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Verstappen and Red Bull firing on all cylinders

Max Verstappen edged closer to his second Formula One Drivers’ Championship win with a fine performance to triumph in the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Dutchman was off the pace during qualifying, enduring a power unit failure and a lock-up on the circuit, forcing him to begin the race in 10th place. However, it did not matter as he surged through the field to beat out Lewis Hamilton and George Russell for the top spot and his eighth victory of the season.

It was a huge moment in the campaign for Verstappen to take the 25 points, whereas his rival for the title Charles Leclerc finished down in sixth place, mustering only eight points. The race highlighted the nous of Red Bull under pressure compared to Ferrari, and why Verstappen is closing in on the crown after taking a dominant lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings. Verstappen is backed at -120 in the F1 betting Canada odds to win the Belgian Grand Prix and further strengthen his position in the Drivers’ Championship, and it will take a special effort from a driver in the field and a monumental collapse from the 24-year-old in the stretch run of the campaign to make that a possibility.

The Hungarian Grand Prix epitomised the strength of Red Bull and the weakness of Ferrari this season, which has allowed Verstappen to control the Drivers’ Championship. Verstappen has been sensational behind the wheel and his surge through the field at the Hungaroring was a testament to his skill and quality along with his patience to pick his moments.

Even after his disappointment in qualifying, Verstappen did not panic, showing confidence in himself, his vehicle, and his team to produce at the key moments in the race. He delivered the strong start to put the pressure on Russell and Leclerc, while the strategy from Red Bull and the stops from the pit crew were on the money.

The only disappointments from a team perspective came in two of the opening three races of the season, where Red Bull were off the pace in their build-up for the Bahrain Grand Prix and a fuel issue that caused Verstappen to retire in the Australian Grand Prix. Since then, both team and driver have been a model of consistency, putting the other outfits in the sport to shame. The confidence of Verstappen and Red Bull is akin to the success that Sebastian Vettel enjoyed at the peak of his powers, winning four crowns on the bounce with the team.

When Red Bull are firing on all cylinders, they are an extremely tough opponent to handle on the track. This season from Verstappen looks similar to the 2011 and 2013 seasons where Vettel held an imperious hold over the Drivers’ Championship.

It was not an easy period watching Mercedes sweep up the crown from 2014 to 2020 with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, but after securing the signing of Verstappen there was always hope of a return to greatness if the team could reconfigure their car to match the skill of the driver. Now that dream is a reality and a second crown in a row is within touching distance.

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