We could have a change at the top of the Formula One drivers’ standings on Sunday following the Hungarian Grand Prix if Lewis Hamilton can finish ahead of current points leader Sebastian Vettel on the podium.
I’d like to pat myself on the back in going 2-for-2 on my Formula One predictions this year, but it wasn’t exactly a reach to pick Team Mercedes to win in Austria and then, last time out, Lewis Hamilton to take his home country race, the British Grand Prix.
That was Hamilton’s fifth career win in the British Grand Prix, tying for the most all-time with Jim Clark and Alain Prost, and came after a bit of a mini-slump. The Brit started at Silverstone from the pole position and was in command throughout to earn the 25 points. Teammate Valterri Bottas completed a Mercedes sweep, 14 seconds behind Hamilton, while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen took third 36 seconds back of Hamilton.
Perhaps the biggest news was points leader Sebastian Vettel finishing seventh; he had been running fourth but a tire puncture on the second-to-last lap dropped him. Now Vettel’s lead over Hamilton is just one point, with Bottas 23 out of the lead. Team Mercedes leads the Constructors’ Standings with 330 points and Ferrari is second with 275.
On 5Dimes motorsports odds, Hamilton is -200 for the points title with Vettel at +165. Mercedes is now -1000 for the team title with Ferrari at +550.
Now it’s on to the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest. This track is often referred to as “Monaco without the walls” in terms of layout. There are 14 corners with one long straightaway across the start and finish line. Hungaroring is 4.381 kilometers long and there are 70 laps in the race for a distance of 306.63 kilometers. The lap record of 1:19:071 was set by Michael Schumacher in 2004. The track opened in 1986 and it held its first Formula One event in August of that year.
McLaren has the most team wins at Hungary with 11, last in 2012. Hamilton has won the race a record five times. He did so in 2007, ’09 & ’12 with McLaren, and 2013 & last year with Mercedes. Coincidentally, Hamilton took the championship lead for the first time last year with his victory in Budapest. Hamilton finished in a time of 1:40:30.115, just under two seconds ahead of then-teammate and eventual 2016 points champion Nico Rosberg, who started from the pole. Vettel was fourth and Bottas ninth. Raikkonen had the fastest lap of 1:23.086 at an average speed of 189.822.
Should Hamilton win the pole, he would tie Schumacher for the most in F1 history at 68. Only three of the last 12 races in Hungary have been won by the pole-sitter – all by Hamilton. To no surprise, Hamilton is the -135 favorite at 5Dimes with Vettel at +350 and Bottas at +450.
There have been only four different winners this season so far -- Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull). And no driver has won back-to-back races. Thus we are going to jump off the Team Mercedes bandwagon this week and go Team Ferrari at +250. Vettel won here in 2015 and Raikkonen did in 2005. Raikkonen has seven podium finishes at the race, tied for the most. Do take Hamilton at -500 for a Top 3 finishF1 Free Pick: Team Ferrari +250Best Line Offered: Bet365