A break last week without much racing, but we are back again for Formula One’s annual trip to Hungary, and the last race before F1’s summer break. We’re back to normal this weekend, no sprint qualifying, just the usual Saturday morning (US time) qualifying session to determine the grid for Sunday’s grand prix. 

As established in my last blog here two weeks ago, let’s take a look at our last race bets, and see how they fared:

  • NASCAR Foxwoods Resort Casino 301: Kevin Harvick to win +1400 LOSS
  • F1 Sprint Race: Daniel Ricciardo head-to-head over Lando Norris +175 LOSS, Max Vertstappen to win pole +125 WIN!!!
  • F1 British Grand Prix: Fernando Alonso top ten -140 WIN!!, Max Verstappen to win +110 LOSS, Red Bull team to win -120 LOSS

Not the greatest weekend. Harvick did quite well in the NASCAR race, and had points of the race where he looked like he could capture the win, but ultimately couldn’t make the chase late. 

The F1 weekend was headlined by a huge collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on the first lap of the British Grand Prix, which has been the biggest topic in motorsport since. Red Bull even attempted to push the FIA to punish Mercedes and Hamilton more for the incident, but the FIA rejected Red Bull’s request for review.

While that incident made for a potentially more-interesting race, it and Sergio Perez’s spin during the sprint qualifying race on Saturday completely cooked the bets on Max Verstappen and Red Bull to win the race at Silverstone on Sunday. 

Verstappen and Hamilton heading into Copse at Silverstone, moments before the contact that ended Verstappen’s race.

As a wise man once said, “He rubbed you. And rubbin son, is racin.”

Paraphrased a bit, the FIA ruling was just about that. Lewis Hamilton, who served a ten second penalty for the incident during the British Grand Prix, will see no further punishment, and rightfully so. If the FIA deemed this worthy of more punishment, I struggle to see how penalizing exciting racing encourages drivers to actually race each other. 

In other news, at least Fernando Alonso got his Alpine into the points to give us a 2-4 weekend. After going 1-1 with initial picks, our second round sits us at 3-5, and down just about two units so far. Let’s get ’em back this weekend.

As of now, on Friday, two practice sessions have been run, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen went fastest in the first session with a 1:17.555. Mercedes’ wingman Valtteri Bottas topped the second practice with a 1:17.012, ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton’s 1:17.039 and Verstappen at 1:17.310, respectively.

I woke up frankly too early to watch the US women’s soccer team scrape by the Netherlands and watched both F1 practice sessions while having a morning coffee. What I learned: It’s very hot in Hungary, temps over 90 degrees fahrenheit, and the track much hotter in the suburban Budapest sun. 

Weather wasn’t much of a worry at Silverstone in England, but in both practice sessions on Friday, commentators warned of (and hoped for) possible rain on Saturday and Sunday at the Hungaroring. For those without specific rooting interests, rain would be welcome in Hungary, as the circuit can often produce a somewhat boring, processional race. Those around F1 have nicknamed Hungaroring “Monaco without the buildings/boats/barriers”, because of the track’s bumps, twists, and turns that make overtaking other drivers quite difficult. 

Lewis Hamilton has won four of the last five races in the suburbs of Budapest, but if you’re not aware just yet, this is a much different Formula One season than those, with Red Bull quite clearly the quicker car in most races. That’s the reason Max Verstappen is currently -223 to win the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of Lewis Hamilton at +150 on PointsBet.

With all this said, let’s get to some picks here. Bottas and Hamilton’s FP2 times should be taken with a grain of salt. Max Verstappen struggled with the balance of his car in the practice session, and bailed out of qualifying simulation laps, and ran on the (slower) medium tire for much of FP2. 

Rain may make things more interesting this weekend, but I’m not entirely convinced that rain magically means we’ll see a great reversal of fortunes from what we’ve seen this F1 season.

Take the Max sweep: Pole position -135, Grand Prix winner -115. Generally you don’t get odds this good on a guy who’s won as much as Verstappen, but the title fight drawing closer after Hamilton’s win at Silverstone has given great value on him this week, and you have to jump at it. 

Qualifying at 9am eastern bookie time Saturday, with the Hungarian Grand Prix at 9am eastern on Sunday. As always, let’s go racin’.