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A Beginner’s Guide to Formula 1 Betting

Formula 1 is a hugely exciting sport and it brings with it an amazing range of betting opportunities. A typical race weekend consists of practice, qualifying, and the race itself, and fans are able to bet on all of these and take advantage of a huge range of betting markets.  

When it comes to betting on F1, a few things need to be understood. First, it is essential to understand the structure of the sport. Secondly, it is necessary to understand the many different betting markets available. Lastly, it is important to understand what to research before placing bets in order to have the best chance of success. Here we shall cover all of these so that you can start betting on F1 straightaway.  

Formula 1 Basics 

A number of teams take part in F1, currently 11, and each team has two cars. On a race weekend, the team has practice sessions, three qualifying rounds, and then the race itself. The race is of course the most important part with drivers earning points for finishing in the top ten places. At the end of the season, the driver with the most points win.  
The weekend starts with two 90-minute practice sessions, which is a fantastic opportunity to gather information about the drivers and their cars. The second practice session is usually more indicative of the race, and it is important to follow it to place well-informed bets.  
There is a third practice session before the first qualifying session. Qualifying is a three-stage knockout, with the ten fastest cars competing in the third round to establish their grid positions. This is the first stage that most people will bet on, with markets available for pole position. Finally, the race comes, and this is where most betting action happens.  

Popular Formula 1 Betting Markets 

There are a huge number of betting markets available for any given race, but some of them are more popular than others. There are also markets that deal with the season as a whole, and these also present some exciting opportunities.  

Drivers’ Championship  

This is a simple bet on which driver will win the entire season. It will be determined by which driver has the most points at the season end, and often some very generous odds are available in the early stages of the season.  

Constructors Championship  

This is a bet on which team will win the Constructors’ Championship. It is awarded to the team that collects the most points between their two drivers across the entire season.  

Race Winner  

This is the most straightforward bet on a single race. It is simply a bet on which of the drivers will win. It is a great place to start for those who are new to F1 betting and it can offer some excellent returns. 

Head to Head 

This type of bet pairs two drivers and you can bet on which of them will finish in a higher position. Often it is a more interesting bet than Race Winner, especially when there is a clear favourite to win the race.  

Pole Position 

This bet actually refers to the qualifying rounds. It is a bet on which driver will be starting the race in the first grid position (pole position). It is decided by which driver finishes the final qualifying session with the fastest lap time. Very often, this gives the driver a significant advantage when it comes to the actual race.  

Qualification Winning Team 

Similar to the Pole Position bet, this is a bet on which of the teams rather than drivers will win qualification and achieve pole position. If you think that both drivers in a team look capable, then it is a way of covering either outcome.  

Qualification Winning Margin 

This is a bet on what margin a driver will win qualifying by. It is possible for it to be just a few thousands of a second, so it can be a truly exciting market.  

Fastest Lap  

This is a bet on which of the drivers will complete the fastest lap during a race. The fastest lap can be set at any time during a race, and even if the driver doesn’t finish the race, it is still possible for them to claim the fastest lap.  

Top 3 Finish 

This is a bet on a driver to finish in the top three. You can bet on any driver taking part in the race, and obviously, there will be some long odds available on the underdogs. You may also find markets allowing you to bet on which exact position a driver may finish in, such as third.  

First Driver/Team Retirement 

This is a bet on which of the drivers or teams will be the first to retire from a race. Of course, it is possible that no drivers will retire, but the bet still presents another opportunity to win. 

Race Winning Margin 

This is a bet on the margin that a driver will win a race by. If you believe that a driver is likely to be miles ahead, then you could bet on a big margin, conversely, you could bet on a very small margin if you think the race will be close.  

Grid Position of Winner 

This is a bet on which grid position you think the eventual winner of the race will start from. For example, you may believe that the driver in pole position will go on to win the race.  

Winning Nationality 

This is a bet on the nationality of the driver who will win a race. Of course, if there are multiple drivers of the same nationality, then there are more chances of winning the bet.  

What to Look for When Betting on Formula 1 

One of the great things about betting on Formula 1 is that it is possible to gather a huge amount of information before every race. The practice and qualifying sessions give you a direct insight into how the drivers and cars are performing, and by making careful observations, you should be able to place more bets that are successful.  


As with any sport, it is well worth looking up detailed statistics before placing a bet on a Formula 1 race. Small details can make a huge difference and it is good to build up detailed background knowledge. The good news is that you don’t have to look far. On the statistics section of the Sports site, you will find a huge amount of information about the drivers and teams going back well over a decade.  


You can also look into how drivers have performed on certain tracks in the past. Some drivers perform consistently well or poorly round certain circuits and it is very easy to look up results from previous years for each track. At the same time, you can begin to look for patterns in the results or precedents, such as if a driver has ever managed to win on a track starting lower than 11th position on the grid. It will take a bit of time for you to build up this knowledge, but it does not take long to look facts up and it is worth making the effort to do so.  


Ahead of a race, you can look to the press to see what journalists are predicting. The newspapers are an excellent source of information and experienced journalists will often be able to provide helpful insights and may have knowledge that others do not. You can also read interviews with the drivers to see how they feel about the upcoming race and try to gauge their confidence.  


The weather can have a massive impact on Formula 1 races and rain has caused some of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. For example, the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix took place in stormy weather that made track conditions very difficult. It resulted in the Jordan team’s first ever race win, and they even finished in first and second.  
You can look into how drivers and cars have performed in wet conditions in the past. It is worth trying to find more recent results, as the cars and tyres change from season to season, and results from five years ago may not provide much insight into how the more modern cars and tyres will perform.  

Grid Position 

It is obvious that a driver’s starting position will have a direct impact on their chances. However, this is more important at some tracks than at others. For example, the Monaco circuit is well known for its twists and bends, which make it very difficult for drivers to overtake, meaning that a front grid position is a huge advantage. However, tracks like the Canadian Grand Prix give drivers the chance to overtake on almost every corner, so they will have the opportunity to work their way up from the back of the pack.  

Lap Times 

Be sure to keep an eye on the drivers’ lap times during their practice sessions. It will give you an idea of how the car is performing, the pace of the track, and the driver’s condition. Furthermore, if there is a mechanical fault or crash during practice, then it could have a negative effect on the race. However, you can use the practice times as a basis for bets on qualifying. 


Each team’s cars will perform differently in different conditions. It is worth trying to observe how the cars are performing on straight tracks, bends, wet or dry tracks, and so on. In the early stages of a season, there will not be much information to go on, especially as the cars change nearly every year. However, you should be able to get an idea of things after a few races.  

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