F1 Odds, Picks & Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix (July 31)
Joe Portlock/Getty. Pictured: Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.
For the third time this season, Charles Leclerc crashed while leading a race. Last week in France, that occurrence allowed Max Verstappen to win for the second consecutive year.
The other headline to emerge from Circuit Paul Ricard was Mercedes grabbing its first double-podium finish of the season.
As for our bets, it was a 2-1 output in France. Pierre Gasly failed to win points, rendering that bet a loser. However, both remaining bets – Lewis Hamilton podium finish and Red Bull to win the race – cashed with relative ease. Those results moved our season-long record to 21-15 (+8.4 units).
Now we turn our attention to this week’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the last race before Formula 1’s summer break.
Without further delay, here are my three best bets for the race this week.
F1 Picks for Hungarian Grand Prix
*Odds as of Thursday evening
Charles Leclerc Qualifying Winner (-115)
The lack of a lengthy straight in Hungary should give an advantage to Ferrari, which has established itself as quicker through the corners.
Another element that will hand the Prancing Horse an edge over Red Bull Racing? The weather report includes heavy rain in the forecast on Saturday, which will further reduce the relative quickness of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
As a result, I’m willing to buy low on Charles Leclerc following last week’s collapse. In good news, the lead Ferrari driver has proven a beast in qualifying this season; through 12 races, he’s grabbed pole position in seven. Included in that record are poles in both Australia and Monaco – both correlative tracks – and, ultimately, a win at Australia.
Additionally, though bettors didn’t get a full effort in rainy qualifying in Canada, it’s worth noting the Monegasque international finished only two-tenths behind teammate Carlos Sainz in rainy qualifying at Silverstone.
Based on those results, I like Leclerc to win the poll (-115 at BetMGM) on Saturday. I set the price Leclerc closer to -135 and would play him up to that number.
Lando Norris (-115) over Fernando Alonso
After a disappointing few weeks between Spain and Canada, Lando Norris has proven remarkably consistent of late.
In the past three races – Silverstone, Austria and France – Norris has bagged two P6 finishes and one P7. And, though he’s bested Alonso in only one of those races, his results at correlative tracks leave me encouraged.
In Australia, Norris registered a P5 finish, 12 spots ahead of Alonso. At Imola, Norris recorded a P3 finish while Alonso failed to classify. Finally, at the Monaco Grand Prix, Norris finished P6, one spot ahead of Alonso in P7.
Further, at all three of those races, Norris simultaneously qualified ahead of Alonso’s Alpine. Plus, if you include last year’s grand prix at Hungary and its correlated tracks – Imola, Monza, Monaco – Norris bested Alonso in three of those four races.
The last item worth mentioning is that Norris has generally displayed better overall speed than Alonso at relevant tracks. In the three correlative races this season, the British driver posted a better fast lap than Alonso in two.
Based on those trends, I would have Norris rated as the slightest of favorites, so I’m willing to back him at the current pick’em price (-115 at BetMGM).
Number of Classified Finishers: Over 17.5 (+110)
Last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix produced complete chaos with four drivers crashing out on the opening lap.
Furthermore, six drivers failed to classify for the entire race, with Norris and Nikita Mazepin crashing out on Laps 2 and 3, respectively. However, past runnings of the Hungarian Grand Prix have proven less eventful, so I’m willing to back a course correction this year.
In the two years prior to last year’s six-driver retirement, only two total drivers retired at the Hungaroring. In 2018, this race saw only three retirements. Plus, though the weather forecast calls for rain on Saturday, Sunday is expected to be relatively clear.
This track is also widely regarded as a site not suited for overtaking, given the relative quickness of the track and the overall lack of corners. Plus, this year at the three correlative tracks, there have been at least 17 finishers in all three. Even though those same three races have seen 18 or more finishers once, I expect the lack of overtaking will see more classified finishers.
I have this market rated at +100, so I’m willing to take a chance at +110 (BetMGM).