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29.09.2023, 09:21
23.05.2024, 04:23

Fast Track Betting: A Guide to Betting on Formula 1 Racing

Amid its popularity in the United States, Formula 1 is witnessing parallel growth in sports betting. As the tide of legalisation sweeps across more states, the betting options on Formula 1 are broadening. Unlike in past years when betting was confined to picking outright winners, gamblers now have a diversified array of bets to place on each grand prix.

Nonetheless, Formula 1 betting remains enigmatic to many novice sports bettors. For those aiming to navigate the waters of this motorsport betting, the following is a guide and optimal strategies for handicapping and betting.

Familiar Formula 1 Betting Choices

Most betting markets consistently appear across prominent sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Many of these markets will seem recognisable for those unfamiliar with Formula 1 betting but experienced in golf betting.

Outright Winner

In this domain, bettors simply determine the victor of each race. Traditional odds exhibit a significant decline beyond the "top three" teams: Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, and Ferrari, which historically secure the majority of race victories. Opting for long shots in this market is commonly unfruitful, as numerous variables must align for a driver from one of the seven remaining teams to triumph. Despite occasional outliers, like Esteban Ocon's 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix victory, the concentrated dominance within Formula 1 prompts most discerning bettors to avoid this market.

Finishing Positions

This resembles golf's top-10 or top-20 finish markets, albeit with only three principal finishing position markets available in Formula 1. The first is a podium finish, where bets are placed on a driver to either win or secure a second or third place. The second is a top-six finish, a straightforward wager on a driver to end the race in sixth place or better. The final position, variably termed as "top-10 finish" or "points finish" by different books, allows bets on a driver to conclude in any of the top 10 spots, with staggered point totals awarded correspondingly.


Like golf, this market places two competitors against each other, with bettors deciding who will finish higher. In Formula 1, this entails wagering on which driver will complete the race first. The complexity of Formula 1 matchup betting lies in the extensive range of oddsmaker possibilities, sometimes presenting matchups within the same team or equitably matched drivers from different teams. For instance, in the 2023 McLaren Formula 1 team, a head-to-head matchup might feature veteran Lando Norris as a heavy favourite against rookie Oscar Piastri. Conversely, a more balanced matchup might pair Mercedes' George Russell against Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, with odds evenly distributed on both sides, contingent on the circuit.

Prop Bets

Each race week unfurls many prop bet options for the discerning bettor. Here's a guided excursion through some of the most frequented:

  • Total Number of Classified Cars: This bet focuses on predicting the number of cars completing the race, offering a direct insight into anticipated crashes or mechanical failures. Ladder-style pricing for diverse over/under scenarios is commonplace. For instance, a bet on over 14.5 classified cars may present as a robust favourite at around -3000, while over 19.5 classified cars balloon to a significant underdog, priced around +700.
  • Race Winning Margin Time: This market, featured in index and two-sided styles, hinges on the time margin between the winner and runners-up. For the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix, a winning margin of zero to 5.999 seconds leads as the favourite. Bettors can also explore options beyond the six-second mark, each with respective odds.
  • Winning Car by Team: Here, eschew individual driver bets for a team-centric wager. With just ten team options, a victorious bet cashes if either team driver clinches the race win, streamlining the betting field and potentially bolstering your winning chances.
  • Fastest Pit Stop: Veer away from driver-focused bets and place your wager on team mechanics, speculating which team will clock the fastest pit time. Teams renowned for swift pit crews, like Red Bull Racing, often emerge as favourites, underscoring their operational efficiency.
  • Starting Position of Race Winner: Delve into this market with four prominent offerings. While the pole position is a robust favourite, alternate options encompass P2, P3, or any other position, broadening the betting landscape and presenting diverse opportunities for speculation.

Total Number of Race Leaders: Parallel to the classified finishers bet, predict the number of race leaders. Over 1.5 consistently emerges as a favourite, acknowledging the potential lead shifts during pit stops.

Futures Markets

  • Beyond the race-by-race betting panorama, the futures markets offer additional avenues for season-long wagers, either pre-season or post-each grand prix.
  • Driver’s Championship Winner: This long-term bet pinpoints the driver amassing the maximum season points. For example, entering the 2023 season, Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing stood as a -150 odds-on favourite, eyeing his third consecutive world championship.
  • Constructors’ Championship Winner: This market shifts the focus to teams, evaluating which will culminate the season atop the points table. In the prelude to the 2023 season, Red Bull Racing, buoyed by historical performances, closed as a -160 consensus favourite, reflecting the entwined fortunes of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ champions in this high-octane sport.

Formula 1 Live Betting: In-Race Wagering Excitement

While numerous sporting events are confined to a few hours, the expansive terrain of Formula 1 unfolds across several days, laying out a rich tapestry for live betting aficionados.

Race Schedule and Betting Opportunities

Typically, the paramount race unfolds on Sunday, preceded by three pivotal free practice sessions (two on Friday and one on Saturday) and an exhilarating qualifying round on Saturday. Bookmakers momentarily pull all odds off the shelf before each segment, reintroducing them with adjusted figures post-session, keeping bettors on their toes, and ensuring the betting landscape is as dynamic as the race.

Sprint Race

In the eclectic world of F1, another captivating format is the “sprint race”, a condensed racing experience infusing additional excitement. This format includes a free practice and qualifying race on Friday, followed by a sprint shootout and the actual sprint race on Saturday, culminating in the primary race on Sunday.

Regardless of the racing style, F1 incessantly unfurls abundant opportunities for live betting, particularly after the Friday sessions, Free Practice 1 and 2. The diverse approach of teams towards these sessions can lead to unexpected outcomes, such as top-tier drivers like Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes finishing in unexpected positions. At the same time, underdogs like Alex Albon of Williams might showcase stellar performances.

Shifting Odds and Strategic Bets

Such unpredictability can catalyse abrupt shifts in odds, crafting ideal scenarios for seasoned bettors to either back or go against specific drivers’ finishing positions as the principal race approaches. This dynamic arena calls for strategic allocation of your betting bankroll. A prudent approach involves restrained initial betting, permitting the addition of positions throughout the race weekend and potentially securing more favourable pricing as the race commencement looms.

By strategically navigating the intricate and evolving F1 betting landscape, bettors can augment their chances of securing a profitable finish, mirroring the strategic acumen deployed by the racers and teams on the track.

Circuit Groupings and Surface Types: Enhancing F1 Betting Strategies for Profitable Bets

Before we delve into the intricacies of winning Formula 1 betting strategies, it's essential to elucidate our unique circuit groupings. Grouping circuits by shared characteristics like DRS (Drag Reduction System) zones, total corners, and lap time is a crucial strategy to identify natural buy-low and sell-high opportunities as drivers navigate from one track to another.

Circuit Groupings for 2022 and 2023

Here's a detailed breakdown of circuit groupings from the 2022 season, including the much-anticipated return of Las Vegas in the 2023 season:

  • Group 1: Austria, Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Canada
  • Group 2: Great Britain (Silverstone), Miami, France, Japan, Abu Dhabi
  • Group 3: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Austin, Belgium (Spa), Azerbaijan (Baku)
  • Group 4: Emilia Romagna (Imola), Monza, Australia, Hungary, Monaco, Las Vegas
  • Understanding Circuit Surfaces:

Beyond these groups, a knowledgeable bettor should be conversant with the surface of each Grand Prix. While most races unfold on traditional racetracks like Circuit of the Americas in Austin or Silverstone in the U.K., others commandeer the bustling streets of dynamic cities.

Examples of the latter, known as street circuits, include the iconic Monaco Grand Prix, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and the newly reintroduced Las Vegas Grand Prix. Such races unfold on city streets, offering a unique racing and betting environment.

Track Preferences and Profitable Bets

Diverse drivers exhibit varied affinities and performance metrics on different track types. For instance, Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Alpine's Esteban Ocon often outperform on street circuits.

Conversely, other drivers demonstrate superior skills on traditional circuits. Profound insights into which drivers consistently excel on specific tracks can potentially translate to lucrative betting outcomes, amplifying the excitement of the F1 experience for betting enthusiasts.

Formula 1 Betting Strategies

Betting on Formula 1 does involve a strategic approach to ensure profitability and avoid common pitfalls. Let’s delve deeper into the strategies and explore more dimensions for enhancing your Formula 1 betting endeavours.

1. Navigating the Midfield

Primary Challenge: Difficulty in profiting from betting on favourites due to the dominance of top teams.

Focus: Midfield teams like Alpine, McLaren, Alfa Romeo, and drivers like Lance Stroll from Aston Martin.

Reason: Midfield drivers have a broader range of finishing positions, presenting diverse betting opportunities.

Action Steps:

  1. Analyse Circuit Performance:
  2. Understand each driver's performance trend on different circuits.
  3. Evaluate historical data to ascertain strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Monitor Qualifying Sessions:
  5. Qualifying positions can offer insights into potential race performance.
  6. Observe Practice Sessions:
  7. Drivers' performance in practice sessions can be a good indicator of their race-day performance.
  8. Stay Updated with Team Strategies:
  9. Teams' strategies for different circuits can influence drivers’ performances.

2. Leveraging Seasonal and Track Trends

Focus: Betting on drivers or teams that historically perform well on specific tracks or seasons.

Action Steps:

  1. Examine Historical Performances:
  2. Delve into past seasons to identify consistent performers for specific races.
  3. Assess Track Compatibility:
  4. Some drivers excel on certain track types; understand these nuances.

3. In-Play or Live Betting

Focus: Make bets during the race based on live updates and performance.

Action Steps:

  1. Stay Attuned to Live Updates:
  2. Monitor live race developments to make informed bets.
  3. Analyse In-Race Performance:
  4. Evaluate drivers’ in-race performance and make adjustments to your betting strategy.

4. Understanding Car and Team Upgrades:

Focus: Pay attention to team and car upgrades that can influence the race outcomes.

Action Steps:

  1. Monitor Team Announcements:
  2. Stay updated with team announcements regarding car upgrades.
  3. Evaluate Impact on Performance:
  4. Assess the potential impact of upgrades on race performance.

5. Utilizing Hedge Betting:

Focus: Safeguard your bets by betting on multiple potential outcomes.

Action Steps:

  1. Understand various race scenarios and their likelihood.
  2. Distribute Bets Accordingly:
  3. Place bets on diverse outcomes to hedge against potential losses.

Past Formula 1 Drivers’ Champions by Year

  • 2022: Max Verstappen – Red Bull Racing
  • 2021: Max Verstappen – Red Bull Racing
  • 2020: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  • 2019: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  • 2018: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  • 2017: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  • 2016: Nico Rosberg – Mercedes
  • 2015: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  • 2014: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  • 2013: Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull Racing
  • 2012: Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull Racing
  • 2011: Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull Racing
  • 2010: Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull Racing

Past Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions by Year

2022: Red Bull Racing

  • 2021: Mercedes
  • 2020: Mercedes
  • 2019: Mercedes
  • 2018: Mercedes
  • 2017: Mercedes
  • 2016: Mercedes
  • 2015: Mercedes
  • 2014: Mercedes
  • 2013: Red Bull Racing
  • 2012: Red Bull Racing
  • 2011: Red Bull Racing
  • 2010: Red Bull Racing

In Conclusion

These multifaceted strategies can bolster your understanding and insight into F1 betting and augment your potential to make more informed and profitable bets.

The key lies in continuous learning, staying updated with the latest F1 trends and news, and adapting your betting strategies accordingly.

Like a Formula 1 race, your betting journey is about agility, insight, and the strategic manoeuvring of the odds and opportunities laid out on the track of chance.


What is the importance of focusing on the midfield in F1 betting?

Focusing on the midfield in F1 betting is crucial because these drivers have a more comprehensive range of finishing positions than the top teams, providing more betting opportunities. They may present higher odds and potentially more excellent payouts if they perform well on race day.

How do circuit grouping and understanding track characteristics help in F1 betting?

Grouping circuits by common traits helps identify driver and team performance patterns across different races. Knowledge of each track, such as DRS zones, total corners, and lap time, enables bettors to make more informed decisions by understanding where and when specific drivers or teams may excel or struggle.

Why should bettors pay attention to historical performance and home advantage?

Historical performance and home advantage are crucial as drivers often excel at specific tracks each year due to factors like car design and track familiarity. Bettors can utilise this information to bet on drivers who consistently perform well at particular circuits.

What is line shopping, and why is it essential in F1 betting?

Line shopping involves comparing betting lines across different sportsbooks to find the most favourable odds. It is essential because it ensures bettors get the best possible price for their selected market, leading to higher profits in the long run.

Why is it essential to track car and team upgrades?

Tracking car and team upgrades is vital because these improvements can significantly influence a team’s performance in races. Bettors aware of these upgrades can take advantage of buy-low opportunities on drivers who might improve due to these enhancements.

How can bettors use in-play or live betting to their advantage in F1 betting?

In-play or live betting allows bettors to make bets based on live race developments, providing opportunities to adjust their betting strategies as the race unfolds. By analysing in-race performance and staying attuned to live updates, bettors can make more informed bets, capitalising on opportunities as they arise.

What is hedge betting, and how can it be utilised in F1 betting?

Hedge betting involves placing bets on multiple potential outcomes to safeguard against losses. In F1 betting, bettors can analyse various race scenarios and their likelihood, distributing their bets accordingly to mitigate potential losses and increase the chance of profitability.


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