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F1: Hungarian Grand Prix Outrights, July 31

Max Verstappen Is Favored To Win First Hungarian Title

Returning to the top of the podium in Le Castellet, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen remains as the F1 betting lines’ favorite to win Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Verstappen hasn’t won at the Hungaroring, though he has come in second twice in his last three. There was utter chaos in the last race after an early crash led to an unlikely winner in Esteban Ocon. Hungary’s challenging track could lead to more surprises once again.

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix Outright Odds

  • Bridesmaid To Bride?

So close and yet so far in the case of Max Verstappen. He’s been a contender almost every time he’s driven on the Hungaroring. Except for two races, Verstappen’s finished within the top five of the race. He was favored to win last time, only to be of the victims of that first-lap crash where his car became badly damaged.

F1: Hungarian Grand Prix Outrights
Sylvain THOMAS / AFP

However, this season, Verstappen has been nearly unchallenged. He’s finished first in seven of the dozen races, six of the last nine. He’s done much of this despite not starting from the pole. Verstappen’s only completed one “trifecta” this season. At the Emilia Romagna, he was the pole leader, had the fastest lap and won the race.

Success was partly due to luck. Charles Leclerc has frequently raced in front, but either sees his car suffer a failure or gets into an accident. As such, Verstappen and Red Bull have been reliable contenders in each race, which is why they’re the top bet online.

  • Another Disappointment?

So, “snakebitten” aptly describes the season Charles Leclerc and Ferrari have been having. After they won twice in the first three races, Leclerc has won just one, that the Austrian Grand Prix. The Monegasque started five of the last eight races at the pole, winning none of them.

Leclerc’s problems reflect more poorly on the Italian constructor than on him. Ferrari has won four races this season, but had nearly double the number of retirements, including both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz crashing out of Azerbaijan. This, coupled with their poor pit-stop strategizing, is why they’re behind on the online sportsbook.

However, Leclerc’s ability is undeniable. He has won the second-most races this season for a reason. It’s just hard to trust the Ferrari to maintain a lead through an entire race. A brutal demonstration in France just last week.

  • Copycat Chaos?

Ocon and Alpine better enjoy 2021, as that’s very likely a one-off. Big crash that impacted the standings a year ago. It won’t happen again, and we have a finish that’s traditional. That’s why the betting lines have Verstappen, Leclerc and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton as the three likeliest finishers here. A “trifecta” special bet is at +325.

Hamilton’s slowly but surely been better with each race. He’s finished on the podium in his last four. Mercedes had their first double podium finish in France, with George Russell joining Hamilton.

Mercedes has been a distant, but consistent, third-place finisher. Sainz and Sergio Perez of Red Bull have had trouble finishing lately.

As for Ocon and Alpine, his best result is a fifth-place finish in Austria. This was in part because both Sainz and Perez retired from the race. Valtteri Bottas, who caused the crash last year, is not even listed on the odds. He hasn’t had a top-ten finish since Canada.