Hungarian Grand Prix 2023 Predictions: Verstappen and Hamilton can dominate at the Hungaroring

Phillip Horton

17 July 2023

The penultimate race before Formula One’s summer break takes the championship to the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

F1’s Hungarian round has been held since 1986, when the sport first ventured behind the Iron Curtain. The purpose-built Hungaroring venue was constructed in a natural valley on the outskirts of capital Budapest, and only Monza has a longer unbroken streak on the calendar. 

The Hungaroring is a tricky and technical circuit, with little in the way of straights and an abundance of medium-speed complexes. It is also relatively narrow and that consequently places a greater emphasis on grid position than some grands prix.

That said, Max Verstappen won an eventful race here last year despite starting from 10th on the grid, while the previous season Alpine’s Esteban Ocon pulled off a shock maiden win for both himself and the French brand in a chaotic race from eighth on the grid. 


No driver has thrived at the Hungarian Grand Prix quite like Lewis Hamilton. The Brit has taken 11 podiums, eight pole positions, and eight victories here – more than double the wins of the next-most successful driver at the event. 

However, it has occasionally been a circuit for the underdog and the unexpected. Ocon’s win in 2021 came in a race in which most of the front-runners were wiped out by a first turn crash in wet conditions.

His win came 18 years after then teammate Fernando Alonso chalked up his maiden victory at the circuit, while in 2006 Jenson Button delivered his first win in tricky conditions in an eventful rain-hit race. 

In 1997, Damon Hill almost pulled off a shock for the Arrows-Yamaha team but a failure a few miles from home robbed him of drive. Arrows never won a race and the team collapsed in 2002. 

Red Bull still dominant

Red Bull Racing is striving to make history at Budapest. At Silverstone it equalled the record set by McLaren in 1988 by taking an 11th successive grand prix victory.

Should either Verstappen or team-mate Sergio Perez triumph then Red Bull will set a new record of 12 on the bounce. Verstappen has been operating on an extraordinarily high level and is chasing a seventh successive victory. 

McLaren on the rise

McLaren introduced a substantial upgrade package in Austria. Lando Norris placed fourth, and he performed even better in Britain by qualifying and racing to second spot.

Norris’ display was reinforced by the presence of rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri, who classified fourth and would have been third but for an ill-timed Safety Car period.

On the evidence of the last two events McLaren has joined the best-of-the-rest fight involving Mercedes, Aston Martin, Ferrari and occasional interloper Alpine. 

Ricciardo is back!

Daniel Ricciardo will return to the grid this weekend at a venue where he triumphed in a wet/dry thriller back in 2014.

Ricciardo lost his McLaren seat at the end of 2022, bringing his uninterrupted decade-long spell in the sport to a close. But after rejoining Red Bull in a third driver role, he has now been drafted in to replace the axed Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri. 

The gregarious Ricciardo still has a huge following but expectations must be tempered. He struggled last season and hasn’t yet raced this year, while the link up with the team rooted to the bottom of the 10-team Constructors’ Championship is unlikely to produce quickfire points. 

Hungarian Grand Prix 2023 Predictions

Max Verstappen to win @ 1.4
Lewis Hamilton to finish Top 3 @ 2.2

Phillip Horton

17 July 2023

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