Free Picks: Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix Betting Odds

Richard O'Hagan

Monday, July 22, 2013 6:50 PM UTC

Monday, Jul. 22, 2013 6:50 PM UTC

After a two week break Formula 1 is back, with the teams moving to Hungary for the final race of July.

F1 Tips: Webber to come good in Hungary

It seems strange to be saying it with almost half of the season still to go, but Hungary could prove to be the make or break race for many teams. With Sebastian Vettel still holding on at the front of the drivers’ championship and buoyed by a debut win in his home German Grand Prix, the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton need a strong performance here or that gap to Vettel and Fernando Alonso at the top of the leaderboard will start becoming a very hard one to bridge.

History isn’t really on the side of any of them, though. McLaren have won four of the last five races in Hungary and yet they have been the biggest underperformers of the season. Whilst there is clearly a gap here for someone to fill, the other winners of those five, three years ago, were Red Bull.

That wasn’t a Vettel win, though. It was his retiring team-mate Mark Webber who drove to victory in 2010 and you have to fancy his chances here. The track is a fast one, even by Formula 1 standards, which plays into the hands of the Red Bull team. The only team whose cars have comparable speed are Mercedes, and they’ve still got the tyre wear issues which have dogged them all season. Vettel is 6/4 to win this in most markets, but Webber is as long as 9/1 with William Hill and in the same car, on a track he likes, he’s better value than his team leader is.

Pole position could be quite another matter, though. One thing we know for sure about the Mercedes is that it is very fast in qualifying. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have taken three pole positions each this season as Mercedes have dominated the front of the grid. Hamilton is 9/4 with Bet365, but at 5/2 with Ladbrokes Rosberg is the better bet on a track which probably suits his driving style more.

The each way bet in Formula 1 is, of course, the podium finish market. Unfortunately, there is rarely any great value in backing one of the leading drivers to finish in the top three, even though it is more usual for someone from outside the top four or five in the championship to make it to the podium. This race in particular looks made for a surprise among the top three. The two Torro Rosso drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, continue their battle for Webber’s seat in the senior team and are great prices at 200/1 and 250/1 with Bet365. The man to follow in this market, though, is Roman Grosjean. He’s a man who loves these fast sweeping tracks and if he can curb the tendency to over-egg things which has cost him at times this season, he’ll be a good bet at 4/1 betting odds with BetVictor.

One of the things we have seen in Formula 1 this season is that, overall, the reliability of the cars has improved. There have been far fewer retirements with mechanical failure, especially among the traditional backmarkers at Marussia and Caterham. It has been a surprise to see the Williams team down there with them this season and they have used the break between races to make some sweeping changes to their crew. The six drivers from these teams usually form the six favorites in the first retirement market and it has almost never been one of them who has gone out first. Instead, for your racing picks, look slightly higher up the field at the Saubers of Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg, who seem to combine just the right degree of mechanical and driver unreliability to make you money in this market. They are 16/1 and 18/1 respectively, both with BetVictor.

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