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Alonso takes pole in wet qualifying two races in a row

Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Alonso
2nd
Vettel
3rd
Webber
4th
Schumacher
5th
Hulkenberg
6th
Maldonado
6th
Button
8th
Hamilton
9th
di Resta
10th
Raikkonen
11th
Ricciardo
12th
Perez
13th
Kobayashi
14th
Massa
15th
Grosjean
16th
Senna
17th
Rosberg
18th
Vergne

Saturday saw a very unusual qualifying session, with fastest times in each round being set on a different type of tire. Raikkonen was half a second faster in the dry. Hamilton was second in Q1 and half a second quickest on intermediates in Q2. Unfortunately, the McLaren struggles to get heat into the full wet tires, leaving him in 7th. Alsonso took pole with Vettel in second. This is quite incredible, Alonso went two years without topping qualifying and now took pole twice in a row. This may suggest the Ferrari is improving or could speak of Alonso's skill in the rain.

The big factor is rain. Currently dry weather is predicted. If so, Alonso or Vettel are the only realistic bets, with Hockenheim almost always won from front of the grid. Also, other usual race winners will be held up by Hulkenberg and then have to pass Schumacher, giving the Alonso and Vettel a huge advantage. Vettel may have a number of advantages. At Hockenheim, there is little advantage to starting on either side of the track. Also, one stopping at Hockenheim might be the best strategy, to the disadvantage of Ferrari who struggle with the harder tire. It will be close so live betting might be best. However, with a few advantages and slightly higher odds, Vettel is the better bet. Both drivers have odds of 2.1 (3.00) from StanJames Schumacher would be an outsider bet, usually struggling to keep up with the Red Bull and Ferrari. The Mercedes seems temperamental, such as complete dominance in China and simply falling back from good qualifying in Silverstone. With very high odds of 11/1 (12.00) from 888sport, he might be worth a bet on Hockenheim being a course the Mercedes can deliver pace on.

If it rain then the victory is more open. Alonso seems excellent in the rain so may have an edge over Vettel. Watch Schumacher and Button also, so this may be one for live betting.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 22nd, 00.52 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © nic_r

The 10th Race of 2012, German Grand Prix at Hockenheim

Previous Winners
2011
Nurburgring
2010
Alonso
2009
Nurburgring
2008
Hamilton
2007
Nurburgring
2006
Schumacher
2005
Alonso
2004
Schumacher
2003
Montoya
2002
Schumacher

The German GP alternates each year between Hockenheim and Nurbergring. F1 last visited Hockenheim back in 2010, so there is much less data about past performances than usual. The 2010 race was dominated by Ferrari with Vettel 3rd and the McLarens after him. Alonso and Hamilton have won twice here but no other current driver than Schumucher has been victorious here.

Hockenheim is a high speed course so expect the Mercedes to be strong and Red Bull to be less competitive than usual. The sweeping section of track between turn three and turn four is especially hard upon tires, working to the advantage of Button and Perez who usually get more life out their tires than most drivers. This is the first race at Hockenheim since Pirelli became the tire manufacturer. The tire degradation might mean drivers will spend more time on the harder tire, to the disadvantage of Ferrari who cannot get the hard tire to work well.

Seven of the last eight races have been won from the front row of the grid. Whilst the tire situation might change this it probably is not worth gambling upon. Restricting bets on race winner to the drivers on pole and P2 is recommended. Wait until qualifying has taken place before making bets on victory unless you are confident about who will take P1 and P2 on the grid.

Hamilton looks best for pole position. Having set the fastest time in qualifying an equal number of times as Vettel this season, both look on equal form. However, the Red Bull is slightly hampered by the high speed nature of Hockemheim whilst Hamilton has a good record here. Hamilton has odds of 5/1 (6.00) from William Hill and Vettel has odds of 2/1 (3.00) from Ladbrokes. With double the odds of Vettel, Hamilton is by far better value for money.

For an outsider bet, Perez for a podium might pay off. Both Perez's podiums came at high speed circuits and Perez's speciality of looking after his tires will give him a major edge is tire degradation becomes an important factor. 32/1 (33.00) from Ladbrokes are excellent odds.

Odds above accurate at Friday 20th, 01.12 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © nic_r

Schumacher
                        2012    
Since 2010
Won
0
0
Pole
0
0
Podium
1
1
Top 6
2
13
Top 10
8
31
Last update: Brazil

Season analysis after Korea

Schumacher has looked very promising at many times this season but his Mercedes looks far behind its immediate compeitors currently. During the first half the season Schumacher managed qualified top 4 on six occasions this year. His many retirements meant is could not capitalise on this success. From the second half of the season onwards his Mercedes became far less prone to retirements but also seems to have lost a lot of pace. He is currently struggling to qualify higher than top 10 and despite this generally the Mercedes does not have great race pace. Race wins are definitely out and podiums are almost as unlikely. Both he and Rosberg are struggling for top 6 finishes so focus on top 10 finishes. However, Schumacher rarely has low enough odds for top betting and also his semi-regular retirements means that Schumacher is not good for low odds low pay out betting. On this basis Schumacher is rarely worth betting on. The main exceptions are highspeed and low tempreture courses which suits the Mercedes well. Also, he has managed some very high qualifying positions during wet qualifying, doing far higher than his team mate during the rain.

Click to see live odds for next race.

 

 

Season analysis after Hungary

Schumacher's terrible luck makes his potential difficult to assess. Six retirements in eleven races and incidents in most races he finished means there much less data on Schumacher than most drivers. Aside from the bad luck, Schumacher has sometimes looked impressive. Five times this season he has qualified top four, meaning he has high potential for a podium. He'd have probably won Monoco except for the penalty and mechanical issues. Rosberg has show the Mercades is a race winner car, so a victory for Schumacher this season is certainly possible. However, the Mercedes seems extremely temperamental, going from complete dominance in China to extremely weak in Hungary. Generally, the Mercedes suits high speed courses with low temperatures.

High odds on a high speed course might be worth a risky bet on victory but podiums or top six might better pay off. More finishes may reveal real potential in Schumacher this season. If so, retirements this year, in 2011 and in 2010 will probably ensure he keeps his high odds, making him excellent value for money. For now, however, more money can be made from qualifying than the race. He has qualified top 3 three times this year plus would have been on pole for Monoco except for the penalty. He seems especially good at qualifying in the rain. Betting on Schumacher qualifying top three on a high speed course with low temperatures or during the rain is advised.

This update is out of date, see update from Korea above for current update.

Image © ph-stop