Hungarian GP Preview

Vettel seeks redemption in boiling Budapest

It was all looking so good for Sebastian Vettel with 13 laps left of the German Grand Prix last Sunday. Having led from the start, the home favourite was pulling away from the pack, on his way to a dominant victory which would have moved him further clear at the top of the Drivers’ championship.

One lapse of concentration later, Vettel is in the barrier, leaving the way clear for title rival Lewis Hamilton to regain the advantage in the standings. Budapest is Vettel’s last chance to get back on top before the summer break and Ferrari will expect to do well at the tight and twisty Hungaroring.

Ferrari and Mercedes are not alone in hunting a win before the mid-season interval though, as Red Bull seek to make it a three-way tussle.

Verstappen to win @ 3.95

Max Verstappen was unfortunate not to pick up a podium finish in Germany last time out as a mix-up over tyres ultimately proved costly. It was still a great drive by the young Dutchman, who continues to look like the form man on track.

In the end, there just weren’t enough low speed corners for Red Bull to make their superior aerodynamics count. That won’t be the case this weekend in Hungary, which only really has one long straight, nullifying the superior power of the Mercedes and Ferrari engines.

This track shares several similarities with Monaco, a venue Red Bull won at this year, making Verstappen a good option for his second win in 2018.

Vettel heads into the weekend as the 2.70 favourite having won twice in Budapest in the last three years. The four-time world champion will be desperate to make amends after his error and did perform well at this race last year when Ferrari desperately needed the points after a barren run.

Hamilton is 3.65 to record back-to-back wins and extend his 17-point advantage in the Drivers’ championship. He is a four-time winner in Hungary but may struggle to add a fifth success with aerodynamics and tyre wear an area for concern for Mercedes this weekend.

Given the lack of passing places in Hungary, qualifying could be crucial and Vettel is 1.21 to start from pole. The German lead from start to finish last year but his lights to flag triumph was a rarer occurrence than you might think given the track dimensions; Vettel becoming the first man to win from pole in five years.

Safety cars often play a part at the Hungaroring and with rain forecast for race day, it could be another chaotic Grand Prix.

Nico Hulkenberg top six finish @ 2.15

Hulkenberg was probably surprised to be the highest finishing German last week as he recorded a season-best fifth. Renault look to be on the rise with Hulkenberg leading the charge and they should once again finish best of the midfield contenders.

Haas are unlikely to enjoy this twisty circuit with Renault’s main threat expected to come from Force India, who did well at Monaco. Sergio Perez is 4.85 to land a top-six spot.