The head says Hamilton but watch out for the Finns

Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:38pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - The head says Lewis Hamilton but those willing to take a more adventurous punt might fancy the chances of Valtteri Bottas or Kimi Raikkonen as Formula One regroups in Hungary with a heavy heart this weekend.

Hamilton, winner at the Hungaroring four times in eight years and twice in the past three, is the clear favorite as the double world champion seeks to stretch his 17-point overall lead into the August break.

The Briton and his rivals will also be racing with Jules Bianchi in their thoughts after attending the French driver's funeral in Nice on Tuesday.

"Saying goodbye to Jules was incredibly hard for everyone," said Hamilton of a promising talent who died on Friday, nine months after a Japanese Grand Prix crash left him in a coma.

"I wished I had known him better.

"Hungary is a beautiful place, one of my favorites. I will be carrying Jules with me in my prayers and thoughts, not only this race but for the rest of my driving days. I know he'd want us to race hard as he did, and so I will."

The form book points to another battle between Hamilton and Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg, with the pair chasing their seventh one-two in 10 races, but history offers some hope of a different outcome.

The race, now in its 30th edition, threw up a surprise last season when Australian Daniel Ricciardo won for Red Bull, and has done so before.   Continued...

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win on the podium. Reuters / Phil Noble