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F1 Championship: Did Hamilton’s luck change on Lap 1 in Hungary?

| 28.07.2014

The BBC are calling the Hungarian Grand Prix ‘The race that had it all’, with two safety cars out after early smash-ups in the rain, and wildly divergent pit-stop strategies, ensuring the first four home were separated by a mere six seconds.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo emerged victorious from the milieu, taking his second race of the campaign and making the podium for the fourth time in seven Grand Prix.

The likeable young Australian rates a juicy 16/1 prospect to treble-up for the season in Belgium next time out, with championship leaders and short-price fancies at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, unable to boast remarkable records at the track.

Indeed, Hamilton’s 2010 win in the province of Liege is the only such victory on either his or teammate Rosberg’s CVs, and at odds of 8/11 and 13/8 respectively, the Mercedes pair take a helluva lot out of this market.

However, there are plenty of reasons to believe the 2008 champion – who closed the gap to Rosberg in the drivers’ championship from 14 points to 12 with a plucky podium finish at the Hungaroring – has used up all of his bad luck for the season over the past five races.

After winning four of the first six Grand Prix of 2014, Hamilton has only managed to take the chequered flag once in the last five, and that was the Switzerland-based Brit’s home Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Brake failures in Canada and Germany, plus his Mercedes catching fire during qualifying in Hungary, has prevented Hamilton overtaking Rosberg in the overall standings, although he still managed to make the podium in the latter pair of races.

The German giants have four weeks to work on their cars’ reliability issues, and after Hamilton’s superb drive in Mogyorod, where he started near the back of the grid and miraculously avoided a first-lap collision into a barrier after spinning off, Mercedes team principle Toto Wolff can be reasonably confident the worst is over.

Hamilton is the same 8/11 price to eventually usurp Rosberg and win his second drivers’ championship this year, with the 29-year-old German at 11/10 to top the overall standings for the first time.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune