Formula 1 or F1 has one of the largest numbers of followers worldwide of any sport and, in the last decade, the F1 betting market has grown to become extremely popular. In the world of F1 betting, the punter can choose to bet on the outcome of the championship or a single race. In the first format, the backer can predict which driver will win the championship over the course of the 20 Grand Prix calendar, as well as which drivers will finish in the top 6 or in the top 3 at the end of the season. Furthermore, punters can also predict which drivers will finish the championship as first and runner-up.
Online bookmakers such as Betfair offer F1 betting odds that entice punters to predict which driver of a particular team might finish the season above his team-mate, as well as whether a driver and team might achieve the drivers’ and constructors championships’ double.
Like in any other sport, F1 betting odds are shorter for the driver and/or the team deemed to be the favourite, while the odds increase for drivers and teams considered to be the underdogs. For this particular reason, betting odds can fluctuate during the season as far as the predicted champion is concerned – both in terms of drivers and constructors. For example, a team that starts the season with a couple of wins and/or podiums might see its odds slashed while, at the same time, a team that was considered amongst the favourites before the first Grand Prix of the season could see its odds increase after a couple of disappointing performances – the same applies to drivers.
Certain bookmakers offer different options to bet on an individual race, where the punter can predict the fastest driver in the first, second and third practice sessions or, alternatively, which car will be the fastest in qualifying. This market, though, guarantees lower odds as the punter doesn’t back a particular driver but a single team, although betting on who will start on pole is an ever-popular, driver-focused market.
Many more markets are offered for the race itself; punters can back the winner or choose to predict which drivers will finish on the podium, as well as which drivers will finish in the top six. Elsewhere, punters can choose to bet on which drivers will not finish the race as well as which drivers will finish in the top 10, which driver will register the fastest lap of the race and which driver will record the double of attaining pole and then going onto win.
Irrespective of who wins, live betting markets provide plenty of opportunities for eager gamblers. Markets include who will go out of the race next, which car will record the most overtakes, whether there will be a crash, and so on. These odds change almost as quickly as the cars are travelling, so be sure to fall back on prior in-depth analysis of the fallibility of certain teams at different stage of a race, for example, or how a driver might react to pressure.
The world of F1 is changing all the time. The domination of McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari is constantly under threat by other teams and what were once considered surprise results are no longer such a shock to the system. An up to date knowledge of the markets and results will undoubtedly go some way to helping the F1 punter see returns on their investments.
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