Formula 1 betting offers bettors a fast-paced and exciting way of making money. However, if you want to learn how to bet on Formula 1, you need to understand how the sport works and what will improve your chances of success. Read this guide to learn how to bet on Formula 1 and how to use an F1 betting strategy to increase your chance of making a profit this season.
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.
A driver's starting grid 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 important 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, for example – bettors should consider a driver's 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 polesitters.
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 tyres 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
- A driver's 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. Factors to consider are:
- Driver performance in poor weather – rookies may struggle
- Historical weather data
- Current weather forecast
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 offers unique challenges, so each one should be treated differently.
Take the Bahrain GP for example; 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 grip on the corners.
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 other courses on the usual calendar.
Although the throttle might not be an issue in Bahrain, 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 – so managing brake-wear is key.
Once the characteristics of each track are understood, bettors should check practice and qualifying times to see which drivers and teams have their car dialled-in and which ones don’t.
Once F1 bettors have gauged the track diagnostics and understood who are best set-up to perform, they can consider who to bet on.
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 season start, understanding who are the number one drivers in each team will help bettors decide which number two drivers to avoid – knowing his teammate will be more likely favoured during the race weekend.
Keeping up-to-date and understanding the latest Formula 1 rules is also 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 bettors, so bettors should keep track of the rule changes happening both 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 a technical failure may undo all of thorough research conducted by bettors 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 races affected by a number of factors such as weather, track characteristics, race strategy, tyre degradation, and racing incidents, bettors making highly informed decisions, rather than just picking a winner on gut feeling, should gain a higher F1 betting win percentage.