Hamilton hopes to leapfrog teammate Rosberg with further Hungarian Grand Prix success
Lee Gormley | July 20, 2016
Hungarian Grand Prix
- Sunday, July 24th
- Race starts: 13:00 BST
- Hungaroring, Mogyorod, Hungary
- Live on Sky Sports F1
Hamilton aiming to leapfrog Rosberg
Formula 1 Driver’s Championship leader Nico Rosberg stormed to victory in the first four races of this campaign but has since stuttered, with Mercedes teammate and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton having cut the gap to just a single point ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The British steerer has secured four impressive race wins, including last time out on home soil in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, with Rosberg having struggled since the pair crashed in Spain back in May.
Since that collision, Hamilton has exerted his dominance in four of the five following circuits, with a recent penalty handed to Rosberg seeing the German’s perviously superior lead almost evaporate.
With just a point separating the two Mercedes rivals, Hamilton is 11/10 with Coral to pile further pressure on his teammate by triumphing in Sunday’s Hungarian GP at a twisty Hungaroring track.
Defending champion closing in on lead
Narrow Championship leader Rosberg was slapped with a 10-second penalty last time out at Silverstone, following illegal team radio use during proceedings, forcing him into third in the British standings behind subsequently second-placed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The 31-year-old is 3/1 to bounce back and claim his first GP triumph since prevailing in Russia on May 1st, though his teammate Hamilton is on a high after recent outings and believes he has a mental edge.
“Ever since the low of Barcelona I’ve been able to cultivate this really strong mental attitude,” stated the Briton. “I’m feeling fresh, powerful and confident heading to Hungary.”
The reigning champion is 13/8 to record the fastest lap in Hungary on Sunday, in a country which he has tasted much success in previously. Hamilton boasts a joint record high of four victories at the circuit, with the last coming in 2013, but he is hoping to better to his sixth-place from last term.
“I have incredible support there, so I can’t wait to get out on track,” he continued.
“The past couple of years I haven’t had the smoothest of weekends in Budapest – but I know I’ve got the pace, so I’m gunning to turn that around this time.”
Verstappen to halt the Mercedes surge?
Other than the two Mercedes drivers, only teenage sensation Verstappen has earned a GP victory so far during this exciting season, and the 18-year-old is 5/1 to add to his historic Spanish success with victory in Hungary.
The Red Bull phenomenon enters at 11/2 to secure the fastest lap too, while stable mate and Australian steerer Daniel Ricciardo is 11/10 to rally to a podium finish in his latest outing.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has endured a difficult campaign to date with Ferrari, but the previously dominant German romped to victory in Hungary last year and is 7/4 for a podium finish here or 12/1 for what could be a shock second successive triumph.
Experienced Spaniard Fernando Alonso last triumphed on Hungarian soil back in 2003 and the current McLaren driver is 5/2 to clinch a top six finish this time around, while teammate and fellow former world champion Jenson Button is 11/4 to achieve the same feat.
Renault’s British driver Jolyon Palmer is the 10/1 favourite to become the first retired driver in Sunday’s latest GP, with Danii Kyvat 12/1 and Button a 14/1 shot to be forced out, as the F1 Championship is set to heat up this weekend at Hungary’s testing track.