The Hungarian GP (Magyar Nagydíj), is an annual race on the FIA F1 calendar. It has been held at the Hungaroring racetrack since 1986 and was built on the foundations of the first Hungarian GP in 1936, which was held on the roads at the Nepliget park in Budapest. The first race drew a large crowd, but the ensuing war, as well as political unrest, ensured no Grand Prix races in Hungary for 50 years.
In 1986, Bernie Ecclestone, chief executive of the Formula One Group at the time, shocked everyone by adding the Hungarian GP on the F1 calendar. It was the first time a race was being held behind the Iron Curtain. The first GP drew in more than 200,000 people and became one of the most popular races in the F1 Championship. It is just as popular today, especially among Finns.
The twists and turns of the tricky Hungaroring racetrack make the Hungarian GP pretty interesting. The narrow track sometimes doesn’t allow racers to pass each other, making pit strategy highly important. In order to allow more passing, the racetrack was slightly modified in 2003, adding more excitement to the race.
Current champion Lewis Hamilton is the driver with most wins at the Hungarian GP, which he has won 5 times. The McLaren F1 team is the most successful team in the Constructor’s Championship with 11 wins. The Hungarian GP has seen many surprises over the years which has made it such a big part of the F1 Championship – due to its popularity, FIA has extended the Grand Prix’s contract to 2021.
This year’s Hungaroring race will be one of the most exciting in years. After Vettel’s inexplicable blunder at the German GP, Lewis Hamilton has taken over the top of the driver’s standings, opening up a 17-point lead over the German. Ferrari has no other options than to try their best and win the race if Vettel, the closest competitor to Hamilton, wants to end the dry spell for the Maranello-based team.
Will Vettel Return to Winning Ways?
It’s fair to say that this year’s F1 Champions has been one of the most amazing in years. Hamilton and Vettel are fighting for the title at every race and we have every reason to believe that the fight will go on right until the last race of the season. The Brit and German are trading blows between each other at every race, overtaking the lead nearly every weekend.
With 4 wins behind each other’s name this season and one retirement each as well, it’s no wonder why the battle for the top is so close. However, with more than half the season gone, mistakes like Vettel’s last one are not allowed anymore. Both drivers will have to be at their best if they want to win the title in a hugely competitive season which saw wins from Ricciardo (2) and Verstappen (1) as well.
Current champion Lewis Hamilton was a heavy favourite for most of the races this season, but for the Hungarian GP, Vettel has this honour. He’s being given odds of 17/10 at SportNation, Letou, Fun88, and SportPesa, and 7/4 at RedZoneSports. This makes the German a pretty interesting option for punters. Vettel won twice at the Hungaroring race track in the past 3 years (2015 and 2017) and he’s doing great this year, which is why bookies are picking him over Hamilton. He’s not a lock for the win, of course, but if you place a bet on him and he conquers Budapest, you could be looking at nearly 3 times your investment, which surely sounds nice.
Will Hamilton Extend His Dominance at Hungaroring?
With 5 wins behind his name at the Hungarian GP, Lewis Hamilton is always among the favourites for this exciting race. His 5th win in 2016 took down the great Michael Schumacher from the top of the list, a record which he held for more than a decade. The Brit is undoubtedly one of the best F1 drivers in history and with 4 wins and the top spot in the Driver’s Championship this season, it’s no wonder why bookies consider him Vettel’s main threat.
Hamilton’s odds stand at 53/20 at SportNation, Fun88, Letou, and SportPesa, while RedZoneSports is giving him odds of 17/10 to win the race. Although clearly lagging behind Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton’s odds are certainly enticing. After all, he is the current champion and still on top of the standings, so if you think he can record a 6th win at Hungaroring, backing him up at 53/20 sounds like a good idea.
With such odds for the top 2 drivers this year, we’re surely in for an exciting race.
Verstappen’s Chance to Shine?
Ferrari’s controversial win at the British GP and Hamilton’s subsequent comments about it have added a lot of fuel to the fire and made the Championship all the more interesting. Vettel’s DNF at the German GP allowed the Brit to overtake the top position and for other players to score points as well, putting additional pressure on the German.
One of those drivers is Max Verstappen, the young Belgian-Dutch driver who has shown flashes of brilliance this season. Verstappen won the Austrian GP in front of Hamilton and Vettel, which clearly shows that he has the quality to fight with the favourites. The youngster will surely be looking to cause trouble for the championship’s top 2 drivers – he may not have a shot at the title, but he can still put a dent in Vettel’s and Hamilton’s title hopes.
Bookies are giving Verstappen odds of 3/1 (SportPesa, Letou, Fun88, SportNation) and 16/5 to win the Hungarian GP, which we must admit are pretty enticing. Put a bet on him, and you may be looking at 4 times your investment. He already won one race this season and left Hamilton and Vettel in the dust, so who says that he can’t repeat it?
Ricciardo and Raikkonen – Lurking from The Shadows
Although it’s obvious that Vettel and Hamilton have the biggest chances of winning and Verstappen is their closest challenger, Daniel Ricciardo, who already won 2 races this year, and veteran Kimi Raikkonen will be lurking from the shadows and grab any chance they can.
Ricciardo is having a great season and is currently placed fifth in the rankings, just behind Bottas and Raikkonen. The Australian is being given rather enticing odds of 33/10 (Letou, Fun88, SportPesa, RedZoneSports, SportNation), which means they consider him just as dangerous as Max Verstappen.
On the other hand, former Formula One Champion Kimi Raikkonen is third in the standings, lagging 40 points behind Vettel and more than 50 behind Hamilton. Although the race for the title will be fought between the German and the Brit, who can write off Raikkonen? He’s the 4th favourite for the Hungarian GP with odds of 15/1 at SportNation, SportPesa, Letou, and Fun88 and 16/1 at RedZoneSports.
These odds signify a great difference between him and the first 3 favourite, but the Finn is a superb driver with a title behind the name, so you can be sure that he won’t waste a chance when he sees one. One slip-up of the favourites and Raikkonen may overtake the lead, and let’s not forget that he won the Hungarian GP before, back in 2005 with McLaren.