Things finally looked a bit interesting in the previous Formula 1 Grand Prix, held in Germany. Apart from seeing one of the most exciting races in the past several years, a lot of unpredictable things happened. Max Verstappen won, Sebastian Vettel had one of his best drives ever, and Mercedes’ drivers didn’t reach the podium for the first time this year.
Although their advantage in the standings didn’t decrease that much, it is something which revived this championship for a little bit.
Now what makes this Hungaroring interesting besides the slow corners and few positions for passing over is the weather. It seems that the rain will be involved in on Saturday, while the prognosis for Sunday isn’t 100% sure for now. The first two official training sessions saw a wet track and bad weather conditions. Hungaroring is not a pleasant place for driving, and it will be even less if there is rain.
Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly had the fastest times today. In general, it was Hamilton against two Red Bulls competing, and the Brit didn’t back down. He isn’t a great fan of this track, although the champ recorded two wins in the past three years here.
He himself was pleased after the session, saying that he didn’t expect to be ahead of Red Bull and Ferrari, but is encouraged with the current shape of the vehicle. Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas had some problems with the electric during the first training. The Fin didn’t perform very well in the second one, and he clearly has some issues with the pace. It will be very interesting to see the reaction of both Bottas and the Mercedes mechanics who have to remove all the malfunctions before tomorrow’s qualifications.
As we said, Hungaroring is the place with slow corners, and that is Redd Bull’s biggest strength. Verstappen talked about that, and he and Gasly proved that today. Max had the second-best time in the entire practice, while Frencham topped the second training. But that is not the only advantage of the Bulls. They are high on morale, especially Verstappen who won two out of the latest three races. For a youngster like him, that will only be an additional motive to be even more aggressive in the upcoming two days.
Gasly, meanwhile, is a dark horse for the podium spot. He was very comfortable on the track at one point, and if by any chance we see some rain on Sunday, he just might be the perfect surprise of the race.
What is a huge enigma are the Ferraris. Hamilton is convinced that the Prancing Horse hides something, which he said today. Still, it was obvious that Ferrari has certain flaws in the slower part of the race, which is when Mercedes and Red Bull made their best results.
Vettel did get the third overall time today but wasn’t constant at all. Also, Charles Leclerc didn’t perform well at all. And in order for Vettel to do something notable here, Leclerc has to be very good himself. Ferrari is much better than at the start of the season, and that is a fact. But the configuration of the circuit in Hungary isn’t suitable for them. However, Vettel did win two times over the past four years here.
As for others, we need to say that Alpha Romeo tested a rear wing which should make their vehicle more stable. Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were solid, and Haas overall was right behind the leading trio.
From this point of view, the safest bet to do is to back up Red Bull’s drivers to be on the podium. They have a solid pace, are in good shape, and the track favors their vehicle. Max Verstappen to finish among the first three is valued at 0.25 at BetXChange, while Gasly’s podium multiplies your stake four times at the same place.