With smaller engines and the introduction of hybrid electric power, complete with energy recovery systems, the new regulations introduced at the start of the 2014 Formula 1 season brought to an end the dominance enjoyed by the Red Bull team. It also signaled Mercedes’ time at the top and since then the team has won every Drivers Championship and every Constructor’s Championship, not to mention the vast majority of races.
From a betting standpoint Formula 1 betting offers more opportunities than ever and such is Mercedes dominance we are seeing an ever increasing number of “without the favorite” markets. In fact, with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull constantly better than their rivals, we are also seeing markets simply featuring the other seven teams.
At the start of the 2020 season, following some excellent pre-season testing, both the Drivers and Constructor’s Championship looked to be a match between Ferrari and Mercedes teams. But the German outfit raced clear of their rivals once again meaning these markets featured massive odds-on shots before the season was a third of the way through its 21 race calendar.
But teams do have two drivers and the season-long Drivers Championship can be played each-way. That does mean six drivers are battling over a top-three spot at the very least so this market is never dead and buried. Those of a certain vintage will recall Michael Schumacher breaking his leg at the 1999 British Grand Prix. At the time he was leading the Driver’s Championship and was long odds-on in the betting to claim that title. In this sport, things aren’t done and dusted until the proverbial fat lady sings.
On a race by race basis, trawling through the betting markets and comparing them to the stats is a great way to get some betting value and nab a big-priced winner with the top New Jersey sportsbooks and top Pennsylvania sportsbooks. That’s best done prior to the opening practice sessions which start on a Friday.
Eagle-eyed bettors who do their homework will quickly spot trends that bookmakers don’t. For example, Mexican Sergio Perez has set the fastest lap at Monaco twice, he was +10000 for the accolade both times. Likewise his last two podium finishes both came at the same circuit, Baku, when he was over +20000 in the race win market.
The horses for courses theory works well in this sport and odds compilers often miss these form pointers and they definitely read way too much into recent form. Whilst a team or driver may have enjoyed an excellent run of results, a close inspection often shows they have all come at a similar type of circuit and when switched to a venue with different demands on the machinery, that fine run can abruptly end.
Most people’s instincts lead them straight to the “race winner” market and they see the form worth of the opening practice session as gospel. Big mistake! Only five times in the 21-race 2018 season did the driver who set the fastest time in the opening practice session go on to win the race. During the same year the driver which went fastest in the third and final practice session did prevail – it’s a much more reliable guide to who will win the race.
However, a car from a team outside the “big three” often shows its pace from the very first practice session so if you are looking for candidates for a top-six finish or even a top-ten, do take note of all practice lap times.
A top-ten finish is also known as a “points finish” as drivers only earn world championship points by finishing within the top-ten. This is becoming an ever increasingly popular market as the racing among the mid-pack teams is fiercely competitive and big priced winners can regularly be identified.
In 2020 the rules for “fastest lap” were changed. It afforded an additional world championship point to the winner, providing that driver finished the race in the top-ten. Unfortunately that has somewhat killed off what was a genuine chance of finding +5000 winners as the fastest lap accolade, like the race victory, is now exclusively battled out among the “big three” teams.
Formula 1 betting still does offer up the opportunity of tasty winnings for small stakes courtesy of driver match bets. Traditionally these match bets are of the teammate-on-teammate variety but as some sportsbooks accept doubles, trebles and even parlays on them, big-priced touches can still be landed