Max Verstappen favored over Lewis Hamilton in PointsBet odds for F1 Hungarian GP

PointsBet F1 Hungarian GP
Getty Images

Despite last week’s Lap 1 accident that left him outside the points, Max Verstappen is once more a heavy favorite at PointsBet Sportsbook to win the F1 Hungarian GP on August 1 at the Hungaroring. Contact with eventual winner Lewis Hamilton ended a three-race winning streak from the pole for Verstappen. This week, Verstappen is listed with minus odds of -115, which means for the second consecutive week, the only way to have a profitable wager is to get someone to take the opposite bet and fade the Red Bull driver.

Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty for the contact at Silverstone last week, but still won the race by nearly four seconds over Charles Leclerc after taking the lead from the Ferrari driver for the first time just three laps from the end. This week Hamilton’s odds are +140, which is slightly lower than the +165 he faced last week.

One way to view American Odds is to move the decimal point two positions to the left. That will let a bettor know what they will make on a $1 bet, so the return on investment this week for Hamilton is $1.40. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Hamilton won the last three Hungarian GPs and six of the last nine races in Budapest.

Verstappen finished second to Hamilton in the last two races at the Hungaroring.

With a slim lead of eight points in the Driver’s Championship, Verstappen is also listed as the favorite with a -200 to Hamilton’s +150. Their respective teammates, Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez are listed at +9000.

Bottas is ranked third for the Hungarian GP with odds of +1400. Bottas has not yet won in 2021, but has stood on the podium six times in 10 races including the last three. Last year, Bottas placed third in Hungary.

Verstappen’s teammate Perez ranks fourth with a +1500. Perez is the only driver other than Verstappen or Hamilton to win a race in 2021. He inherited the lead of the Azerbaijan GP after Verstappen cut a tire in the closing laps. He also stood on the podium the following week in the French GP with a third-place finish.

Leclerc rounds out the top five with odds of +2200. His second-place finish in the British GP is by far his best performance of 2021, but Leclerc has already won two poles, at Monte Carlo and Baku, and finished fourth three times in nine starts. If Leclerc can finish on the podium for a second time this week, that will be worth +120.

Lando Norris finished fourth last week in England. If he improves by one position, his odds to finish in the top three at Hungary are set at +250 with outright odds to win of +4000.

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F1 Grand Prix of Hungary
Max Verstappen finished second in the 2020 Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring, but this week he has minus odds and is heavily favored (Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images).

New Chip Ganassi driver Marcus Armstrong will team with boyhood idol Scott Dixon

Marcus Armstrong Scott Dixon
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images

Marcus Armstrong was a Scott Dixon fan his entire life, and when he was 8, the aspiring young racer asked his fellow New Zealander to autograph a helmet visor that he hung on his bedroom wall.

Next year, Armstrong will be Dixon’s teammate.

Armstrong was named Friday as the fourth IndyCar driver in the Chip Ganassi Racing lineup and will pilot the No. 11 next season on road and street courses.

A driver for the five oval races on the 17-race schedule will be named later.

The No. 11 is essentially the No. 48 that seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson drove the last two seasons, with Chip Ganassi making the change to run four cars numbered in sequential order. Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson drives the No. 8, six-time champion Dixon drives the No. 9, and 2020 IndyCar champion Alex Palou drives the No. 10.

So just who is the second Kiwi in the Ganassi lineup?

A 22-year-old who spent the past three seasons in Formula One feeder series F2, a Ferrari development driver in 2021, and former roommate of Callum Illot and former teammate of Christian Lundgaard – both of whom just completed their rookie IndyCar seasons.

“I’ve always been attracted to the IndyCar championship because it’s one of those championships that’s been really well televised in New Zealand since I was young, mainly because of Scott and his success,” Armstrong told The Associated Press. “As time progressed, as I got closer to F1 and single-seaters, the attraction to IndyCar grew just because of how competitive the championship is – I like to challenge myself and the level of competition in IndyCar is remarkably high.”

Armstrong, from Christchurch, New Zealand, was set to travel from his current home in London to Indianapolis this weekend to meet his new team. He won’t need an introduction to Dixon, the 42-year-old considered the best IndyCar driver of his generation and Armstrong’s unequivocal childhood hero.

Last season, Dixon earned his 53rd career victory to pass Mario Andretti for second on the all-time list. Dixon has driven for Ganassi in all but 23 of his 345 career starts.

“For a long time I’ve been a Scott Dixon fan. I don’t want to make him cringe with our age difference,” Armstrong told the AP.

Despite the two-decade age difference, Armstrong never considered someday racing with Dixon a fantasy.

He convinced his father after winning five national karting championships to allow him to leave New Zealand for Italy at age 14, where he moved by himself to pursue a racing career. Armstrong said as soon as he’d received parental permission, he’d never look back.

Armstrong was in Formula 4 two years after his move to Italy and won that title in his first season. He won four races and four poles in F3 in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, then collected four wins and eight podiums in three seasons of F2.

“Maybe it’s a strength, or maybe it’s a weakness, but I always thought I was capable of doing great in the sport,” Armstrong told the AP. “I think you probably have to succeed in the sport, you need to believe in yourself. I always pictured myself being in IndyCar.

“As Scott’s teammate? I can’t specifically say I saw that. It’s an extraordinary chain of events.”

Armstrong becomes just the latest driver to leave Europe, where F1 is the pinnacle but has only 20 seats each year. Alexander Rossi began the trend in 2016 when the American left F1 and won the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. He’s been followed by Ericsson, last season’s Indy 500 winner, Romain Grosjean, Illot, Lundgaard, and on Thursday three-time W Series champion and Williams F1 reserve driver Jamie Chadwick was announced as driver for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar’s second-tier development series.

Armstrong said he could have remained in F2 for a fourth season, but he’d been watching IndyCar for so long, and after conversations with Illot and Lundgaard, he decided to make the move to what he believes is the most balanced racing series in the world. He tested for Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring in October.

He doesn’t know if European racing is done for good, just that he wants to be in IndyCar right now.

“I don’t want to think too far into the future, I’m just grateful for this opportunity that is standing right in front of me,” Armstrong said. “I want to perform as well as I can in the near future and just consolidate myself in the fantastic chance that is IndyCar and just do my best.

“I’m not looking at F1 as a landing spot – I am looking at IndyCar, and that’s exactly why I am here.”