Formula 1 (F1) Betting Guide

Formula 1

For all its glitz and glamour, its high-revs and tyre screeching, and its incessant acceptance – nay, embracing – of every endorsement opportunity that comes its way, it must be remembered that Formula 1 is a sport. Well, that’s what fans of this rolling circus of motor might would have us believe. But whatever your thoughts on Bernie Ecclestone’s ultimate plaything, the sport has garnered such a wide following in recent decades that the bookies have started to embrace F1 too.

With more bookmakers than ever offering betting markets on this most prestigious of motorsport competitions, there has never been a better time to bet on Formula 1. So read on for the most popular betting types, the rules that could cause you to have kittens and strategies to employ when trying to make a profit from betting on the richest sport on four wheels.

How To Bet On Formula 1

With each Grand Prix offering different challenges that suit the particular strengths of specific drivers or teams, along with the various rules and regulations that serve to increase safety and competitiveness alike, Formula 1 provides rich pickings for sports betting fans. Here are some of the best bets out there.

F1 Bets

  • Grand Prix winner – This is simply backing the driver you think will win a specific Grand Prix. You can place this bet at any stage from before the first practice session to well into the race itself (with bookies who offer in-play betting).
  • Podium finish – Similar to a “to place” bet in horse racing, here you are backing a driver to finish on the podium, i.e. in the first three. Your chances increase compared to the race winner bet, but obviously your odds go the other way.
  • Pole position – This involves backing a driver to qualify fastest for the race and hence start at the front of the grid in pole position.
  • Hat-trick – This bet – seen as a novelty by some, but a lucrative additional betting market to others – involves picking a driver who you think will get pole position, have the fastest lap of the race and win the Grand Prix itself. Usually available at large odds given the infrequency (these days) of its occurrence.
  • Outright championship betting – Here you can bet on which driver or team will win their respective championship over the course of the season. You are able to place such bets either prior to the commencement of a given season or indeed anytime up to the final race (if they haven’t already been decided).
  • Various race bets – There are plenty of options for betting on events that may take place within a given Grand Prix. For instance you can bet on whether or not the safety car will appear during a race, the number of cars that will make it to the finish or which car will be the first to retire from the race.

Formula 1 Betting Rules

In such a technical sport that involves various provision for issuing penalties to drivers or teams retrospectively, there are a few betting rules of which you should be aware. For instance, most bookies will pay out based on the result at the time of the official FIA podium presentation, even if one or more of the drivers are subsequently disqualified or demoted.

If a race is abandoned for whatever reason, most bookmakers will void all bets, though some may stand if they have already been completed – for instance the race may have been abandoned long after the first retirement had occurred, with all such bets already having perhaps been settled.

Formula 1 Betting Strategy

When betting on F1, know your tracks and know your cars. Understanding the relative merits of cars – and the drivers in them of course – and how they relate to the traits of the specific Grand Prix racetracks can give you a massive advantage when it comes to picking out the winning bets. For instance, if you know that a particular team always performs well in qualification, but drops away in the race itself, you might find some value in backing them to do well in places where overtaking is a challenge, such as Monaco.

Also, doing your research between races – especially when there are breaks of a few weeks – can be of crucial importance when seeking the bets to chase. If you find out a team has had a breakthrough with a particular component of their car that had been particularly troublesome, they could be overpriced for the next race and hence worth backing. The past form of drivers on particular tracks can also offer a fair indication of how they will perform when returning.

While much of this information is freely available, many will simply back the bookies’ favourite even if he crashed out of the last two visits to the circuit ahead of someone who has had a tough season but has won two of the last three there. Often returning to a favoured circuit can reignite a driver’s competitive edge and make a mockery of long odds, and a healthy profit for you.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the legality of betting online varies between countries and it is your responsibility to verify that your actions are legal in the country you reside. Please gamble responsibly - if you feel you may have a problem and need advice please visit Gamble Aware (UK) or Gamblers Anonymous.