Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix betting preview: Can Lewis Hamilton edge closer to Max Verstappen?

·3-min read

Hungarian Grand Prix

9 a.m. ET, ESPN

Red Bull Racing still isn’t over what happened at Silverstone.

Lewis Hamilton cut Max Verstappen’s points lead to eight points as he won the British Grand Prix following their first-lap collision. The contact came as Hamilton and Verstappen raced aggressively over the opening lap and the two drivers went for the same piece of track at the same time into Copse.

The end result was Verstappen’s car in the wall and Hamilton receiving a 10-second penalty. But Hamilton was able to overcome that penalty and passed Charles LeClerc late in the race to get the win.

Hamilton was overjoyed at winning at his home track in front of a sellout crowd and exuberantly celebrated in front of the fans. Verstappen — who climbed from his car and waved to the crowd when he walked to a waiting medical vehicle — was taken to the hospital for a precautionary evaluation. His presence at the hospital while Hamilton was celebrating is still something that bothers him.

“When one guy's in the hospital and the other one is waving the flag around like nothing has happened, well, you've pushed the guy into the wall with 51G. And not only that but just the whole reaction of the [Mercedes] team, besides that. That's not how you celebrate a win, especially a win how they got it.

Red Bull has been outspoken — to say the least — since the crash and that is likely to continue over the weekend at Hungary. It’s easy to believe Red Bull has reacted the way it did after the crash because the British Grand Prix was the first time in weeks that Mercedes had been a viable challenger. Verstappen had the field covered since Hamilton won in Spain. And Mercedes was back with a vengeance at Silverstone.

Will the speed gains that Mercedes had at the British Grand Prix carry over to Hungary? That’s the biggest question entering the race. Hamilton can tie Verstappen in the standings if he wins and posts the fastest lap of the race while Verstappen finishes second. Red Bull is acutely aware of that. And that’s why it’s desperate to pin Hamilton further back in the standings.

Here are our best bets for the weekend. As always, odds are from BetMGM.

Charles LeClerc to be the best of the rest (+125)

LeClerc won the pole at Monaco but was unable to start the race because he crashed out right after getting the fastest lap. The team tried to fix the car to keep his starting spot but they didn’t get everything right and LeClerc ended up not starting the race. With Hungary considered about as close as you can get to a sister track to Monaco and an improving Ferrari team, we like these odds. (Note: This bet is for LeClerc to be the top finishing non-Mercedes or Red Bull car)

Ferrari to be the best of the rest (-155)

This bet simply throws in LeClerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz. While we can’t rule out a McLaren best finish among the other eight teams, we’re all-in on Ferrari’s pace.

Lewis Hamilton to win the race (+140)

If we had to make a pick for pole we’d go with Verstappen. But Hamilton had some serious long-run pace at Silverstone and has beaten Verstappen at Hungary on tire strategy before. That could happen again — and would really play head games with Red Bull.

George Russell to finish ahead of Nicholas Latifi (-650)

This is a low-stakes bet but it feels safe given Russell’s pace compared to his Williams teammate’s throughout the season. Might as well go with one near-guarantee, right?

Alpine to finish ahead of Aston Martin (-185)

Fernando Alonso is really good at the Hungaroring and Alpine’s car design should be better suited to the track than Aston Martin’s.

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