Hungarian Grand Prix Betting Tips & Preview – Sunday 29th July 2018

Hungarian Grand Prix Track Guide

With the mid-season break just around the corner, the stakes are huge in Hungary this week. With the title battle taking yet another swing at the weekend, both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are battling for control of the title race over the summer break. After more drama last week, who will come out on top and give themselves a big boost at a key stage of the campaign?

The German Grand Prix was supposed to be a grand homecoming for Vettel, but that didn’t go to plan. He retired and saw Hamilton claim maximum points, putting the Mercedes driver top of the pile, 17 points clear. Another victory this weekend would put him as the clear favourite for the title, and we’re backing him to do just that.

Top Tips

Lewis Hamilton to win @ 11/4

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

We cross the mid-way point of the season in Hungary this week, with just nine races left in the second half of the campaign. After a month which has seen a Grand Prix in four of five weekends, we’re also coming out of a busy schedule for the F1 teams. That puts huge significance on this weekend’s race, given that it’s late August before they return.

RoundCountryCircuitRace Distance
12/21 Hungary Hungaroring 306km / 70 Laps

Schedule

 DateStart TimeFinish TimeForecast ConditionsTV Coverage
Practice 1 Fri 27th July 10:00 11:30 Dry / 27° -
Practice 2 Fri 27th July 14:00 15:30 Dry / 30° -
Practice 3 Sat 28th July 11:00 12:30 Dry / 27° -
Qualifying Sat 28th July 14:00 15:00 Dry / 29° Sky F1
Race Sun 29th July 14:10 16:10 Wet / 30° Sky F1

Last Season's Result (2017)

Last year’s race basically translated from qualifying to finishing, with the top five on the grid finishing in the same position in the final race. That was only broken by Daniel Ricciardo, who finished sixth in qualifying before retiring. However, while there wasn’t a great deal of difference between qualifying standings and race standings, a lot happened in Hungary last year.

Lewis Hamilton didn’t even end up on the podium, finishing behind the Ferrari duo of Vettel and Raikkonen. He also ended up behind teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was in the title hunt after the race. Vettel’s win put him 14 points clear, while Bottas was just 17 shy of Hamilton. With Ferrari taking the fight to Mercedes here last year, can they repeat the trick this time around?

PositionDriverCarGrid PositionPoints
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1 25
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2 18
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 3 15
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 4 12
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 5 10
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren 7 8
7 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 9 6
8 Sergio Perez Force India 13 4
9 Esteban Ocon Force India 11 2
10 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 8 1

Race News: Mercedes Way Continues Despite German Success

Despite winning the German Grand Prix, Mercedes have tried to play down their hopes this weekend. It’s a familiar tactic which we’ve seen from the Silver Arrows all season. Boss Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton like to play down their favourites’ tag at certain stages of the campaign, now that they have a genuine rival to worry about. Will their fears around a “very strong” Ferrari side come to pass this weekend?

Mercedes are currently leading the way in both championships, after overtaking Ferrari in the constructors’ standings. They have a world champion driver who labelled the win in Germany his best ever drive, yet Mercedes are playing up the difficulties they face. While it is true that they’ve had issues here in recent years, it was only 2016 when they last won in Budapest.

Analysis: Can Hamilton Repeat Past Glories?

The defending champion will be looking to his Hungary record ahead of this race. While we’ve seen Vettel impress this season, we believe there’s an opening for Hamilton to take a dominant position at the summit. While Mercedes are said to be too powerful for the twists in Budapest, we still see them contending, and we could see Ferrari having similar issues dealing with turns.

While this isn’t going to be easy for Hamilton, he has experience on his side. The Mercedes man has won this race more times than any driver in history. He has claimed five victories in Hungary throughout his career, compared to two for Vettel. We expect the world champion to contend again, and with that track record he’s certainly a threat in this race.

Final Verdict: Hamilton To Win

A victory ahead of the summer break would leave Hamilton at least 24 points clear in the standings. That’s a huge gap to take into the last nine Grands Prix and it would leave Ferrari with a lot of ground to catch up on. This weekend could be crucial, especially if Mercedes underperform and allow the challengers to claw their way back into contention for both world championships.

However, Hamilton has sky high confidence after his last race, and that should carry on with his fantastic record here. We expect the Brit to add to his five victories in this GP and use that to strengthen his place at the top. We think Hamilton is huge value for another race win at big odds of 11/4, while this could be a strong weekend for Mercedes, so we’re backing Bottas to make the podium here at 2/1, following his second place finish last week.

About

Hungary Grand Prix 1998
alessio mazzocco, Flickr

The Hungaroring is one of the most iconic circuits in the world. Whilst it was F1 that arguably put the circuit on the map, it’s been able to enjoy success from a number of different motorsports, including the likes of the World Touring Car championship, World series by Renault and the FIA GT Championship, to name just a few.

The first grand prix was held back in 1936, but following that, it didn’t hold another until 1986. Since then it’s been a permanent on the F1 calendar and widely regarded as one of the most popular spots for the drivers.

Track Highlights

Hungarian Grand Prix Track 2013
CaterhamF1, Flickr

The track is situated 19km from Hungary’s capital of Budapest, the Hungaroring is set in a natural amphitheatre. The layout means that spectators can see more than 50% from pretty much every vantage point around the track, making it a firm favourite for the fans and probably about as good value for money as you will find from any race.

The Hungaroring is very twisty and bumpy and is often compared to Monaco; a street circuit, without the houses. The narrow track means that overtaking is often quite difficult, so the race relies heavily on the optimum strategy for both tyres and engine wear. However, the 4.3km circuit has still seen some great racing over the years.

Setting up out of the final corner, drivers are required to get the best line possible, so they can maximise traction and just touch the apex on the way out. The start finish line is also a DRS zone as the race infolds and heading up and over the crest, you get the first real perspective of how the track drops away into the braking zone of turn 1. The turn allows drivers to drift a little wider than normal, often seeing them missing the apex here, but because of the nature of the racetrack, it costs drivers minimal time in doing so and preserves tyres.

As cars move back up towards turn 2, they get to utilise another DRS Zone. The corner itself is a sweeping left hander and there have been numerous overtakes made here through the years, offering up one of very few opportunities on the track.

Turn 3 is a simple little kink in the road that the drivers barely have to flinch for taking it flat out. But, turn four is actually a blind apex, so the driver needs to make sure that they are attacking the braking zone and also trusting their ability and judgement of when to turn the car in, just clipping the kerb as they do so.

Turn 5 is another long, sweeping corner, which drivers often navigate fairly comfortably. It’s all about getting the right drive into the upcoming chicane. It’s another area of the track that is action packed and often one that fans are keen to be based around. There have been several incident and accidents over the years and offers a good chance to sneak through catching sleeping drivers out.

The following sequence of corners, through the kink at 8 and the high-speed corner at 9 are some of the most difficult for both driver and car. The lateral G’s can be as high as 4 for these corners and really challenges both the set-up of the car and the ability of the driver in question.

The drop down the bank into turns 10 and 11 see the cars having deal with huge G-force again, hitting as high as 5 this time. The breaking zone into 11 is crucial as if they miss it, it means they will run massively wide, often locking up in the process. Oversteer is also an issue here as drivers try and use as much of the track and kerb as they dare. The wider they go, the more speed but at the same time, the less grip they have.

The penultimate corner, turn 13, is another of the sweeping corners and is very long. Drivers will often have to break or slow throughout the corner to get the best line and exit to come into the final turn. The drivers are then looking to clip the apex on the way out and with it get a good run back across the start finish line.

History

Felipa Massa
F1 Driver, Felipe Massa © Eric W (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The success of the Hungaroring is largely down to that of former F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone. It was Eccleston who was keen to bring his F1 franchise to a location behind the Iron Curtain and whilst it was a venue within the then USSR that was favoured, it was recommended to him that Budapest would make a great alternative.

The track was always planned to be a street-like circuit, similar to that of Monaco. Original plans were for the track to be made within the city centre, amongst the national park, but instead, it was decided that it were to instead be built in Mogyorod, just outside of Budapest.

2006 – First Wet Race

The 2006 race was quite iconic for the Hungaroring as it was the first Formula 1 race held there that was run during the wet. Teams had no testing and no previous experience of these types of conditions on this track, so the retirement of several drivers, including that of championship rivals Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, allowing Jenson Button to take the win in his revitalised Honda.

2009 – Felipe Massa’s Crash

In the qualifying round of the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa was struck on the head by a suspension spring that had fallen from Ruben’s Barrichello’s car. He was knocked unconscious whilst the car was still moving, before eventually crashing into a barrier. Massa underwent surgery for originally life threatening injuries, but later made a full recovery before returning to Formula 1.

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