Our F1 tipster is backing a surprise winner and belated McLaren joy

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We’re at the halfway point of the Formula 1 season and the gap between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton at the top of the drivers’ championship is just one point.

Much of the season has been too close to call, but recently Mercedes has emerged as the stronger team and has secured four straight pole positions.

Despite that trend, ahead of the mid-season break – a four-week gap until the next race in Belgium – the Hungarian Grand Prix could see more than two teams fighting for victory…

Daniel Ricciardo to win the race @ 10/1

I’ve yet to tip Red Bull for a win so far this season, with Daniel Ricciardo’s victory in Azerbaijan coming in a crazy race around the streets of Baku.

While Silverstone saw a slight step backwards for Red Bull, it should go well around the Hungaroring and Ricciardo has won here before.

With Ferrari likely to be closer to Mercedes in Budapest and the circuit having produced some chaotic races in the recent past, the Australian is a dark horse to be in the mix.

Double points finish for McLaren @ 3/1

The Hungaroring should suit Red Bull because of the lack of emphasis on the power unit, and by the same token that should be good for McLaren, too.

The team has been focusing on this race as a chance to score some good points, taking extra penalties in Silverstone to try and avoid grid drops in Budapest.

Fernando Alonso finished seventh here last year, and while Stoffel Vandoorne has yet to score this season he looked strong at Silverstone so the better returns will come from both finishing in the top ten.

Just cross your fingers for good reliability…

Carlos Sainz to finish in the top six @ 7/2

Carlos Sainz has been on a poor run of late, retiring from three of the past four races. Whenever he has finished a grand prix this season, the Spaniard has been in the points and was particularly impressive in Monaco where he finished sixth.

Although Monaco is a street circuit and Hungary a permanent track, they are both tight and twisty venues sharing a number of similar characteristics.

While Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are the clear top teams, only once this season have they occupied the top six positions at the end of a race, so Sainz is a good outside bet to be best of the rest.

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

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