“Formula 1” is the world’s premier racing series. It is where the best drivers on the planet compete and it is where a huge chunk of the motorsport money is made. Naturally, a lot of bets on this sport, and it’s very difficult to find a bookmaker who would not accept bets on the series of “Royal races”. Here is a look at the key things to know before you start betting on Formula One.
The F1 season runs from March to November with around 20 rounds, the line-up and number of which change literally every year. New circuits are added and old ones dropped from the calendar, but there are a number of Grand Prix that are classics and untouchables. Winning a race in Monaco, Belgium or Italy is prestigious and the racing is extraordinary.
Each stage (Grand Prix) consists of three free practice sessions to get the drivers used to the track, a Saturday qualifying session to determine places on the starting grid and a Sunday race. The top ten drivers receive points at the end of the race.
The number of teams in Formula One is also an unstable value. At the moment there are 10, each with two cars, a total of 20 drivers. Each team has its own chassis, which means all the cars have different handling. However, there are only four engine suppliers and this is also an aspect to look out for when betting on. Three teams are each Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes customers, with another team buying powertrains from Honda.
Historically, Mercedes is considered the most powerful and reliable engine, closely followed by Ferrari, while the relatively young Honda, on the other hand, is the most unstable and short-lived. French engine-makers Renault try to get closer to the leaders year after year, but so far in vain.
Types of race tracks
All circuits are divided into three types: slow (e.g. Singapore and Monaco), fast (Italy and Mexico) and slow (France and Britain).
Naturally, the higher the average speed of the circuit, the more power is required and, as such, Mercedes engines are worth looking out for. On slower roads, the chassis takes centre stage – and that’s where you can focus your attention on Renault and Honda customers. On medium-speed circuits, the combination of engine and aerodynamics of the car is important.
Types of F1 betting
Formula One betting can be divided into three big groups: season bets, qualifying bets and race bets. With the first are clear: it is a prediction on the winner of the championship and on the winner of the constructors’ cup (team classification). The other two are clearer.
Betting on qualifying
As a rule bookmakers do not give a wide line on qualification and limit themselves to comparing the drivers and the winner of the qualification. Generally it is a comparison of two representatives of the same team and the odds for one of the drivers are smaller than the odds for his teammate. The reason for that is that the skill of the driver is decisive for identical technique in qualify and it is easy to predict who will win.
Betting on the race
We have a wider range of bets on the race. You can also bet on two drivers comparing each other. It is one of the easiest bets. The driver who ends up higher in the final classification wins and only if they both fall off the course after a collision with each other does the bet count as a return.
You can bet on which rider will finish in the final classification.
Wagers on stalls are also extremely popular. More precisely, they are bets on whether or not a driver makes it into the final classification.
Important: if a driver covered 90% of the course but did not reach the finish line, he would still be classified and would not be considered run down.
You can bet not only on personalities, but also on the total of the finishers.
Bets on whether or not the safety car will race are also widely accepted. An important point here is that since the introduction of VSC (Virtual Safety Car) it has been driven out much less frequently. This is especially the case on non-city circuits with wide safety zones. On narrow circuits, the appearance of a real safe car is virtually guaranteed.
What is the right way to bet on Formula 1?
“Formula One is a very complicated sport for betting. A huge number of factors influence the outcome of a race. Among them the weather, the physical and mental state of the drivers and mechanics, the tactics of the race, the wear and tear on the engines, penalties during and before the race, and any other unforeseen circumstances. The fate of the race is sometimes decided by fractions of a second, and they can be affected by anything. That is why it is considered to be unprofitable to bet on small odds in F1, and it means you should select the odds so that the stakes are at least about 2.00 and the probability of losing the race is high. It is not recommended for beginners to start betting straight away; it is better to practice with a virtual account first.
There are two race betting strategies. You can bet before qualifying without knowing how the places on the starting grid will be allocated, or you can bet after qualifying. The first of these is a good bet on the final runner-up totals and other general bets that do not directly influence the order of the drivers in the rankings. The second option is a great chance to bet on a strong driver who didn’t manage to qualify high, or was penalised with a loss of places on the starting grid. The odds are higher and the chances of success are not much lower.