Hungarian Grand Prix Betting: Verstappen to be king of the Hungaroring
There's one more race before the Formula One mid-season break and Ralph Ellis is backing Max Verstappen to upset the seniors...
"The Hungaroring is a circuit perfectly suited to this year’s Red Bull car and ideal for the 20-year-old to show once again how much his driving has matured this season." - Ralph Ellis on Max Verstappen
I don't know about you, but my half term school reports always seemed to contain the same two messages - one about doing better, and the other about misbehaving at the back of the class.
As Formula One reaches it's mid-season break after this weekend, it struck me that you could apply the same two thoughts to this topsy-turvy campaign. Has there ever been a year with so many mistakes or other random factors deciding results?
Seniors to stuggle
From bad strategy calls, to daft crashes like the one that saw Sebastian Vettel throw away last week's German Grand Prix, there seem to have been all sorts of unpredictable events.
Lewis Hamilton has for the most part driven superbly and is leading the Championship by 17 points despite a series of errors by his Mercedes pit crew; Vettel has failed to cash in on their blunders by making too many lapses of concentration of his own.
And then there's Max Verstappen, the cheeky kid at the back who started the year being told to behave by the older boys but is still chipping away at them.
This weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix could be his big chance to upset everybody again.
Described as "Monaco without walls", the Hungaroring is a circuit perfectly suited to this year's Red Bull car and ideal for the 20-year-old to show once again how much his driving has matured this season.
Teammate Daniel Ricciardo won in Monaco earlier this season, but Verstappen has improved substantially since then.
He's [4.4] to be the race winner and that would be a great way to make up for last year's calamity when the two Red Bull cars ran into each other at the start of the race and Verstappen took much of the blame. He's already got under Sebastian Vettel's skin. Having started the season with the German grumbling about his impetuous driving, he's now in a position where he's chipping back.
Vettel's minor conflict
As if it wasn't annoying enough to have thrown away his chance of winning in Hockenheim, he then had to hear Verstappen telling the world that they shouldn't blame him.
"It was super tricky out there, even if you had the slightest lock-up you would go off," he said in wonderfully condescending tones about the four-times world champion.
Vettel, winner here in 2015 and 2017, starts as the [3.15] favourite but I'd be reluctant to back him because his mentality does appear to be affected by the pressure he's under to achieve Ferrari's first championship since 2007.
If anything I'd be more tempted by the longer odds for Hamilton [5.1] whose car shouldn't be so well suited to the track but proved last week how he can overcome the odds. He has a terrific record on this track - a success on Sunday would be the fifth time he'd taken the chequered flag in Hungary.
There's also a serious threat of more rain - with forecasters giving a 60 per cent chance of showers during the race on Sunday - and he has proved himself time and again the master in those sort of conditions.