Mar 28, 2017
Mar 28, 2017

How to bet on Formula 1: A basic F1 betting strategy

Learn how to bet on Formula 1

Use a simple F1 betting strategy get an edge over the bookmaker

How do track characteristics, team strategies and rule changes effect F1 betting?

How to bet on Formula 1: A basic F1 betting strategy
Formula 1 betting offers bettors a fast-paced and exciting way of making money. However, if you want to learn how to bet Formula 1, you need understand how the sport works and how what will improve your chances of success. Read this guide to learn how to bet on Formula 1 and how to use a F1 betting strategy to increase your chance of making a profit this season.

How to bet on Formula 1 - The basics

There are various factors that should be analysed when learning how to bet on Formula 1. The ability of the drivers and performance of their car might be the most obvious things to look at but, as is the case with golf betting, luck can also play a part. In order to gain an edge in F1 betting, bettors should look at historical individual and team performance factors whilst also, when possible, quanitfying the effect luck and other external factors might have.  

Grid position

Driver position has varying importance depending on the track in question. Qualifying on pole at Monza has guaranteed a race win in 83.3% of the last 12 races, compared to the Canadian GP at Montreal where just 33% of drivers on pole went on to win - this highlights just how importance it is to look at a driver's grid position in conjuction with the course results history in Formula 1 betting.

For circuits where it’s difficult to overtake – Monaco – bettors should consider a drivers ability to qualify high on the grid – where starting on pole can be a huge advantage.

In comparison circuits that are easier to overtake at  – Montreal for instance – can give bettors more chance of finding value when not betting on pole sitters.

Understanding the value of track position is vital for Formula 1 betting, and selecting a race winner before considering historical data should be avoided.


Understanding tyre characteristics and how they perform is a significant part of learning how to bet on Formula 1. Here are a few areas to consider:

  • How track characteristics affect tyres
  • A team's race weekend tyre strategy
  • Drivers racing style

Since returning to the sport as the tyre manufacturer, Pirelli have produced unpredictable tyres, which has created more excitement and overtaking opportunities, and made understanding tyre characteristics more vital for betting.


Formula 1 bettors should always check the weather forecast before and adjust their betting on qualifying and the race accordingly - compared to the effect weather can have on soccer betting, it is even more pronounced in F1 betting.

When the conditions are fine and the track hot, weather has little impact. However, once the track temperatures drop and the rain arrives it can cause havoc with the result. Research to consider:

  • Driver performance in poor weather – rookies may struggle
  • Historical weather data
  • Current weather forecast

Track characteristics

Understanding circuit characteristics and matching them with driver and car capabilities is a fundamental factor that anyone who wants to know how to bet on Formula 1 must be aware of.

Each circuit is distinctive, and should be treated different as each offers new challenges.

Take the Bahrain GP for instance; this Middle Eastern circuit has a number of key characteristics that will present a different challenge for the teams than at other circuits.

The track is made up of four long straights, all of which end in a high braking zone, offering clear overtaking opportunities.

There are also a number of challenging medium-speed corners that require good car balance. Therefore the track suits a set-up that sees a compromise between straight-line speed and cornering grip.

With drivers at full throttle for just 50% of the lap during the race (and 57% in qualifying), the demands on the engine are less extensive than half of the courses on the calendar.

Although the throttle might not be an issue, high temperature and low humidity could provide major challenges for the engines, while the circuit’s stop-start nature places a premium on the brakes – managing brake-wear is key.

Once you understand the track characteristics bettors should check practice and qualifying times to see which drivers and teams have their car dialled-in, and who doesn’t.

Once F1 bettors have gauged the track diagnostics and understood who are best set-up to perform you can consider who to bet on.

Team Strategies

Team strategy is an essential part of learning how to bet on Formula 1 and bettors should be fully aware of who influences what happens on the track.

Teams always look to gain an edge over their opposition through tyre tactics, car set-up or tactical pitstops. But they also implement team orders.

To prevent team orders affecting betting, bettors should play close attention to the standings for both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

Prior to the seasons start, understanding who are the number one drivers in each team will help you decide which number two drivers to avoid – knowing his teammate will be favoured.

Rule Changes

Keeping up-to-date and understanding the latest Formula 1 rules is paramount for successful betting.

The FIA constantly make rule changes to keep the sport exciting.  These rules can benefit or hurt specific teams and the same can be said for your betting, so bettors should keep track of the rule changes happening pre-season, and during the F1 calendar.

Knowledge is key to successful F1 betting

It is important to think of the bigger picture when betting on Formula 1, a racing incident/ bad pitstop or technical failure may have undone your thorough research for that race, but it’s only one race.

To be successful, F1 bettors must consider how they perform over five or more seasons and if possible, get access to information before anyone else.

With Formula 1 culpable to a number of outliers such as weather, track characteristics, race strategy, tyre degradation and racing incidents, bettors informed decision-making, rather than just picking a winner on gut feeling, should translate into a higher F1 betting win percentage.

Click here for the latest F1 betting odds.

Betting Resources - Empowering your betting

Pinnacle’s Betting Resources is one of the most comprehensive collections of expert betting advice anywhere online. Catering to all experience levels our aim is simply to empower bettors to become more knowledgeable.