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Upgrades, Weather, and a Retirement: Formula 1 Betting News for the Hungarian Grand Prix

Upgrades, Weather, and a Retirement: Formula 1 Betting News for the Hungarian Grand Prix

by JC PittmanJuly 30, 2022

The Hungarian Grand Prix is the final stop on the Formula 1 2022 schedule before the summer break and “silly season” take over. As always, media day before a Grand Prix stirs up news that has direct consequences for betting odds, the weekend to come, and sometimes, the distant future. The news coming from the paddock at the Hungarian Grand Prix fills both categories.

Sebastian Vettel Announces His Retirement

Sebastian Vettel released a video announcing his retirement at the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season. Vettel’s retirement overshadowed much of Thursday’s news focus, including an increasingly likely Red Bull Technologies-Porsche merger and Audi moving closer to acquiring the Alfa Romero/Sauber outfit.

Seb departs the sport as one of the most successful drivers of all time, who became an intelligent, outspoken, and beloved elder statesman on the grid.

While he leaves the sport for his family and environmental sustainability interests, Vettel’s retirement throws a curveball into the 2023 driver market. This also has an effect on his betting odds for the remainder of the year. In an Aston Martin that is off the pace and his future in Formula 1 car confirmed, it’s entirely fair to question what kind of performance Seb will get from the AMR22B through the rest of the season.

Vettel’s performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix will go a long way to helping betters decide if Vettel’s odds to make Q2 or finding in the points are worth the gamble.

Upgrades for Mercedes and the Effect on Lewis Hamilton’s Betting Odds

No one really thought Mercedes was going to stop developing the W-13 and focus on the 2023 season and the W-14, right? Mercedes’ head of strategy James Vowles recently stated that Mercedes still has “far, far more” updates to introduce for the 2022 Formula 1 season. As Mercedes continues to develop the W-13, people will keep putting their belief (in the form of money) behind Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Since the British Grand Prix, Hamilton’s betting odds have gotten smaller as the hype around potential Mercedes performance gains grow. The more the media has focused on Mercedes’ upgrades, paired with Hamilton’s appearances on the podium, has the betting population believing that Hamilton has a chance at pole position and the win. This weekend’s betting odds for the Hungarian Grand Prix serve as prime examples: for the third week in a row, only Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz as the favorite to qualify first and win the Grand Prix.

Magnussen and Haas’ First Upgrade of the Season

Kevin Magnussen will be receiving Haas’ first major upgrade package of the 2022 season. Considering Haas’ recent competitive pace, having minimal upgrades on the VF-22 has to give the betting public increasing confidence in Magnussen’s potential for the Hungarian Grand Prix. When you look at Haas’ 2022 season, it’s clear that reliability woes, driver mistakes, and general misfortune have cost Haas significant points and a place (or two) in the constructor’s standings.

Haas has a considerable knowledge base from on-track, CFD, and wind tunnel testing to design and develop the VF-22’s incoming upgrade. This upgrade should make Magnussen’s Haas more competitive and fighting for 6th and 7th on the track. Magnussen’s odds for a points finish and potential to capitalize on first-corner chaos and score a top six finish should increase alongside Magnussen’s pace.

Qualifying Weather and a Confident Team in Red

Two final notes from the Formula 1 news world that will affect betting odds: the weather report of Saturday’s qualifying and Ferrari’s outward confidence for the rest of the 2022 season.

First, the weather report. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for Saturday. Weather will impact the teams’ preparations and the track conditions for qualifying, which usually leads to a surprise or two in the qualifying order. Before considering taking Charles Leclerc as the fastest qualifier, check in on the weather in Hungary. A Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso pick might not be as much of a long shot as the odds seem if wet qualifying is on the menu for Saturday.

Second, Ferrari’s outward confidence going into the Hungarian Grand Prix is sure to sway betting odds. However, don’t be fooled by Mattia Binotto’s belief that the F1-75 is a package that can win the remaining 10 races and save their slowly fading championship aspirations. Binotto’s confidence in Ferrari is on somewhat stable footing when you consider how rapid both Ferrari’s have been in 2022.

Yet, betting population beware: this is still Ferrari and there hasn’t been any confirmation that their reliability issues have been solved. Until Ferrari’s fragile power unit proves to be more durable, it is hard to picture Ferrari winning 10 races in a row. Although, Ferrari, Binotto, and the betting odds might suggest otherwise.

The Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix takes place at the Hungaroring from July 29–July 31, 2022.

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JC Pittman