Practice hints Hamilton can extend McLaren’s Hungary dominance

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Although dominant runs in practice guarantee nothing ahead of a race weekend, Lewis Hamilton looks set to continue McLaren’s fine record at the Hungarian Grand Prix after posting the quickest time in both practice sessions at the Hungaroring.

Hamilton was quickest in both practice sessions at the circuit last year, but after qualifying in second, he could only come fourth on race day.

However, with conditions dry, McLaren’s new raft of upgrades seemed to be a success after they were largely rendered useless by the rain that impacted the recent German Grand Prix.

He was the only driver to dip under the 1:22.00 barrier across the two practice sessions, with some rain in the afternoon causing some wet patches on certain areas of the track making quick times difficult.

As a result, Hamilton is now just 2/1 in the Formula One odds to start from pole and 11/4 to claim a victory that will see him bridge his current 62-point deficit in the drivers’ standings.

McLaren have taken the chequered flag in five of the last seven years at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with Hamilton responsible for two of these victories in 2007 and 2009.

This could also suggest that Hamilton’s teammate Jenson Button can build on his second in Germany.

Button has struggled for much of the campaign, but should also have much to gain from the upgrades, as he proved when second quickest in the drier opening session.

It is 6/1 that Button wins the Hungarian Grand Prix and a potentially lucrative 13/8 that he ends up on the podium.

The surprise of the practice was that Bruno Senna was third quickest, with a sixth early in the season in Malaysia his best result of the campaign thus far.

The Williams driver is 7/1 to claim another top-six finish in Hungary and 7/4 to be among the points by finishing in the top ten.

There may also be some value in the 11/4 that he reaches Q3 in qualifying given the speed he displayed in free practice.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.