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Latest F1 Betting News

Betting on the 2013 drivers championship before the season has started is not recommended. Without knowing which team has the best car it is very difficult to predict. The main information is last year and winter testing. In 2012 the quickest car varied between Red Bull and McLaren, with Ferrari and Lotus behind. Meanwhile Lotus and Ferrari had excellent reliability, Red Bull were okay whilst the McLaren failed mechanically many times. However, it is difficult to judge if this has changed. Since each car will have different fuel loads, the lap times they post in winter testing are not a reliable means of judging strength. Waiting until the championship develops or betting on individual races is recommended instead.

The final test times put Rosberg, Alonso and Hamilton on top of the combined times for Barcelona, reports Fomula1.com. Factoring in estimated fuel loads and it looks like all the top five teams are within about three tenths of each others, reports the the BBC. It looks like it will be a very competitive and varied season but this makes predicting the drivers world championship very difficult.

The most obvious contender will be the Red Bull, primarily based upon their pace of last year. During testing they have rarely set quick times but Red Bull usually try and hide their pace so this proves nothing. Whilst there is no reason to suspect Red Bull will not be very competitive this year, this can only judged by comparison with the other teams who we have more information on. Webber thinks that the Red Bull will not be dominate, reports ESPN so Vettle's odds of 8/5 (2.6) from Paddy Power are not terrible value for money but are probably not the best bet. Meanwhile, Webber's odds are much higher at 20/1 (21.00) from Bet 365 but it is difficult to imagine Webber taking the championship if Vettel is unable to.

Ferrari seem generally pleased with their car. Although it is still slower than the Red Bull, the situations is vastly better than the start of the 2012 season, with Alonso claiming the Ferrari is 200 times better than a year ago, reports ESPN. Given how close Alonso came to victory in 2012 he is a strong contender. His odds of 3/1 (4.00) from Blue Squareare certainly as good as Vettel's. Massa is an interesting outsider. Although his first half of 2012 was terrible, during the second half he actually scored more points than Alonso if every time Massa handed a position to Alonso did not occur. Whilst still very unlikely to win, odds of 66/1 (67.00) from Bet 365 could be worth a small bet.

Despite often having the fastest car in 2012, McLaren do not look currently very strong. They appeared to be slightly behind the pace of the top teams, reports the the BBC [http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/21650532]. They are likely struggle at the start of the season. However, unlike many of the other top teams, they have made a considerable upgrade to their car. As these are tested and tweaked, we can expect the McLaren to improve. The McLaren is a long term car, reports ESPN. If true then avoid betting on Button or Perez until after the first few races. Their odds will likely increase as their current low pace is revealed, giving good odds if they will improve throughout the season.

Lotus surprised many by being so competitive in 2012. Although they should still be competitive for race wins, it appears they are probably not yet quicker than their rivals. Grosjean thinks Lotus are in the top 4 or 5 cars, reports ESPN. Raikkonen will likely get the most out of his car and must be considered a strong contender given his performance last year. His odds of 12/1 from Bet 365 are not bad.

Mercedes appears to the wild card of the season. They had some success in 2012 but had a very weak second half of the season. It was very unexpected for Hamilton and Rosberg to set the fasted times on the last two days of testing, reports Sky Sports. The general consensus is that the Mercedes will have a unexpectedly successful season. Hamilton's odds of 19/2 (10.5) from Betfair are worth a small bet. Rosberg has far higher odds but few rate Rosberg as highly as Hamilton.

The recommended bets are Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton. However, all of this is very speculative. Whilst it can be enjoyable to place a small bet on the championship, it is so much more of a true gamble compared to races where the pace of each team is roughly evident, where past performance at the track is known and the times from free practice or qualifying is known. Avoiding the championship and betting on individual races is recommended.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 10th March, 20.28 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes within three tenths

Betting on the 2013 drivers championship before the season has started is not recommended. Without knowing which team has the best car it is very difficult to predict. The main information is last year and winter testing. In 2012 the quickest car varied between Red Bull and McLaren, with Ferrari and Lotus behind. Meanwhile Lotus and Ferrari had excellent reliability, Red Bull were okay whilst the McLaren failed mechanically many times. However, it is difficult to judge if this has changed. Since each car will have different fuel loads, the lap times they post in winter testing are not a reliable means of judging strength. Waiting until the championship develops or betting on individual races is recommended instead.

The final test times put Rosberg, Alonso and Hamilton on top of the combined times for Barcelona, reports Fomula1.com. Factoring in estimated fuel loads and it looks like all the top five teams are within about three tenths of each others, reports the BBC. It looks like it will be a very competitive and varied season but this makes predicting the drivers world championship very difficult.

The most obvious contender will be the Red Bull, primarily based upon their pace of last year. During testing they have rarely set quick times but Red Bull usually try and hide their pace so this proves nothing. Whilst there is no reason to suspect Red Bull will not be very competitive this year, this can only judged by comparison with the other teams who we have more information on. Webber thinks that the Red Bull will not be dominate, reports ESPN so Vettle's odds of 8/5 (2.6) from Paddy Power are not terrible value for money but are probably not the best bet. Meanwhile, Webber's odds are much higher at 20/1 (21.00) from Bet 365 but it is difficult to imagine Webber taking the championship if Vettel is unable to.

Ferrari seem generally pleased with their car. Although it is still slower than the Red Bull, the situations is vastly better than the start of the 2012 season, with Alonso claiming the Ferrari is 200 times better than a year ago, reports ESPN. Given how close Alonso came to victory in 2012 he is a strong contender. His odds of 3/1 (4.00) from Blue Squareare certainly as good as Vettel's. Massa is an interesting outsider. Although his first half of 2012 was terrible, during the second half he actually scored more points than Alonso if every time Massa handed a position to Alonso did not occur. Whilst still very unlikely to win, odds of 66/1 (67.00) from Bet 365 could be worth a small bet.

Despite often having the fastest car in 2012, McLaren do not look currently very strong. They appeared to be slightly behind the pace of the top teams, reports the BBC. They are likely struggle at the start of the season. However, unlike many of the other top teams, they have made a considerable upgrade to their car. As these are tested and tweaked, we can expect the McLaren to improve. The McLaren is a long term car, reports ESPN. If true then avoid betting on Button or Perez until after the first few races. Their odds will likely increase as their current low pace is revealed, giving good odds if they will improve throughout the season.

Lotus surprised many by being so competitive in 2012. Although they should still be competitive for race wins, it appears they are probably not yet quicker than their rivals. Grosjean thinks Lotus are in the top 4 or 5 cars, reports ESPN. Raikkonen will likely get the most out of his car and must be considered a strong contender given his performance last year. His odds of 12/1 from Bet 365 are not bad.

Mercedes appears to the wild card of the season. They had some success in 2012 but had a very weak second half of the season. It was very unexpected for Hamilton and Rosberg to set the fasted times on the last two days of testing, reports Sky Sports. The general consensus is that the Mercedes will have a unexpectedly successful season. Hamilton's odds of 19/2 (10.5) from Betfair are worth a small bet. Rosberg has far higher odds but few rate Rosberg as highly as Hamilton.

The recommended bets are Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton. However, all of this is very speculative. Whilst it can be enjoyable to place a small bet on the championship, it is so much more of a true gamble compared to races where the pace of each team is roughly evident, where past performance at the track is known and the times from free practice or qualifying is known. Avoiding the championship and betting on individual races is recommended.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 10th March, 20.28 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

2013 Driver Lineup Finalised

The driver line up took some time to finalise. Force India appeared to have the final seat left on the grid. They had a choice between Adrian Sutil or Jules Bianchi. Adrian Sutil previously raced for Force India before loosing out to Nico Hulkenburg in 2011, leaving him without a drive. Jules Bianchi meanwhile was a long term test driver for Force India. The team eventually picked Sutil, leaving Bianchi out of a race seat. Meanwhile, Luiz Razia was set to drive for Marussia but his sponsorship money was not forthcoming. Marussia decided to drop him in favour of Bianchi, completing the field for 2013.

2013 now sees the biggest change in lineup since 2010. With Schumacher leaving and Hamilton joining Mercedes, this left a seat free at McLaren. Perez took it, leaving his Sauber to be filled by Nico Hulkenburg who moved from Force India. Kobayashi retires, replaced by Gutierrez and Senna retires, replaced by Bottas.

2013 Driver Lineup
Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel
Mark Webber
McLaren
Jenson Button
Sergio Pérez [Moved from Sauber]
Ferrari
Fernando Alonso
Felipe Massa
Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen
Romain Grosjean
Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton [Moved from McLaren]
Nico Rosberg
Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg [Moved from Force India]
Esteban Gutiérrez [New addition]
Force India
Paul di Resta
Adrian Sutil [New addition]
Williams
Pastor Maldonado
Valtteri Bottas [New Addition]
Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo
Jean-Éric Vergne
Catherham
Charles Pic
Giedo Van Der Garde
Marussia
Jules Bianchi
Max Chilton

Retiring Drivers
Mercedes
Micheal Schumacher
Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi
Williams
Bruno Senna
Catherham
Vitaly Petrov
Heikki Kovalainen
Marussia
Timo Glock
HRT
Narain Karthikeyan
Pedro de la rosa

Test times, especially at the first test, usually provide little useful information because the teams are usually testing for reliability and long distance runs rather than single lap pace. The only obvious conclusion from this first testing is that no team has introduced a radical design that will dominate the season in the manner of Brawn in 2009.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Brazil Pre-Race Analysis

Heavy rain on championship deciding race
Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Hamilton
2nd
Button
3rd
Webber
4th
Vettel
5th
Massa
6th
Hulkenberg
7th
Alonso
8th
Raikkonen
9th
Rosberg
10th
di Resta
11th
Senna
12th
Perez
13th
Schumacher
14th
Kobayashi
15th
Recciardo
16th
Maldonado*
17th
Vergne
18th
Grosjean
*Maldonado – 10 place penalty.
Rain is currently predicted (http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/3448439) though the weather system of Interlagos is notoriously unpredictable. Assuming it is a wet race then making firm predictions is extremely difficult; anyone could spin off, anyone could be caught on the wrong tire in changing conditions or anyone could see their competitors gain a free pitstop due to the safety car. However, there are a few key factors that could help guess correctly.

In previous years Interlagos has been a Red Bull hunting ground. Webber won in 2009 and 2011 whilst coming 2nd in 2010. Vettel won in 2010, came 2nd in 2011 and 4th in 2009 (having qualified 16th). Whilst they were both beaten by the McLarens it is possible that Red Bull went for a wet weather setup whilst McLaren were more balanced on the setup. This would make sense since a wet race is probably the only chance Vettel has of losing the championship so Red Bull would compensate with a wet weather setup. Meanwhile, earlier in the season the McLaren was extremely poor in wet conditions. Since there has not been a wet race since Germany it is possible this may not be true due to developments of the car. Whilst there are no certainties, the Red Bulls look substantially stronger for victory than the McLarens providing there is substantial rain. Vettel's odds of 8/1 (9.00) from Betfair are excellent value for money. Given the uncertainty of a wet race, a small back up bet on Webber at odds of 11/1 (12.00) from Bet 365 is recommended.

The big uncertainty is Alonso. The Ferrari is good in wet conditions but not truly dominant. His victory in Malaysia involved much skill but also a level of luck. Having never won at Interlagos before and being quite far down the field it is difficult to imagine him beating the Red Bulls. Whilst not impossible, higher odds than those Vettel has would be needed to make Alonso good value for money yet he has near comparable odds of 9/1 (10.00) from SkyBet. Keep a close eye on him for live betting but currently he is not good value for money.

Massa could have an impressive race. The Ferrari does well in the wet, Massa has won here twice previously, he is racing almost as well as Alonso currently and had qualified higher. A win would be unlikely, having not won in other two years and probably having to move aside for Alonso. A podium might be possible and odds of 5/1 (6.00) from Paddy Power is good value for money, even given the possibility having having to hand it to Alonso.

As for the championship, Alonso has odds of 4.1 (5.00) to win from Bet 365 whilst having odds of 5/4 (2.25) for a podium from Bet 365. Since Alonso has to take a podium to win the championship reguardless of what happens to Vettel, betting on a podium is probably wiser if you think there is a realistic change of Alonso being crowned world drivers champion.

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Odds above accurate at Sunday 25th, 12.59 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © Dell's

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Brazil Pre-Qualifying Analysis

Storm clouds loom over Interlagos
FP3 Results
1st
Button
2nd
Vettel
3rd
Webber
4th
Hamilton
5th
Grosjean
6th
di Resta
7th
Hulkenberg
8th
Alonso
9th
Maldonado
10th
Massa
11th
Senna
12th
Rosberg
13th
Perez
14th
Kobayashi
15th
Schumacher
16th
Ricciardo
17th
Vergne
18th
Petrov
The rain is on the horizon but with no one certain if it arrive in time for qualifying this could be the most unpredictable battle for pole this season. The usual safe bets are today far from safe but this opens opportunities for those willing to make risky bets.

Hamilton and Vettel are joint favourites to win qualifying, with odds of 47/25 (2.88) from Blue Square and 47/25 (2.88) from SkyBet respectively. Neither of these odds are exceptional value for money. Button was two tenths quicker than Hamilton yet only has odds of 33/10 (4.30) from Bet 365whilst Webber was only a tenth slower than Vettel yet has odds of 15.0 from Bet 365. The usual two contenders for pole, Vettel and Hamilton have lowers odds yet do not look particularly stronger than the competitors. With four drivers being so close there is very little to choose between them and none can be recommended.

The key issue is the rain, with the possibility of rain towards the end of qualifying. If so this will likely change everything. However, the last race with rain was Germany and the cars have developed massively since them. However, back then the McLarens were very weak in the rain whilst Alonso was masterful. On this basis, unless you wait until qualifying is taking place before betting, the McLaren is best avoided. Meanwhile, Alonso's odds of 21/1 (22.00) from Betfair are excellent value for money. This bet would be purely dependent upon the rain and the hope that the comparitive speed in the rain will not have changed since Silverstone. Since both of these possibilities are reasonable possibilities a small bet on Alonso is worthwhile.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 24th, 15.19GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © Leandro's World Tour

Friday, 23 November 2012

Esteban Gutierrez to join Sauber

Esteban Gutierrez has been confirmed to race with Sauber for 2013 reports ESPN . Also, Pic has now moved to Caterham in a suprise move reports Autosport.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

USA Pre-Race Analysis

Championship close to being resolved
Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Vettel
2nd
Hamilton
3rd
Webber
4th
Raikkonen
5th
Schumacher
6th
Hulkenberg
7th
Alonso
8th
Grosjean*
9th
Maldonado
10th
Senna
11th
Massa*
12th
Button
13th
di Resta
14th
Vergne
15th
Perez
16th
Kobayashi
17th
Rosberg
18th
Ricciardo
*Massa– 5 place penalty.
*Grosjean – 5 place penalty.
Vettel's typical win is a controlled race from pole and this looks easier than normal, largely due to the first corner. The left side of the track vastly lacks grip and some estimate that it will be a whole second slower at the race start. If so, Vettel has little to fear from Hamilton or Raikkonen. Behind Vettel on the right side of the grid is Webber who is notorious for his slow starts and Schumacher who is too far back to challenge. Also, there are great fears about a first corner crash but Vettel will be the one driver likely to escape this. By contrast, slow starts by Hamilton, Webber and Raikkonen will make them prime targets if a crash develops behind them. Vettel's odds of 11/20 (1.55) from Betfair are good value for money. With so much uncertainty over the race betting any on other driver for race winner is a true gamble. However, of all the front runners Raikkonen has the highest odds at 31/1 (32.00) from Betfair, the Lotus usually does better during the race and likes warm temperatures so is best for a small back up bet.

Due to the issues over the race start and first corner there is much more uncertainty compared to a normal race. On this basis betting heavily is not advised. However, assuming they make it through the first corner then a few drivers look reasonably placed. For the above reasons Raikkonen will probably have a good race and a podium looks reasonable at 5/4 (2.25) from Paddy Power. Schumacher might also do well, starting on the clean side of the track might leave him 3rd or even 2nd going into the first corner. The high speed of his Mercedes should help him avoid being overtaken in the DRS zone on the long straight. Due to the Mercedes struggling with tire degredation he might have to stop an extra time, ruling out a podium position. Top 6 at 69/50 (2.38) from Blue Square is good value for money. Equally, with the Lotus running well and being on the clean side of the track, Grosjean at 2/1 (3.00) from SkyBet is good for a top 6 bet [edit: Massa has changed his gearbox giving him a five place penalty. This moves Grosjean onto the dirty side of the track so he is less likely to do well].

One riskier strategy is to count on a first corner incident. Assuming the accident comes in the midfeild then look to drivers who have qualified about 15th or lower. Their current odds are far higher than what they are worth if all drivers from 15th and back are in 10th position and back after the first corner. Substantial money could be made from top ten and top six finishes with some lucky early betting.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 18th, 14.19GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © John Rees

Race winner is probably the most popular bet but not necessarily the best. Although the odds are usually higher than other bets race, betting on the winner is much more specific, only paying off if the car ends in one specific position unlike bets on podium, top six or top ten. This specificity means that all the relevant factors have far more influence; being confident that a driver will finish in 4th position rather than 5th does not matter when betting on top six but being confident a car will finish 1st rather than 2nd is precisely what betting on race winner is all about. Betting on race winner is much more of a classic gamble than the safer lower odds betting like top 6 or top 10. Some people prefer the gamble, some people prefer safer lower pay off betting but mixing the two is the best.

Generally, most race victories come from 3rd position or higher. Try and get a bet upon each of the top three qualifiers for that race. Aim to break even if one or maybe two of the top 3 drivers wins and then place a higher bet upon which of the top three you think will win or has the best odds. For example, at Silverstone 2012 Alonso was on poll with 2/1 (3.00) for victory, Webber second at 5/1 (6.00) and Schumacher third at 11/1 (12.0). If you put £10 on each then an Alonso win sees you break even, Webber makes you £40 and Schumacher pays off a handsome £120. Details of such bets will be found on the main blog after qualifying. Some courses vary from the norm, with some courses only seeing victories from 1st or 2nd on the grid. Details for specific courses can be found on the stats page. Also, some drivers only win from high qualifying positions whereas other drivers sometimes win from much further down the field. Details from the last decade can be found on the pre-weekend blog post. Finally, some drivers prefer certain tracks and this will be noted in the pre-weekend blog post.

Prior to the qualifying and the practice sessions drivers will have higher odds than after the grid order is known. Taking advantage of this uncertainty is advised in limited quantities. Consider how a driver has performed here before and consider his current form. Also, factor in which courses suit which cars. All this is discussed on the pre-weekend blog post. Placing a small amount of money on a few drivers who the statistics favour or who have unreasonably low odds is wise. If these drivers then qualify badly little money is lost but if one ends up on poll you have money on him at far higher odds than are available after qualifying.

After such an uncertain season Red Bull appear to have finally gained the mechanical advantage they enjoyed in 2010 and 2011. Vettel's current form looks reminiscent of 2011 and arguably is currently stronger. He has never won for races in a row like he did between Singapore and Korea whilst his podium finish from last in Abu Dhabi was extremely impressive. However, this means that Vettel usually has very low odds for victory and so large amounts have to be bet to see a substantial profit.

Webber is unlikely to take any more victories this season. Although looking as strong as Vettel in qualifying, he still has the weaker starts and even were he beating Vettel there is a high chance he would have to move aside and give Vettel the victory. Podium positions or even pole position is wiser for Webber.

Although the McLarens have had two periods when they appeared strongest during the season but currently are generally behind the McLarens. Hamilton was dominant in Abu Dhabi so race victories are not impossible but with such reliability issues generally the McLaren is not worth betting on heavily. Button is generally only worth betting on in wet weather as Hamilton usually is quicker in both qualifying and the race during dry weather conditions.

Alonso has not had a truly competitive car arguably all season. His victories this year have usually come from qualifying high due to the rain or because some competitors crashed out when he qualifies relatively low in the dry. Only bet on Alonso for races where rain is likely though he is certainly one to watch for live betting. He usually has better race pace than his qualifying pace so it is often best to wait until after qualifying to get higher odds.

Although there were other race winners earlier in the season, such outsider victories are very unlikely. The Mercedes has completely lost its pace, Maldonado can sometimes put in an impressive qualifying performance but the Williams can rarely keep up during the race. The Sauber has challenged for victory on some occasions but Perez seems to have currently completely lost his controlled style with numerous racing incidents lately. Even Raikkonen, after his victory is Abu Dhabi, is unlikely to win again. Although he had an extremely strong middle season, except for Abu Dhabi he had never finished higher than 5th in the last six races. Only on warmer circuits than are twisty in the manner similar to street circuits will the Lotus likely be competitive.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

USA Pre-Qualifying Analysis

F1 returns to America

Free Practice Results
        FP1
FP2
1st
Vettel
Vettel
2nd
Hamilton
Webber
3rd
Alonso
Alonso
4th
Button
Hamilton
5th
Webber
Button
6th
Massa
Massa
7th
Hulkenberg
Rosberg
8th
Kobayashi
Senna
9th
Rosberg
Kobayashi
10th
Perez
Schumacher
11th
di Resta
Raikkonen
12th
Ricciardo
Maldonado
13th
Vergne
Grosjean
14th
Raikkonen
Perez
15th
Grosjean
Ricciardo
16th
Maldonado
Vergne
17th
Schumacher
Hulkenberg
18th
Pic
di Resta
Although Formula 1 is visiting a new circuit the situation looks very familiar. Vettel is quickest in both free practise sessions and over half a second quicker to the nearest competitor in both. On the surface it looks like an easy victory for Vettel. The Red Bull is currently massively quick and COTA's long sweeping corners suit's Red Bull. However, cautions is advised. Being a new circuit, COTA could throw up some unexpected challenges. Firstly, the first corner is a blind up hill left hand turn. The possibility of a substantial a first corner crash is very real. Secondly, the high heat of Austin might mean tire degradation play a major role during the race. Finally, as highlighted by multiple spins during free practise, the track still lacks grip compared to most courses. Despite the speed of the Red Bull all these factors make victory for any driver is even more uncertain than usual. With all these unknown factors betting large amounts at Austin is not advised.

All this uncertainly make qualifying more important for betting. With the Red Bulls looking so strong it seems unlikely that any other car could beat them in qualifying. Vettel is favorite for pole position with odds of (1.49) from Betfair. However, Webber has odds of 8/1 (9.00) from Betfair which is much better value for money. Over the last four races since since the Red Bull became so dominant, both drivers has been near equal at qualifying. Each race they have qualified next to one another and twice Vettel was in front whilst twice Webber was in front. Judging by those four races there is little reason to favour one driver over the over. Betting on both is advised, try to break even on Vettel and then make profit on Webber. If betting £10 then place £7 on Vettel and £3 on Webber. You make 43p profit is Vettel take pole, £17 if Webber takes pole and lose £10 someone beats them. With Hamilton over a second off the pace in FP2 and Alonso having not taken a dry weather pole in many years this is as safe a bet as you'll likely find this weekend.

Odds above accurate at Friday 17th, 02:50 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © mrlaugh