F1 Betting Guide
One of the most popular spectator sports on the planet, Formula 1 (F1) represents the summit of the motorsport mountain. It is upon the challenging array of Grand Prix circuits that the cutting edge of manufacturing, and supreme driving talent combine to create a spectacle unlike any other. Featuring chicanes, hairpins, speeds of 220mph+, and a fair dose of glitz and glamour – for fans of high-octane entertainment, F1 simply has no equal.
Thrilling as the sport is in its own right, many fans like to ramp up the excitement still further with a bet or two on the unfolding action. Here we take a closer look at the F1 season, the most popular bets, and a few key factors relating to potentially profitable betting strategies.
The Formula 1 Season
A total of ten constructor teams take part in the F1 season, with each team consisting of two drivers. The season then runs from March through to November, taking in a total of 22 Grand Prix’s, spread all around the world.
Points are awarded to drivers and constructors according to their finishing positions in each Grand Prix, with 25 points going to the winner, 18 to the second placed finisher, 15 to third and so on, all the way down to one point for tenth. In addition, should any driver who finishes in the top ten also record the fastest lap of the race, they will receive one additional bonus point.
Points accumulate over the course of the season, with the driver with the most points winning the Drivers Championship, and the constructor with the most points winning the Constructors Championship.
Most Popular Betting Markets
Gone is the time when betting on F1 consisted almost exclusively of race winner or podium finish options. These days bettors have a wealth of potential punts from which to select, both long term, and surrounding the individual races.
Long Term Markets
- Drivers Championship - Plain and simple, this is a bet on which driver will be crowned champion at the end of the F1 season.
- Constructors Championship - A bet on which Constructor will be crowned champion.
- Driver to Win a Race - A bet on a named driver to win ANY race over the course of the season.
Individual Grand Prix Bets
- Winning Driver - The most popular of the individual Grand Prix bets, this simply requires bettors to select which driver will win the race.
- Winning Constructor - Think a specific team will go well, but can’t decide between the two drivers? A winning constructor bet could be the way to go. E.g., Mercedes to win the Spanish Grand Prix.
- Podium Finish - A bet on a driver to finish on the podium i.e., inside the first three finishing positions.
- Pole Position - A bet on which driver will start the race in Pole Position i.e., in the number 1 starting grid position. Pole Position goes to the driver who records the fastest time in the third round of qualifying on the Saturday before the race.
- Fastest Lap - Rather than placing a bet on the race winner, many punters like to select which driver will record the fastest individual lap of the race.
- Driver Match Bets - This whittles a Grand Prix down to a head-to-head battle. E.g., Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton. Simply select which of the two drivers will achieve the better result.
- Safety Car - In F1, a safety car will be deployed in the event of a track obstruction e.g., debris from a crash, or adverse weather conditions. This is a simple Yes or No bet on whether or not the safety car will appear.
- In-Play Betting - The betting doesn’t stop when the lights go out and the race gets underway. Many markets – notably winning driver and podium finish – are available in-play as soon as the race begins.
F1 Strategies: Key Factors
So those are the most popular betting options, but what are the main factors punters should be considering when making their selections?
- Focus on the Car The number one rule to remember in F1 is that the gap between the different cars is usually much wider than the gap between the different drivers. Follow the practice sessions and keep up to date with the latest data on websites such as 4mula1stats.com and StatsF1.com. Any small performance issue could prove to be the difference in a sport of small edges.
- Cars for Courses Part of the appeal of the sport is the wide variety of tracks on offer – from the twisting and turning street circuit of Monaco, to the speed and power favouring Monza. Knowing which cars are likely to be suited to which tracks can be crucial to success.
- Value of Pole Position Some tracks such as Monaco offer very few overtaking opportunities, placing real importance upon pole position. Others, such as Canada for example, provide a multitude of overtaking spots, making it significantly easier to come from behind. Knowing how much weight to place upon pole position should be a crucial part of your strategy.
- Driver Form Has a driver been performing below expectations in recent Grand Prix’s? Been involved in distracting disputes with teammates or rivals? Seemingly small factors can play a role in a sport where maximum focus is essential.
- Remember the Weather Some cars perform much better than the competition in the heat, whilst others are seen to best effect in lower temperatures or humidity. Spotting correlations between results and weather conditions can be a useful route to profit.
- Fastest Lap Strategy Look for drivers who have little chance of winning but do seem booked for a top ten spot. Such drivers may well take an additional pit stop in order to go all out for the fastest lap bonus point.
Formula 1 Betting Summary: Small Details, Big Results
Even to the uninitiated F1 betting is relatively easy to understand, with the majority of the sport’s most popular betting options being pretty self-explanatory. Beneath that simplicity however lies layers of complexity, data and detail which only serve to add to the allure. Building a betting strategy around the most important factors can only increase your chances of turning a profit on the most thrilling combination of man and machine that the sporting world has to offer.
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