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How To Bet On Formula One

Betting on F1 racing can largely be considered a niche market. But with dozens of F1 betting markets available and access to cutting edge statistical analysis, there is any number of ways to approach F1 betting. Our detailed F1 betting guide will show you how to enhance your chances betting on F1 this season.

Betting On F1 Racing: An Introduction

Formula One is the pinnacle of Motorsport, featuring the world’s best single-seater drivers in the most technologically-advanced and fastest cars. Governed by the Federation Internationale de Automobile (FIA), the FIA Formula One World Championship has been the premier racing series since its debut season in 1950.


The F1 Championship
F1 Championship Schedule
F1 History
F1 Betting Explained
F1 Betting Strategies
F1 Bookmakers
F1 Live Streaming
How To Bet On F1: Summary

The F1 Championship

In its current capacity, 11 teams made up of two cars participate in 21 Grand Prix across the globe. On a race weekend, teams will take part in three Free Practice sessions, a F1 Qualifying format – made up of three parts – and the Race.

The Race is the most important part of Formula One, with the Formula 1 points system awarding drivers for the highest finishing position. Currently, finishing first will earn you 25 Formula 1 points per race,18 points for a second-place finish and 15 points for finishing third on the podium. Formula 1 points scoring reduces gradually until 10th place.

These accumulated points across each race weekend are then totally at the end of the season, with the drivers ranked in the Formula 1 points standings. The driver which finishes the season with the most amounts of points is named as the FIA Formula One World Drivers Champion.

Let’s now consider the schedule of a typical F1 Grand Prix race weekend. A Formula One race is very different to most sporting contests. Football, rugby, cricket, tennis and many other popular sports are all one-versus-one affairs and there are only three possible outcomes: a win for either side or a draw.

But in F1 racing 20 competitors line up for each race, which means there are a staggering 2,432,902,008,176,640,000 different combinations of finishing results for a race. That can offer opportunities for gamblers, but the sheer complexity of this fast-paced and fast-changing sport can also be a headache.


The track action begins with two 90-minute practice sessions on Friday (Thursday in Monaco). These count for nothing for the competitors and are best avoided from a betting point of view, but in terms of what they can teach you about the performance of each car and driver they are very valuable.

However you should always keep in mind that as each car’s fuel level and therefore weight is unknown, there is always a degree of uncertainty over the performance being seen. Some teams habitually run further off their pace in the first practice sessions – Williams usually do, for example.

The second practice session is usually the most revealing as by this point the track surface has been cleaned up by cars running on it and the build-up of rubber means the lap times are becoming more representative of car performance. This is normally the first time we see teams using the softer of the two available tyre compounds. Keep an eye on these lap times, as they indicate how drivers will perform in the all-important qualifying session which decides the grid for the race.

In a typical second practice session the drivers will spend the second half doing a longer run on their tyres to simulate race conditions. Anyone whose tyre performance drops off too quickly will find themselves having to make more pit stops in the race.


Drivers get another hour of practice on Saturday morning before qualifying begins. It’s always worth checking out the weather forecast for qualifying, as rain will make conditions more unpredictable. Some drivers can always be relied upon to perform better or worse in the rain, and cars which have more downforce become much more competitive.

Qualifying is run as a three-stage knockout. Depending on how many cars are entered, a group of the slowest drivers are eliminated in Q1, and again in Q2, leaving a ten-car shoot-out for the top places.

Although the extent to which teams ‘sandbag’ in practice to hide their true pace is often exaggerated, by qualifying the teams will be wringing every last bit of performance out of their engines and drivetrains as thousandths of a second can be the difference between different places on the grid.

A great market to look at during qualifying are the odds for pole position. By this stage you would have had plenty of opportunity to see a car and teams performance at the circuit during free practice and should have some good insight on who could potentially take front of the grid.

The Race

A grand prix is run to a minimum distance of 305 kilometres with a maximum time limit of two hours (not counting ‘red flag’ race suspensions).

Races can be decided at the start, as whoever leads the field at the end of lap one has the benefit of a clear track in front of them. Formula One cars are highly dependent on their aerodynamic wings to generate downforce and grip: running in clear air allows them to work best.

In the event of an incident on track the Safety Car may be sent on track or a Virtual Safety Car period used. This is much more likely to happen on tight, enclosed street circuits such as Monaco and Singapore. It tends to mix up the running order, helping some drivers and hindering others, and can lead to spectacular changes in fortune – such as Lewis Hamilton shock defeat in Monaco during the 2015 season.

Sunday is where the knowledge gleaned from Friday practice comes into pay. A team may lock out the front row of the grid in qualifying but if their tyre life is poor they’re unlikely to win – this was a common problem for Mercedes a few years back. Paying attention to the whole weekend and looking at team strategy throughout the weekend can pay dividends for the F1 gambler.

F1 Championship Schedule

The 2016 Formula One season is the longest in recorded history with 21 races on the calendar. The 11 teams and manufacturers travel around the globe to compete in the worlds top racing events across four continents.

Starting in March, the traditional season opener begins at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia. This race, which replaced Adelaide as Australia’s Grand Prix, has started each of the last 20 Formula One seasons – apart from in 2006 and 2010.

The season continues in the Middle East with the Bahrain Grand Prix. Originally one of the least-enjoyable race weekends, the transition to a twilight race in 2014 has boosted fanfare to become a key part of the Formula 1 2016 calendar.

The third race of the season is based in Shanghai, China before a quick turnaround for Sochi, Russia. The F1 season format continued into western Europe with the Spanish Grand Prix. Based in Catalunya, the teams are well versed with the layout of the track, with the circuit regularly used during off-season testing.

In July, the teams travel to Silverstone – the oldest continuously staged F1 race alongside Monza, Italy heading back to 1948 – and the home of the British Grand Prix. From there, the paddock transcend to Budapest, Hungary with the German Grand Prix immediately following.The Jewel in the Crown race follows with a trip to the streets of Monte-Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix, followed up by the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal – two of the most exciting races for fans and supporters. The European Grand Prix trails, with the inaugural trip to Baku, Azerbaijan before heading to Austria.

After a four-week mid-season break, in which teams are permitted to develop and improve the cars for the second-half of the campaign, the racing calendar returns with the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. A legendary racing facility, Spa has historically been the ground for some of the sport’s most iconic moments, including the 13-car pile-up at the rain soaked 1998 event. One of the most gruelling circuits on offer, Belgium is a classic race weekend.

Following is another mainstay of the globe-trotting sport; Monza. Despite large safety alterations to the original oval circuit, the heritage and history of the track remains. Additionally, the Italian fans emerge in their thousands in support of the facing prancing horse Ferrari.

Heading into the business-end of the campaign, the Championship returns to Asia for the Singapore Grand Prix. Returning to the calendar for the first time in 37 years in 2008, this event was created as the first-ever night race to coincide with European television times. Staying in Asia, the Malaysian Grand Prix follows – a circuit known for its microclimate and inclement weather.

Suzuka, Japan is the location for race 17. A old-school circuit loved by drivers and fans alike, the figure-of-eight track layout is unique to the sport. High-speed straights combined with a twisty, challenging opening corners results in an exhilarating race start for the drivers.

After years of discontent with viewers and crowds in north America, Formula One appears to have finally settled at its home in Austin, Texas for the United States event. A well-designed track has been favourably received by supporters, however gate receipts dropped last year following the reintroduction of the Mexican Grand Prix, arranged for the following fortnight.

Bolstered by the support of Mexico’s Sergio Perez of Force India, the 2015 event proved to be a real success with a number of impressive overtakes and much-praise for the track finish through a tight stadium section.

The penultimate race of the 2016 season will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Interlagos circuit has undulating elevation and features some of the most passionate supporters in motorsport. With just two Brazilian drivers on the grid, the home faithful offer their backing to Williams driver Felipe Massa and Sauber youngster Felipe Nasr.

The season showdown – the calendar finale since 2009 – is based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The track became the first-ever day-night race in its inception, with the 5pm local-time start meaning floodlights are used to illuminate the circuit. Fireworks are set off at the race finish to celebrate the crowning of the Formula One champion and to celebrate the completion of the F1 season.

F1 History

Formula One has been the premier single-seater motorsport competition for 66 years since the maiden season in 1950. During this period, legends, memories and records have been created.

Giuseppe Farina was the first F1 World Champion, with Italy’s Alberto Ascari the first multiple World Champion following title success in 1952 and 1953. The next four drivers’ titles were won by iconic Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio – a five-time title winner – with 1958 marking the first season with a British champion through Mike Hawthorn.

There have been 16 multiple World Champions, with Michael Schumacher topping the leaderboard with seven titles to his name, making him three clear of the closest challenger in Formula 1’s history of winners. The German driver secured two Championships with Benetton before making the move to Ferrari in 1996 to aid a change of fortune for the Italian outfit.

Following the Millennium, Schumacher began an era of dominance in the sport with a record haul of five successive Championship victories. Third on the Formula 1 race winners’ list with four titles to his name is Frenchman Alain Prost, perennial rival of iconic Brazilian pilot Ayrton Prost.

The former McLaren, Renault, Ferrari and Williams driver lifted the Championship in 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1993. In more recent times, this total was matched by Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull, who won consecutive titles between 2010 and 2013.

In terms of constructor success, Ferrari have participated in every World Championship since 1950, having featured in over 900 Grand Prix. The Italian team have also won the most Constructor’s Championships, 15. Mercedes returned to the grid in 2010 following a 45-year absence but regular mainstays include McLaren – debutant in 1966 – and Williams, who first appeared an F1 event in 1978.
The United Kingdom is the most successful of all nationalities, with 16 World Championships, with Germany trailing by six – largely due to the success of Schumacher and Vettel since 2000.

F1 Betting Explained

There are numerous markets on offer if you which to delve into Formula One betting, the key area of which is Outright Betting. Outright Betting is a bet placed over the course of a whole season, rather than an individual event. In other sports, Outright Betting is typically organised by the punter ahead of the season start. However, due to Formula One’s ever-changing stylistics in form, pace and confidence, this can be placed throughout the campaign.

F1 Drivers Championship Odds

A punter can bet on which driver will win the 2016 Drivers’ Championship. As mentioned previously, this is awarded to the driver which accumulates the most amount of points for race finishes throughout the course of the year. If a bet is placed on the correct driver, the bet is won.

F1 Constructors’ Championship Odds

You can also bet on the 2016 Constructors’ Championship. Comparable in nature, this title is awarded to the team which finished with the most points cumulatively with their two drivers after a full season. If a bettor correctly selects the team which finishes first in the overall rankings, they will win the bet.

F1 Any Race Podium Finish Odds

Narrowing the briefing, on offer is also the chance to bet on any driver to win a race in 2016, and also to finish on the podium. Should the driver selected either finish any race first in the standings, or cross the line in the top-three positions, the better will successfully win their bet.

Driver vs Driver Match Bets

Elsewhere, there is also the option to bet on inter-team rivalries. In this format, the punter is given two options: Driver A or Driver B. The outcome will be decided by whichever driver finishes higher in the official Formula One standings at the end of the 2016 season. This is on offer for all teams throughout the grid, from the title-challenging Mercedes all the way back to the Manor Racing duo of Ryo Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein.

F1 Race Winner Odds

For the race event, there several betting markets available across multiple bookmakers. The most popular of these is race winner, pole position, fastest lap, podium placing and safety car. The race winner in Formula One is decided by which driver finishes the race – owing to the completion of a prescribed number of laps – and crosses the finish line ahead of the rest of the field in the fastest time.

Pole Position Odds

Pole position is decided on Saturday afternoon before race day. In the hour-long event, the drivers are tasked with setting their best one-lap time in order to escape elimination. F1 Qualifying rules state the driver which finishes Qualifying Session 3 with the fastest time once all laps have been completed and the 12-minute period is over is awarded pole position, meaning they will start the race in first place on the grid. On certain tracks, this position is a significant advantage.

Fastest Lap Odds

To bet on the fastest lap, punters must select which driver will complete the quickest lap during the race. It can be set at any time during the race, with the driver not needing to complete the session for them to be achieve this non-points-scoring prize.

Top 3 Finish

The top-three finishers in every race event celebrate their achievements on the rostrum by being handed a trophy, a bottle of champagne and a significant points haul. You can bet on any driver on the grid to achieve a podium finish, with the less likely drivers handed longer odds compared to the more traditional frontrunners.

Will A Safety Car Appear?

The final option available out of the most popular betting markets is on the appearance of a safety car during the Grand Prix. For this, a punter is given only a yes or no option to select from.

F1 Betting Strategies

If you’re aiming to bet on Formula One, there are a number of different techniques and methods which you should utilise in order to improve your understanding of the sports. This in turn should promote your ability to spot solid odds for the outcome of specific events or races.

Use F1 Stats

Firstly, it is important to delve into the statistics of what is a largely data-driven sport. Minute details can have a profound impact on the outcome of any race or driver’s performance, so background knowledge on the race favourites will boost your ability to pick well.

To enhance your F1 statistical analysis, here are our top 5 sites for F1 stats:

Driver Track Preferences

Endowed information on upcoming race circuits and whether a certain driver favours that track is vital to take into account ahead of a race weekend. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the history of the sport and the records which currently stand.

For example, no driver has won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza after starting lower than 11th position on the grid.

Read Race Previews

Read previews and F1 betting tips by journalists and experts in the build up to Formula One weekends. They often have useful F1 news and inside knowledge and regularly gauge and divulge the morale emitting from teams heading to upcoming races. Take this insider information into account as part of your overall research before making any selection.

Take Note Of The Weather

The weather can play a huge roll in the outcome of a Grand Prix. Falling rain has produced some of the most infamous racing incidents in the sport’s history, and caused some shock race F1 results in the outcome.

An example of this can be seen in the iconic 1998 Belgian Grand Prix, with tempestuous weather causing havoc on the track, which ended with the Jordan team recording their maiden race victory, and a one-two to boot.

Similarly, take into account which drivers fare better in wet or interchangeable conditions. Of the current crop of drivers, the British pair of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button of McLaren are two of the best in the business when faced with this daunting proposition.

Grid Position

Grid position at certain Grand Prix circuits can have a bigger role to play than others. The Monaco track, which is notoriously twisty and windy, makes it hard for drivers to overtake one another – with only one clear overtaking opportunity throughout the lap in the municipality. In contrast, the Canadian Grand Prix offers areas to pass on almost every corner.

With all but three of the last 16 Spanish Grand Prix won from pole position, track position is often regarded as king in motorsport. However, ensure to take all factors into account before exchanging money and betting on Formula 1 championships.

Study Lap Times

Furthermore, watching and studying the lap times in Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 can go a long way to aiding your betting success. Firstly because this time allows the viewer the first real insight into additional car upgrades, the pace on a new circuit and how the driver is handling his weekend. An accident, mechanical fault or crash during these periods could have a detrimental impact on the remainder of their Grand Prix due to a loss of running time.

The lap times during these sessions may also give some perspective into what sort of time the drivers will be able to deliver when it comes to sorting the grid in F1 Qualifying on Saturday.

F1 Bookmakers

Selecting which bookmaker to use for F1 betting odds may seem like a difficult decision. With so many options available across a broad spectrum of markets, it is tricky to know which betting company best suits your style of betting – for example, F1 betting each way – and desires for the Championship.

There are several important attributes to examine before selecting a betting company to use. Bettingexpert have a reliable, well-sourced bookmaker reviews online. These include, the reputation of the company, welcome bonuses, latest Formula 1 betting odds, and whether or not a cash-out feature is currently available.

Paddy Power’s F1 betting allows punters the option of placing bets without either of the Mercedes runaway pair Hamilton nor Nico Rosberg. They also offer specials such as a Max Verstappen to be World Champion within next five years. Additionally, F1 betting odds at William Hill often present the best value for money in the Race win market.

Elsewhere, Coral’s F1 betting team are offering juicy odds on Rosberg claiming his first-ever World Drivers Championship at the bereft of his perennial rival, while F1 betting at Ladbrokes are tipping Ferrari to take the battle to the Mercs in the Constructors Championship.

If you wish to begin your F1 betting with Betfair, simply bet £10 or more on any market and they will place three £10 free bets in your newly registered account.

F1 Live Streaming

In the United Kingdom, every session on the Formula One calendar is shown live on Sky Sports, including both practice sessions on the Friday of a race weekend, FP3 and Qualifying on Saturday, as well as Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Meanwhile on terrestrial television, Channel 4 have taken over from the BBC as the main broadcaster for the 2016 season. The alternative channel will show live coverage of 10 races, including key races at the British, Belgium and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Formula 1 live streaming online can be accessed via Channel 4’s official website, or if you are a registered member of Sky TV, they will also be showing every minute of the Formula 1 live action online.

Formula 1 race times differ from country to country, however the FIA have attempted to ensure the majority of races starts are adapted to a 1pm BST lights-out. In order to aid the European audience, this has resulted in an ever-changing Formula 1 race schedule.

How To Bet On F1: Summary

The 2016 Formula One season is expected to come down to a battle between two protagonists of the same team: Mercedes’ Hamilton and Rosberg. In what has been a fiercely competitive rivalry over the previous three seasons, the Englishman has come out on top in the opening two.


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