Austrian Grand Prix Betting Preview, Expert Tips and Analysis
- Under 16 Classified Finishers - 10/3 with Bet365
- Podium finish: Charles Leclerc - 8/11 with William Hill
- Double points finish: Renault - 2/1 with Bet365
- Winning margin: Under 4sec - 11/10 with Paddy Power
- Lewis Hamilton to ‘win’ Practice Session 1 - EVS with Betfair
There are two outstanding features of the Red Bull Ring, venue for this weekend’s Formula 1 race and the ninth contest of the 2019 season: its picture-perfect setting and its fast sweeping curves make for an exciting Formula 1 betting event.
Last year five cars failed to complete the 90 percent race distance required for a car to be deemed a ‘classified finisher’. 2017 brought us four retirements and 2015 featured six non-classified drivers.
This gives us a conundrum as 2019 has seen an inordinate number of cars and drivers completing races. All but one car went the full race distance in France last weekend, it was the third time this season that 19 cars had completed the race distance – and that matches the tally for the entire 2018 season.
But the uncertainty, allied to a recent run of form, means the unlikely outcomes are over-priced. To quantify that. In 2018 precisely a third of the season’s races (seven of 21) featured less than 16 finishers. Many would simply equate that to a 2/1 shot but the recent run of high finishing numbers (from a far smaller sample size), regardless of the stats at this venue, means you can back the ‘under 16’ scenario at 10/3 with Bet365 this weekend.
If you do go low on finishing numbers you have some aggressive curbs, a liberal dose of grass verging, gravel traps and altitude in your favour. Yes, this circuit is in the mountains and that means an added strain on turbochargers. Slippery grass and gravel traps are good at sending cars sideways and beached.
But can the elements end Mercedes sequence of taking every race in 2019? It’s noteworthy hydraulics and fuel pressure caused both Mercedes to retire from this race last year and under the circumstances I’d not want to be on the German team at a top-priced 1/4 for Unibet to win via Valtteri Bottas or Lewis Hamilton on Sunday.
At the prices Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc looks the best play. Not to win the race, or back each-way (as the firms are only going positions 1-2), but for a podium finish at 8/11 with William Hill. The youngster has qualified and finished third in the last two races (Canada and France) and showed us the Mercedes are beatable when clear of the field in the Bahrain GP only to succumb to a loss of power with the chequered flag in sight.
Double Pointer at the Treble?
Renault did us a turn last week with both cars finishing in a top-10 ‘points paying’ position. Post-podium presentation, the point which bookmakers use to determine a result (similar to a "weighed-in" in horse racing), Daniel Ricciardo was demoted to 11th from 7th.
The French team, like the McLaren cars which they supply engines to, are definitely on the up-and-up and I can find no reason for them not have another strong race here. Of course backing plenty of non-finishers while predicting both Renault cars will complete the race distance and finish in the top-10 is something of a contradiction but, once again, the price appears too big - 2/1 with Bet365- so I have to support the notion.
Lewis Hamilton did disappear off into the distance winning by a huge margin in France last weekend. But this venue, which only re-joined the F1 calendar in 2014, has seen four of its five races won by under 3.5sec and the other was a 5.7sec margin.
This does tie-in with 2019 stats where we have seen plenty of close time gaps between the leading cars: 1.5sec in Baku, 2.6sec in Monaco, 2.9sec in Bahrain, 3.6sec in Canada etc. Consequently you have to side with the narrow margin of victory – under 4sec in this instance – which is backable at 11/10 with Paddy Power and Blacktype.
Lewis to Lay down an Early Marker
Before all this gets underway we do have three practice sessions and all-important qualifying. Lewis Hamilton seems content to set his stall out early these days, topping the time-sheets in the first practice session before allowing others to enjoy their moment in the spotlight. That is what he has done for the past three Grand Prix (France, Canada, Monaco) and four times from seven this year (Baku canceled its first practice session).
Given he has also been the fastest in the opening Austrian GP practice session for the past two seasons, the even-money about him topping Friday morning’s time-sheets looks an outstanding proposition and would be very smart to consider for your F1 betting strategy.
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