championship and Lando Norris third in the drivers’ list after the Austrian double-header. Norris and Carlos Sainz each picked up a bonus point for setting the fastest race lap, and the pair are both 11/1 shots to do so again this weekend.

The team have enjoyed some of their best results of recent seasons at the Hungaroring and hopes will be high of another strong showing.

Racing Point’s design is the subject of a protest by Renault over its similarity to last year’s Mercedes. Sergio Perez was setting blistering lap-times as he chased down Alexander Albon’s Red Bull for fourth place last weekend, and the Mexican is 28/1 for victory in a machine based heavily on the car that won last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Racing Post tipster Adam Scriven is a true petrol head, following F1 all over the world, and he uses that knowledge to deliver the best bets.
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