2019 Hungarian Grand Prix Preview
Who’s excited for the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix then? The first real shock of the Formula One World Championship title race took place last weekend, with both Mercedes drivers missing out on the podium spots. Their loss was Max Verstappen’s gain though and the Red Bull Racing driver claimed his second victory of the 2019 season.
However, Hamilton still managed to finish inside the top 10 and therefore he increased his advantage over teammate Valtteri Bottas. It was a dismal weekend for Mercedes and the 2018 Constructors’ Championship winners will be looking to bounce back with a 1-2 for the team in Hungary. Expect a stronger effort from Hamilton and Bottas this weekend…
Going into the Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton has a 41-point lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings. Bottas, his teammate and closest rivals for the title, is next best on 184 points but Verstappen’s win in Germany has put some pressure on the Mercedes star. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Verstappen go close again in Hungary.
As in the case ahead of most Grand Prix weekends, Hamilton is the early favourite with most bookmakers. Betway are offering a tempting 11/10 for the British driver to claim his seventh Hungarian Grand Prix success – an outcome that would put him three wins clear of the ‘next best’ driver in this race. Hamilton looks destined to surpass Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Grand Prix victories and a win here will move him one step closer to that tally.
Relentless in this race last year, Hamilton will be looking for a ‘no nonsense’ weekend after that disappointing performance in Germany. Securing pole position will help his chances of victory but top spot on the grid isn’t essential. As long as Hamilton qualifies in the top four positions, he will be bang in contention to claim his eighth win of the 2019 Formula One campaign.
History shows that qualifying lower than fourth significantly hinders a driver’s chances of winning the Hungarian Grand Prix. In fact, only two drivers – Nigel Mansell in 1989 and Jenson Button in 2006 – have celebrated victory here after failing to qualify on the front two rows of the grid. Hamilton will expect to be in the top two during Saturday’s racing and we could see the British driver assert his dominance this weekend.
This is the 12th race of the 2019 Formula One campaign and Bottas needs to start winning if he is to challenge Hamilton’s status at the top of the world title race. With just two wins to Hamilton’s seven Grand Prix successes, Bottas has undoubtedly been the team’s number two driver this year. That could change of course if Bottas goes on a remarkable run of form but Mercedes are likely to stick by Hamilton.
Bottas has taken on the ‘bridesmaid’ role at Mercedes in each of the previous two years and many believed that the Finnish driver was going to step up and challenge Hamilton in 2019. Without a doubt, Bottas is capable of beating Hamilton on his day but can he compete with his teammate on a weekly basis over an entire season? Many motorsport fans have doubts over Bottas’ ability to fight at the Formula One summit.
Max Verstappen deserves plenty of recognition for his exploits in 2019. Touted as a future world champion since he broke into Formula One, Verstappen has gone from strength to strength in 2019 and plenty of punters will be backing the young Dutchman to challenge for supremacy this weekend. Imagine the scenes at Ferrari if Verstappen claims his third win of the year whilst the Italian team are yet to emerge victorious.
At the time of writing, Verstappen is the second favourite with many bookmakers ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. The Red Bull star has been getting the most out of the car in recent weeks and he offers punters a reasonable amount of value. Formula One fans can back Verstappen at 9/4 with William Hill to finish top of the podium.
Ferrari supporters will be bitterly disappointed at the team’s lack of competitive edge in big races this year. Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have struggled to make a major impact at the business end of the field, combining for 10 podium places in the 11 Grand Prix events so far this season. With that in mind, Ladbrokes punters should consider the 6/5 and 5/4 available for Vettel and Leclerc to finish in the top three respectively.
It has been a year to forget for Daniel Ricciardo. No longer with Red Bull Racing, he has had to sit and watch Verstappen progress while he sits back in the field. Ricciardo has failed to finish in four of the 11 Grand Prix races this year and 11/1 with Betway for the Australian to be the first driver to retire on Sunday is well worth considering.
The 11/10 available with 888Sport for Lando Norris to finish in the top 10 is reasonable to say the least. He has scored points in four races so far this season and Norris could be a surprise package this weekend. His results have been inconsistent to say the least but he is available at a decent price and punters should give this market a second look.
The Hungarian Grand Prix is one of the most entertaining races on the calendar and punters will be hoping that it stays on the Formula One circuit for years to come. Focusing on this year’s race, Lewis Hamilton is going to be tough to stop and 11/10 is an excellent price given he is the best driver in the sport by some distance.
Verstappen may be Hamilton’s closest challenger this weekend and Mercedes may decide to use Valtteri Bottas as a buffer for his teammate. A 1-2 is the ultimate objective but a win for Hamilton will be the priority for Mercedes at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix.
RACE WINNER: Lewis Hamilton (11/10 with Betway)
POINTS FINISH: Lando Norris (11/10 with 888Sport)
About Hungarian GP
A relatively new race on the Formula One calendar, the first Hungarian Grand Prix was held in 1936 but it didn’t become a regular feature in the World Championship until 1986. Since then, it has been an ever-present on the F1 circuit and fans from around the world are now very familiar with the Hungaroring track.
The original Hungarian Grand Prix took place over a 3.1 mile circuit near Budapest but that would all change in 1986. As the first Grand Prix to be held behind the Iron Curtain, the race is rich in history and heritage – the Hungarian event is one of the most popular weekends on the Formula One calendar.
The race is very well supported, particularly with Finnish motorsport fans. Reports claim that over 200,000 spectators attended the first Hungarian Grand Prix but that would be the last held in the country for 50 years due to politics and war. Without a doubt, the Hungary event is one of the most spectacular races of the campaign.
With six Hungarian Grand Prix victories to his name, Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver in the history of this race. The Mercedes man has won this race twice in the last three years and plenty of punters will be expecting Hamilton to romp home in 2019.
Michael Schumacher is second on the list with four wins but his Formula One career is well and truly over. Looking at the ‘next best’ in terms of current drivers, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has two Hungarian Grand Prix triumphs – one in 2015 and the other in 2017.
McLaren last tasted victory in Hungary back in 2012 but they remain the most successful team in the history of this race with 11 wins. All three of Mercedes’ triumphs have come in the new era of Formula One but they could claim a third win in four years this weekend.
Daniel Ricciardo recorded the quickest ever lap at the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix, whizzing round the track in a blistering 1:20:012 on lap 46 of the race. The Australian has developed a reputation for his lightning quick times in race conditions and the Grand Prix weather was kind to the then-Red Bull driver. Will we get a clear Hungarian Grand Prix this year?
Lewis Hamilton snatched pole position but qualifying was exceptionally wet. His 1:35:658 was 15 seconds slower than Ricciardo’s lap during the race but it was enough to secure pole position and Hamilton went on to win the race. With early predictions expecting better conditions for qualifying, we could see the fastest pole position time beaten.
Currently priced at 8/11 with Betway to secure top spot on the grid, Hamilton is expected to challenge prominently again this weekend. Things didn’t exactly go to plan at the German Grand Prix last time out but Hamilton can bounce back with the perfect performance at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix with a bit of luck.
Starting from the first two rows on the grid in Hungary is imperative. The Grand Prix winner has qualified fourth or above in all but two Hungarian Grand Prix events, with Jenson Button being the most recent to work his way up the field from 14th to win in 2006.
Incredibly, there has only been one back-to-back winner in the last 18 editions of this race. Hamilton won in 2012 and 2013 but you have to go back to Mika Hakkinen’s triumphs in 1999 and 2000 to find the last driver to win the Hungarian Grand Prix two years in a row.
Up until the 2006 race, the Hungarian Grand Prix was the only event on the calendar never to host a wet race weekend. The testing circuit encourages thrills and spills and it ranks as one of the most exciting tracks in Formula One. Let’s hope for an entertaining race in 2019.
The long-term future of the Hungarian Grand Prix is up in the air but bosses are confident of a bright and successful future for this great race. With plans to revamp the Hungaroring in the coming years, we could see a slightly different Hungarian Grand Prix but a Hungarian Grand Prix all the same.
As this race is popular with fans from all over the world, Formula One organisers will want to keep the Hungarian Grand Prix on the calendar. As previously mentioned, it is one of the sport’s most popular circuits and that will be no different in 2019 – expect to see the famous Hungaroring packed out to the rafters on race day.
For now, the short-term future is secure. Formula One will shake things up at some point but Hungary’s position appears safe. The history, prestige and unpredictability of this race gives it a clear edge over some of its local rivals.