Precisely three months after Max Verstappen won Formula 1’s World Championship under controversial circumstances, the 2022 Formula 1 season gets underway.
The opening contest will take place in Bahrain this weekend with the final curtain call scheduled for November 20 in Abu Dhabi.
12 months ago, Max Verstappen started the race as the betting favourite for the contest after he had topped the time sheets in all three practice sessions and qualifying. But, despite starting from pole, the Dutchman lost the race courtesy of some exceptional strategy calls by Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team.
Bahrain GP Free Bets and Enhanced Offers
Bullish About Max Performance
This year, if pre-season testing is to be believed, nothing will help Lewis Hamilton overcome his rival in a semblance of a clean run race.
Those test sessions appear to show Red Bull has the fastest car by some considerable way. Ferrari sit second, Mercedes third – a second per lap behind their great rival – and McLaren are right behind them in fourth.
Rarely is there much value in a straightforward win bet on Formula 1 but, on this occasion, 2/1 about a Max Verstappen victory looks to overestimate Mercedes’ prospect of finding masses of performance within the space of a week.
Sergio to Claim the Fastest Lap?
For something bigger, how about Verstappen’s team-mate, Sergio Perez, to claim the fastest lap at a tasty 8/1? We are convinced he is driving the fastest car and his position in the team is that of ‘wing man’.
That role could lead to him protecting a Verstappen lead by fending off rivals with a contra strategy. If this happens, he will pit for fresh tyres late into the race – the bulk of fastest laps are traditionally set by the Red Bull or Mercedes that pits last.
In 2021 all but one fastest lap went to a car other than a Red Bull or Mercedes. Perez claimed two fastest laps.
As an added bonus, race winners rarely set the fastest lap in Bahrain. That’s a positive as we believe this is Verstappen’s race for the taking.
Bigger Picture Favours No Safety Car Use
A Safety Car being called into play is a 2/7 shot. Given it has been needed in five of the past six years, the quote would appear to make perfect sense. However, since the race was first staged at this venue, it has only been needed seven times in 18 races.
The errant Nikita Mazepin is not on the 2022 starting grid and that lessens the chances of a Safety Car deployment in all races. 12 months ago, it was his spin on the opening lap that called for its services. Everything considered, the 5/2 available about the Safety Car not being used looks the better bet.
Summary – Recommended Bahrain GP Bets:
- Max Verstappen to win the race – 2/1 SpreadEx
- Sergio Perez to set the fastest race lap – 8/1 bet365*
- Safety Car NOT to be used – 5/2 bet365*
* Bahrain Grand Prix odds correct at the time of publication. All F1 odds subject to changes.