After an incident-packed French Grand Prix, Formula 1 is back this weekend to the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The tack, with its relatively short straights and flat-out corners, is a circuit that is loved by most drivers because of its flowing nature.

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Lewis Hamilton has won the Hungarian Grand Prix a remarkable eight times during the course of his career, and despite the fact that he isn’t the favorite to win the race this time around, one can be certain he will be in the best position to capitalize on any mistakes higher up the field. But, before we begin talking about the favorites to win the race, let’s take a look at the odds table.

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2022 Hungarian Grand Prix Odds

Odds to Win the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix
Charles Leclerc+137
Max Verstappen+137
Carlos Sainz+600
Lewis Hamilton+1100
Sergio Perez+1600
George Russell+2200

Odds as of July 28 at BetOnline Sportsbook

Tight Odds For Hungarian Grand Prix

Despite Leclerc’s obvious underperformance since the Australian Grand Prix, the fact remains that Ferrari seems to have the better car when things go right for the team. So, given the Hungaroring’s flowing, high-speed nature, it certainly makes sense that Leclerc and Verstappen are joint favorites to win the race.

While Ferrari’s outlook heading into the Hungarian Grand Prix certainly shouldn’t be bleak considering the car’s development over the last few weeks, it remains to be seen whether the team can be operationally sound, which is perhaps why the odds are even heading into this weekend.

Hungarian Grand Prix Long-Shot Picks

As stated previously, Lewis Hamilton has won the Hungarian Grand Prix a record eight times. The Briton is fresh off a second-place finish in his 300th career race. Moreover, the Mercedes team has proven their strategic mettle, by consistently maximizing their points hauls despite having an inferior car compared to Red Bull and Ferrari. 

So, given the fact that the Mercedes’ porpoising troubles are behind them, and that the car’s power output has become the No. 1 priority for the team to improve, one can expect Mercedes to consistently get better as the season goes on. Further, on the occasion that Verstappen or Leclerc are disadvantaged during the race, we fully expect Hamilton to capitalize on the situation and snatch the race win. That is why he is our sleeper pick to win the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hungarian Grand Prix Betting Strategy

The odds suggest that it’s a toss-up between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc to take the race win. However, technical factors must be considered to place a well-informed bet. One can expect some attrition in the race, and as suggested earlier, the race will be a true test of the cars’ tire management.

Given that both Red Bull and Ferrari have become extremely efficient at managing their tires, the race could come down to execution by both the driver and the team. Further, the Hungaroring is a track where a slower car can keep a quicker car behind.

It is for these reasons that our pick to win the Hungarian Grand Prix is Max Verstappen. Given the Red Bull’s excellent race strategies and Max’s ability to defend position, we believe that he is the favorite to win the race, despite the Ferrari’s arguably superior performance.

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Race Technicals

The 4.38-kilometer track will play host to 70 laps of racing on Sunday, amounting to a total race distance of 306.6 kilometers. Lewis Hamilton holds the lap record with a 1:16.627 in-race lap in 2020, and given how the current cars are roughly two seconds slower than last year’s cars, the lap record should remain intact.

The Hungaroring is known for its high-speed corners and technical nature. The track is also expected to be extremely hot this weekend, with temperatures expected to reach 30 degrees. As a result, the track will reward cars that are kinder to their tires, and punish cars that have tightly packaged power units that do not dissipate heat efficiently. The twisting and bumpy characteristics of the track make overtaking a challenge, so qualifying performance will be key to taking victory.

Previous Race

The French Grand Prix was held at Circuit Paul Ricard on a warm and sunny weekend that many predicted would lead to higher degrees of tire wear and engine trouble, and while this was true to an extent, the race came down to minor mistakes with massive consequences.

Leclerc, who started on pole and held off Verstappen for 16 laps until the Dutchman pitted, looked to be in a strong position to potentially take the race win. However, a driver error by Leclerc meant that he crashed into the barriers and, without being able to reverse the car, he was forced to retire from the race. This prompted a safety car and a flurry of pit stops. 

During Sainz’s pit stop at this juncture of the race, his car was released unsafely into the path of Alex Albon, which led to a five-second penalty for the Spaniard, who had made remarkable progress elevating himself up the field from a starting position of 19th.

Verstappen had a relatively drama-free race at the top of the field, and took victory. However, Sainz, who was challenging for third place, was instructed by his team to pit for new tires given that he was on worn-out medium tires that the team suspected would not last till the end of the race. Elsewhere, following a virtual safety car, George Russell pipped Sergio Perez for third, giving Mercedes a 2-3 finish, which was a huge result for the team given their underperformance in the 2022 season.

Among other things, the race reaffirmed that while Ferrari indeed has the quickest car, the operations and strategy – along with the consistency of their drivers – puts championship prospects under question. 

Over the course of the season, Leclerc has retired from three races from a winning position, meaning he has surrendered a total of 75 points. Max’s no-nonsense victory at the French Grand Prix has now put him 63 points ahead of Leclerc, whose position in second place in the championship table is threatened by Sergio Perez, who is just seven points behind. 

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