Betting Guides

Beginners Guide to Betting on F1

Formula 1 is one of the world’s most popular racing sports and considered the pinnacle of motorsport. Twenty drivers and ten teams compete in over 20 Grand Prix races around the world. Every race presents a new puzzle of betting opportunities, adding excitement and thrills to the Formula 1 season.

Drivers accumulate points based on their race finishes, contributing to their total for the season to determine the F1 Drivers’ Champion. Similarly, teams gather points, competing for the Constructors’ Championship title.

Formula 1 betting has also grown in popularity in recent years with a plethora of betting markets now available on every race (including practice sessions and qualifying) and throughout the season. On this page we will explore the various F1 betting options and offer up some tips and strategies to help with your bets.

Main F1 Betting Markets

F1 betting is very flexible with a comprehensive range of markets to choose from. With Max Verstappen and the Red Bull team currently dominating the sport, punters have to look beyond the main ‘Race Winner’ market to find some value with alternative F1 bets.

Race Winner

The main market in F1 betting which simply asks you to predict the race winner. In recent years this market has been dominated by Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton who are often long odds-on to win and offer little value for punters. Each way betting is available but usually just two places are offered.

Podium Finish

This bet offers odds on each driver to be standing on the podium at the end of the race. This means a top 3 finish and is a useful alternative market when there is a strong favourite to win.

Top 6 Finish

This market works like the top-3 (Podium Finish) market; only your chosen driver has to finish in the top six places for the bet to be successful.

Points Finish

A points finish means your chosen driver must finish in the top 10. Of course there will be no meaningful odds in this market for the top drivers but it’s a good bet when you think one of the lower teams may perform well.

Safety Car Betting

A safety car is deployed when there has been an accident or incident that requires debris or stranded cars to be cleared. Bookmakers will offer odds on whether a safety car will be used in the form of a Yes/No market. Compacting the field in a race can heighten the excitement and significantly alter a team’s strategy for the event.

Bear in mind there is also a possibility of a ‘Virtual Safety Car’ (VSC) where no physical car is deployed but it is used to control the cars while the track is cleared. It’s important to understand the specific rules on Safety Car betting as some bookies also include VSC but the majority do not or have separate markets.

Total Classified Finishers

This market asks you to predict the number of classified finishers of a race. This is an Over/Under bet with several different lines available. Bets will be settled on the total number of classified finishers, as determined by the FIA official results. Non-finishers are defined as drivers who do not complete 90% of the race distance, according to FIA rules.

Fastest Qualifier

Qualifying for the main race takes place the previous day and will determine the starting grid. One of the most popular F1 bets is who will qualify with the fastest lap time. This is also known as pole position.

Other F1 Betting Markets

  • Fastest in Practice - Prior to qualifying there are three practice sessions. Some bookmakers will offer odds on which driver will be the fastest in these sessions with the first practice session being the most popular bet.
  • Match Bets - Match betting is available for both individual races and season-long. This pits two drivers (or teams) against each other and you simply have to pick which one will do the best.
  • Double Points Finish - The best F1 bookmakers such as bet365 will also offer more niche markets such as both team’s cars finishing in the points (i.e. top 10)
  • Ante Post: Drivers Championship - Season-long  ante post betting is available on who will emerge as the world champion in the F1 Drivers Championship.
  • Ante Post: Constructors Championship - You can also bet on the outright winner of the F1 Constructors Championship.

F1 Betting Strategies

There are many F1 betting markets beyond the Race Winner which give lots of opportunities to uncover some value F1 bets if you know what you are looking for. Here are just some F1 betting strategies that can help you identify the best bets.

Track Characteristics

Each race circuit has its own set of characteristics that will suit certain cars or driving styles more than others. For example, overtaking  at Monaco is very difficult and the winner is often the driver starting in pole position. Some cars may be better suited to high-speed circuits, while others perform better on tracks requiring more downforce. It’s important to consider which car and team setup is best suited for a particular track.

Historical Data

Data analysis plays a vital role in betting on Formula 1. Past performances of teams and drivers on a specific track can inform betting decisions. Some tracks may consistently favour certain teams due to their car characteristics or setup. Examining past race results and current season performance can highlight where the value lies.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can greatly affect race outcomes so it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecasts for the day of the race. For example, certain drivers perform better in wet weather than others due to their driving style or past experiences. In wet conditions there is also a greater likelihood of low finishing numbers.

Team Strategy

Team strategies are another major factor which affect race outcomes. Tracking alterations in car performance following technical upgrades along with examination of qualifying times, tyre choices and pit stop strategies can often reveal which teams may be flying under the radar for a particular race. For example, a lesser team adopting a 2 pit stop strategy may sneak into the points in a race where 3 stops is the norm. It’s also worth keeping an eye on which teams or drivers are showing progress.

Key Races in the F1 Calendar

The full Formula 1 racing season consists of 24 races in all, usually starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix in February and ending with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. Here are some of the most iconic races on the F1 calendar.

  • Monaco Grand Prix - A prestigious, skill-intensive street race in Monte Carlo, renowned for its tight circuit and minimal overtaking
  • Italian Grand Prix - The Italian Grand Prix, held at the high-speed Monza circuit, is famed for its fast straights
  • British Grand Prix - Hosted at the iconic Silverstone circuit, the British GP is known for its fast corners and rich history in Formula 1

F1 Betting FAQs

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How Do F1 Bets Work?

The most basic bet involves simply selecting the winning driver of a race. There are many other options such as betting on a driver finishing in the Top 6 or Top 10. Additionally, season-long futures, like betting on the F1 World Drivers Championship winner, are available.

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Can I Bet On Every Formula 1 Race?

Yes, F1 betting odds are available for every race and are usually released on the Monday or Tuesday before the race days on Sunday. This is usually the best time to get the best value odds before the bookies correct their opening prices.

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How Important is the Choice of Tyres in F1 Betting?

The choice of tyres is quite important in F1 betting as it significantly affects car performance, race strategy, and driver success on different track conditions, influencing race outcomes and betting odds.

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Can You Bet Live on F1 During the Races?

Yes, the most reputable bookmaker will provide live F1 betting odds, allowing you to place in-play bets as the race unfolds.