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Hamilton to close gap on polesitter Vettel at Hungarian Grand Prix

| 31.07.2011

Defending drivers’ champion Sebastian Vettel dominated the first half of the season but the chances of him running away with a second title have diminished in recent weeks.

The German youngster has won just one of the last four races compared to five of the first six and the fact that his Red Bull is no longer dominant is illustrated by odds of 11/8 on him triumphing in Hungary despite claiming pole.

As his team-mate Mark Webber has shown in recent weeks, first place on the grid is no guarantee of victory, with only one of the last four polesitters taking the chequered flag, while Vettel has lost twice from pole already.

The Hungaroring circuit pays less respect to the quickest qualifier than most tracks, with the driver at the front of the grid last finishing above all challengers way back in 2004 when Michael Schumacher was at his most dominant.

It is also something of a McLaren stronghold, with the Woking-based team providing the winner in four of the last six instalments, with Lewis Hamilton being that man in two of the last four, whereas Vettel has never won there.

For that reason, Hamilton will be hopeful of narrowing the huge 82-point barrier separating him from Vettel ahead of a four-week break in action, with odds of 13/8 appealing given that he starts in second.

Team-mate Jenson Button will also have ambitions of bouncing back from successive retirements at the location of his first ever ascent to the top step of the podium in 2006, but he is a 7/1 outsider despite qualifying third.

Button started from 14th that day in a race that often provides surprises, such as Damon Hill almost winning in an Arrows in 1997 and Heikki Kovalainen’s sole Grand Prix victory in 2008, so don’t be afraid of a small stake on an outsider.

One such option is to back four-time winner Schumacher, who is ninth on the grid, to claim his first podium finish since returning at a massive 28/1.



John Klee