HEADS Down, Lights out, And GO!, GO!, GO! for an F1 Sports Bet
For years, Formula 1 has enjoyed the title as being one of the most glamorous sports. Attracting millions of spectators over the course of its (current) 21-race season, 20 talented drivers race during the weekends across the globe to determine who is the quickest and most consistent.
Three practise sessions, three segments of qualification and one race make up a Formula 1 weekend, with points ranging from 25 to one being awarded to the drivers in order of them crossing the finishing line.
Twists and turns are guaranteed in an F1 season, with different tracks suiting different teams: managing your betting strategy in Formula 1 is crucial if you want to bet and make a profit in this sport.
F1 Drivers Championship – this allows you to bet on who you think the overall winner of the F1 Championship will be.
F1 Constructors’ Championship – this allows you to bet on which TEAM you think will win the F1 Constructors’ Championship at the end of the season.
Podium Finish – this allows you to bet on a driver to finish on the podium (finishing in the top three in the race).
Driver vs Driver – this allows you to pit driver vs driver for you to predict who will finish better placed in the race. The two drivers will be determined by the bookmaker and will usually be two drivers who share similar expectations.
Pole Position Winner – Bet who you think will take the pole position in qualifying.
Race Winner – Bet on who you think will win a specific race, outright.
Fastest Lap – Bet on who you think will record the fastest lap in a specific race.
Top 6 Finish – This allows you to bet on a driver who you think will finish in the top 6 of a race.
Leader After 1/5/10 Laps – This allows you to bet on a driver to be leading the Grand Prix after a certain amount of laps have passed in the race.
First Driver to Retire – Bet on the driver that you think will retire from the race first. This is usually dependant on whether you think the driver is reckless behind the wheel, or perhaps the teams’ car has been faulting recently.
Safety Car Period During Race – A wager on how long the safety car will be present in the race. This bet will suit specific tracks better than others.
With so much variation in tracks and circuits throughout an F1 season, it’s crucial that you develop an appreciation for how these changes will impact certain drivers and teams throughout the year.
Engine types, tires, and strategies will all come into play when teams decide which track to attack, and it is usually reasonably predictable regarding where to focus your betting.
The Monaco Grand Prix is a prime example of this: a windy street circuit in which overtaking is deemed tricky. A team that is going into the Monaco Grand Prix weekend with the most race pace is in prime position to benefit from this circuit.
Qualifying in pole position regularly converts into a race win, so understanding which driver and which team is arriving in Monaco performing the best will enable you to place your bet before the practice and qualifying sessions.
As well as this, individual drivers will also prefer specific circuits due to their racing style. For example, Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian Grand Prix in the last three seasons (six times overall): this circuit favours his attacking style of driving. Odds will naturally reflect the form that Hamilton shows on this track. However, it’s important to bear this stats in mind when considering where to place your money.
A tempting price for a driver to win this specific race may be caveated by your added knowledge of Hamilton’s form.
Weather conditions also play a crucial role in Grand Prix betting. Rain can prove instrumental in changing the outcome of a race dramatically. Checking the weather forecast before the race can prove beneficial if you exploit the markets that could be affected by this. For example, if rain is expected on a course that is particularly hard to drive in those conditions, backing an outsider to finish inside the top 6 or top 8 could prove hugely profitable. Here, you are assuming that the conditions are likely to take out a fair portion of the field, leaving your rank outsider the opportunity to sneak into points places.
Grid positions are always an important consideration when betting on Formula 1. Sometimes, grid positions play a more significant role on one circuit than they would another. Depending on whether turn one is a left or right turn, will ultimately affect whether grid position one or two will have the best line going into the corner. Whether one side of the track is dirtier/dustier than the other is also a factor to consider, with drivers in third often fairing better than the driver sat in second when this is a factor.
Going back to the Monaco Grand Prix, grid position is a huge indicator of how the race will materialise, on a track that is notoriously hard to overtake on with its narrow and windy roads.
Being fluid, and open to the idea of betting in-play can prove hugely beneficial when looking to win on Formula 1 betting. A race can change in a heartbeat on any of the 21 race circuits, so trying to anticipate changes to the race could prove the most prominent road to profit.
A great example of this is the introduction of a safety car. When this happens in a race – usually because of an accident on the track – the cars are forced to slow down and bunch up, with the race leader often losing a significant chunk of the lead he has already established in the race. In-play betting can enable us to favour the chasing pack in this situation, with the chance of an overtaking manoeuvre a lot more likely now that the field has squeezed together. Timing is crucial here. The odds will alter when the safety car is introduced, so trying to pre-empt one could prove the most beneficial. Is there rain approaching? Is there a dangerous struggle for position occurring somewhere in the field?
Doing your homework is often the recipe for success in sports betting. Immersing yourself in a race weekend will have its benefits rather than just blindly backing a driver or team at the start of the main race. Take care to study the performances in the free practise sessions and all of the qualifying sessions – note where specific drivers are most active on the track and how that might affect the race.
This also rings true when betting on the outright markets for the F1 Championship winner. If there is a 30-40 point gap in the championship with a handful of races to go – study those races. Who do they favour? The gap may seem significant, but if the chasing driver has two of his most successful circuits coming up, then it may be worth looking at the bigger betting picture. Always consider the home driver. Race circuits are often littered with flags of the local hero, with grandstands, terraces, and grass mounds full of adoring fans for the resident driver. This can often push the driver on to their season-best performance, but more importantly, it may enable the team to favour them over their teammate in certain situations. Home pride shouldn’t be underestimated with the power of home advantage proving crucial.
Finally, swat up on the stats! Years and years of races at the most historic circuits have enabled a multitude of stats to describe the characteristics of the track. How it performs in certain conditions, what sort of car performs best, what kind of driver it benefits most etc. Finding an edge here could turn a loser into a winner in the blink of an eye.
With plenty of markets and plenty of race time to place a bet on the F1, don’t be tricked or rushed into betting on the wrong selection. Study the whole picture, taking into consideration a plethora of factors to determine who you expect to come out on top over the weekend.
As with all sport, it’s the unpredictability that we adore the most. Don’t expect always to pick a winner – and be sure you enjoy the ride!