FORMEL 1 NEWS
Betting on Formula 1 - Assessing Odds and Finding Value
With the Hungarian Grand Prix just passed, its worth looking back not only at the defining moments of the race and the finishes of major drivers, but also at how the given odds matched the outcomes. With this brief retrospective in mind, we can take some pointers on how to bet on Formula 1 to future events.
A quick look at the oddsdays before the race reveal the following for favourite to win:
- Lewis Hamilton 1.65;
- Valtteri Bottas 4.00;
- Max Verstappen 4.50;
- Alex Albon 26.0;
- Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Sergio Perez 34.0;
- Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel 51.0.
We all know how things ended up, with Hamilton continuing a performance that is bound to topple legendary records like Schumacher’s total 91 career wins. Verstappen overcame near ruin in a ridiculously fast repair after wet conditions got the better of him, ultimately to finish the GP in second ahead of Bottas. In terms of win betting, how interesting are these odds?
When betting on Formula 1, as in all sports betting, finding value is paramount. While odds of 4.00+ are certainly long compared to the standards in other sports, a bet on any of the expected top three finishers is not beyond reason. There is enough variability to make things worthwhile, like Verstappen’s unexpected wreck and even more unexpected surge to second.
What about the bookmakers
Beyond merely taking what the bookmaker thinks these top contenders will be, we can do our own research. For instance, taking the type of track and track conditions into account with specific attention to the performance records of prominent drives is particularly relevant. Are there many corners or straights? Who tends to finish first on which types of tracks?
Further, consider also free practice sessions and the results of the qualifiers. You can of course bet on the qualifiers themselves, but for the moment remember that qualifiers produce different pole positions which can impact the final outcome. Free practice sessions allow drivers to get accustomed to the track, so if these are not held we can perhaps take this variable into account.
Perhaps most obviously are the expected weather conditions. This is difficult to assess when placing a bet more than a few days before the event, but again drivers will have definitive preferences either spoken outright or hidden in their records. For instance, Verstappen likes rain and is accustomed to driving in the rainy Netherlands. Dark clouds on race day might give him an edge over drivers who perform best on dry tracks, but naturally this only goes so far. Wet conditions nearly ruined Verstappen last weekend.
Lastly, consider bets beyond the first place winner. Because the odds are so long for all but the favourite, value may be more remote. Consider bets on qualifiers or podium finishers, and here are the previous odds for the latter in Hungary:
- Lewis Hamilton 1.10;
- Valtteri Bottas 1.25;
- Max Verstappen 1.35;
- Alex Albon 3.25;
- Sergio Perez 5.00;
- Carlos Sainz 8.00;
- Lando Norris 9.00;
- Charles Leclerc 10.0.
Here you can see the odds do not climb at the same rate, while still leaving opportunity for serious value. Both Norris and Leclerc placed, so relatively small bets here pay dividends. Having a balanced portfolio of confident bets on top contenders with an assortment of low stake - high reward bets like these can allow you to make serious headway on growing your bankroll when betting on Formula 1.