Max Verstappen and Red Bull race to the top of the F1 Hungarian GP odds this Saturday. The Dutchman is fresh off winning the French Grand Prix and now looks to finally win the Hungarian Grand Prix, a race where he’s had a bit of bad luck in recent races. But Ferrari keeps faltering and Mercedes, despite their recent resurgence, appears as distant runner-ups.
2022 F1 Hungarian Prix Information
- Race: Hungarian Grand Prix
- Location: Hungaroring, Mogyorod, Hungary
- Television: ESPN
Verstappen Favored to Capture First Hungarian GP Title
Verstappen can be found at even money to finish in first place in F1 Hungaroring this Saturday. And why not? He’s been the most dependable driver over this season. He’s won seven of the 12 races while finishing on the podium on all but three of them. Most notably, he’s finished all but one compared to Charles Leclerc, who retired three times already.
The defending world champion has only won pole position three times but he did not need it in six of his seven victories. Verstappen has been able to capitalize on mistakes racing leaders such as Leclerc make, and when he has the lead, he rarely falters. Still, the Hungarian GP odds have Leclerc as the next likeliest winner as the Monegasque is the fastest driver when he’s on his game.
Leclerc has won the most pole positions and is tied with Verstappen by racing the fastest lap three times this season. But Ferrari has dropped the ball on numerous occasions. If it’s not an engine issue, it’s a screw-up in the pitstop timing. Ferrari’s flaws were on full display on the Circuit Paul Ricard last week as a throttle issue forced Leclerc, who was leading, to crash while a mistimed pitstop cost Carlos Sainz a spot on the podium.
Will Lightning Strike Twice?
Speaking of mishaps, we saw one of the biggest ones last year in Hungaroring. Valtteri Bottas caused an incident on the first turn of the first lap. This ultimately led to Verstappen finishing outside the top five. The crash also caused the likes of Lando Norris, Sergio Perez, and Leclerc to retire. The standings quickly became out of whack.
Alpine-Renault had their moment as Esteban Ocon withstood a late rally from Lewis Hamilton to win the race. His teammate, Fernando Alonso almost finished on the podium with him. The Hungarian GP odds had Ocon as a longshot, and he is one again on the Formula 1 betting tables this year.
It took a pile-up like that to bust the racing order so it’s unlikely we see one again. Of course, Hungaroring is known as one of the most challenging tracks. It only takes one mistake from any driver to potentially damn others as well. If you fancy it, odds are available on which driver retires first.
Mercedes is Gaining Momentum
Verstappen and Red Bull remain almost unchallenged. But as Ferrari falters, Mercedes revs up. The third-placed crew took a big step towards contention as both Hamilton and George Russell finished on the podium in France. A Mercedes driver has now finished on the podium in six of their last seven races. Most notably, Mercedes’s drivers are finishing the races while Ferrari has had five retirements since Cataluna.
Those who bet on F1 races can still find Mercedes as a distant third-placed team on the sportsbook. In fact, betting odds on either Hamilton or Russell to finish on the podium is at an underdog price. Given Mercedes’s consistency and Ferrari’s debacle, it’s not a bad bet to make.
But Mercedes backers need to approach their odds with a bit of scrutiny. Hamilton was six seconds behind Leclerc and Verstappen after just four laps. He may have beaten Sergio Perez on pure speed, but he and Mercedes have a lot of ground to make up for.Follow us on Twitter