Barring bad luck, Hamilton has record 5th Hungary win in his hands

In a week where Formula One is mourning the loss of one of its brightest prospects, world champion Lewis Hamilton has been leading the tributes to Jules Bianchi ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, a race he has traditionally relished.

Writing in his BBC column Hamilton said: “Jules will be in all of our thoughts this weekend in Hungary but we will go out and race hard for him because, like him, we are all racers. That’s what we do, what Jules did, and what he would want us to do.”

The 2015 championship leader knows no other way and having just topped the first practice timesheets around the Hungaroring at time of writing, Mercedes’ leading man looks to be holding true to his pledge.

After a commanding 90-minute session for the Silver Arrows in Budapest, it was Hamilton who conquered all, going 0.109 seconds faster than teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.

Mercedes’ dominance has never looked in doubt during the first half of the season and at a track where Hamilton has thrived during his career, it already looks as if mechanical issues will be the only blocker to a record fifth victory in Budapest.

The 2014 Sports Personality of the Year is level with Michael Schumacher on four Hungary triumphs, three of which were achieved in tandem with pole position.

In fact, only a fuel leak 12 months ago in Q1 – which saw Hamilton start from 21st on the grid and eventually finish 3rd in the race – prevented a proper crack at securing three consecutive pole/win combinations around the Hungaroring for the Stevenage native.

It’s no surprise in the slightest therefore to see Ladbrokes install Hamilton as 1/3 favourite for pole and the 2/5 market leader to take the chequered flag.

Lump on.

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

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