Author: Gabriel Hall
Last Updated: 29th August 2023
As one of the more complex sports, Formula One has gained lots of attention on the betting circuit. This guide serves to teach you how to bet on F1 and which of our top betting sites are the best to enjoy F1 betting. When you’re through with this guide, your friends will think you’ve been doing this for years.
Table of Contents
A Beginner’s Guide to F1 Betting
F1 betting is a completely different ball-game than betting on other sports. Most of them only have three outcomes, namely a win for either side or a draw. When betting on F1 there are 2,432,902,008,176,640,000 different outcomes for each race.
Each formula one season consists of multiple races, known as Grand Prix, that take place in various countries. This Formula 1 betting guide will give you insight into the intricate world of betting on the F1 championship.
History of Formula 1
F1 started between 1920 and 1930 in Europe, where it originated from similar racing competitions. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile or FIA standardised the rules in 1946, laying the foundation of Formula One racing as we know it today. 1950 Saw the first world championship series known as the Formula One World Drivers’ championship.
In 1950 there were seven GP’s in the season, and it has accumulated since. Now each season consists of 19 to 21 GP’s with 20 competitors heading into each race. Even though this championship has a rather short history, there are a few legends that have become household names. Who hasn’t heard of Michael Schumacher?
Rules of Formula 1
Formula One is the most followed motorsports tournament globally and has one of the most substantial sports followings. F1 varies from other sports in that it doesn’t have a referee that intercepts the game affecting the play. The rules regarding the race are quite straightforward – finish the race and don’t hit anyone. We’ve laid down some of the fundamental rules about other things like cars, race, driving, and the championship below.
- The car’s chassis must be built according to the regulations that determine the minimum weight, dimensions, materials, and the wings’ size and placement.
- The vehicle should have open wheels and cockpits with rear-wheel drive and mid-rear engines.
- Launch control, fully automatic gearboxes, active suspension, ABS, and traction control are prohibited.
- The engine has to be a 1.6l turbocharged V6 hybrid.
- Except during extreme wet weather, all races have a standing start.
- The three-stage qualifying session on Saturdays determines the start order.
- Total fuel load is limited, and refuelling during the race is off-limits.
- The first race to cross the finish line in the final lap wins.
- Each track has a set amount of laps within two hours.
- Contact between cars is not permitted, whether it’s intentional or deliberate. Accidents aren’t usually penalised, but drivers may not intentionally disregard the safety of other drivers.
- It may not change lines abruptly or to block other cars.
- A team can enter up to two cars per race.
- Points are allocated according to finishing order to both individual drivers and the team they represented.
- Separate championship awards for drivers and teams.
The Best Online Bookmakers for F1 Betting
For excellent betting odds on F1 take a look at these bookmakers. The sportsbooks in our selection are the top bookies for betting on F1 in the UK.
Gone are the days where you can only bet on the winner of the entire championship. Punters can now bet on the outcome, the constructor’s winner, fastest lap, and a multitude of other results. Not all bookies are created equal; see how the sportsbooks mentioned below are sketching a better picture for their customers. The best betting sites not only offer a list of free bets and promotions but also F1 live streaming and other top features such as cash out, BetBuilder, Edit Bet, partial cash out and more…
Bet365 offers live race coverage as well as up to £100 in bet Credits for new players. If you are a regular punter, Bet365 always has plenty of bonuses and promotions available. Also, Bet365 has a whopping 26+ markets to play.
Ladbrokes is one of the top betting sites in the UK with over 25 markets to play. They offer £30 in free bets for new customers who bet a minimum of £10. Much like the other bookies mentioned here, they offer virtual F1 with the bonus of in-play betting. It often has special offers and price boosts.
Coral’s strength lies in its 22+ betting markets. It offers a nice welcome bonus of £30 for new players with a minimum first bet of £10 and odds of 1/2 or more. Not only can you bet on Formula One through Coral, but you can try your luck at their online casino too. The comprehensive market, as well as the types of bets, make this bookie an excellent choice.
William Hill is another well-loved bookmaker in the UK. This bookie has over 19 markets to play, offers live streaming, and great odds on the F1 market. Their newcomer’s bonus of up to £30 in free bets with a £15 initial stake has a 30-day shelf life.
Although BetVictor only has about 12 markets to bet on, it has a mobile site so that you can play on the go. Due to virtual F1 betting functionality, you can bet on a race every 3-4 minutes while watching it live.
Popular F1 Betting Strategies
As mentioned earlier, Formula One has many outcomes, meaning that you’ll need to have a strategy when betting. Learn about drivers and teams, news and history to determine the best F1 betting strategy for you. You will also need the accompanying statistics. The following betting strategies, coupled with your research, can help to get the most out of your bets.
Know Your Drivers
You could look at the bookies’ shortest odds to see who is favoured to win. It would, however, be best to immerse yourself in the sport as the drivers are the star of the show. By watching past races often you’ll start picking up on which driver to bet on and which to avoid. You’ll learn to read the drivers and predict how he will react to certain factors.
Learn About Cars & Circuits
Knowing the vehicle is vital as there wouldn’t be a race without it. You’ll need to know if there are issues with a new car that’s preventing excellent drivers from performing. Knowing the track is just as important as the driver could perform incredibly on one track and terribly on the next. Understanding these two factors and their records could be the difference between a losing bet and a pretty payday.
Keep an Eye on Formula One News
You must follow the news going into the race weekend to place the best bets. You need to know if the driver is having issues in their personal life or with the car.
You’ll also want to monitor the weather, as some drivers excel in adverse weather and others can’t seem to cope.
Know the Statistics
To become the best punter you can be, understand the history of the sport. Seeing as there is such a large margin for error, you’ll want to learn the track and performance history. Understanding all the various statistics could mean your success in F1 betting.
Types of Formula 1 Bets
If you decide to bet on F1, you’ll quickly realise there are plenty more options than just betting on the winners. Here are some of the most popular F1 bets.
Race Winner and Each-Way
This is the most popular of bets to place on the Grand Prix, but it is also the simplest. Before a race starts you will see all competitors listed with a price attached. The quotes reflect how likely traders think it is each man will win the race. Pick a driver to finish first in the Grand Prix and if they do as expected you’ll be paid out a profit, depending on the F1 price and level of stake.
You can also bet each-way and the standard place terms are 1/3 the odds 1-2. You must double your stake here, so a £10 bet on Lewis Hamilton will cost you £20. The reason for that is £10 of your stake goes on him to win the race at the odds given, the other £10 goes on him to place first or second in the race at 1/3 of the odds given.
If Hamilton wins the Grand Prix in question you will be paid out twice, as he has both won the race and finished in the top two, £10 at the odds and £10 at a third of the odds. If he only places, however, you will lose your £10 win part of the bet and get the proceeds from £10 on a 1/3 of the odds.
That won’t amount to much if used with Lewis Hamilton as he’s often short-priced favourite to win a race, but each-way F1 betting does have its uses. It can come in handy if backing a big priced outsider as you have half of your stake on him to win with a safety net of the other half on him to come second, meaning you’ll get some of your cashback. 1/3 the odds an even-money favourite isn’t really worth it but a 1/3 the odds a 33/1 underdog certainly is.
A podium finish gives a clue in the name – you are having your cash down on a driver to end the race in the podium places, in other words, you are backing them to end first, second or third. With a podium finish bet it doesn’t really matter where they come, you won’t get more money if your selection comes first rather than third.
Punters are quoted one price for the podium finish and if your bet does end in the top three you will be paid out for a profit. This has shorter F1 betting odds than the race winner market as you have three ways to win, rather than just the one, but it does give you a better chance of getting an outsider in.
There’s little to be had backing a favourite for a podium finish as the odds will be very small, but a big price outsider you expect to go close could be worthwhile. If they don’t win the race you still have another two chances to land a return. This bet is very popular with punters who fancy a driver but aren’t quite sure if he is good enough to win the race.
Driver v driver match bets are an exciting way to wager your cash on the Formula One and the best thing about them is your pick doesn’t have to win the race for your bet to come good. Theoretically, your pick could end last of the finishers and you’d still bag a return. Here’s how it works.
Traders pick out two drivers who are closely matched in ability and recent form. They then challenge you to predict which one will have the better Grand Prix. For example, this could be Valterri Bottas v Charles Leclerc at the 2019 British Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton won the race that year but that had no bearing on the match bet. Bottas finished second with Leclerc in third. If you picked Bottas in match bet, you would’ve been paid a profit as his result was better than that of his rival.
The two drivers don’t have to finish in the major places either. In fact, it’s just as exciting having your say on a match bet involving two men likely to end down the pecking order. One might not finish even. You could even land a profit with second last beating last. Place a few of these and you’ll have an interest way beyond the race leaders.
This is one for lovers of speed and it’s also a bet that will keep you glued to the live streaming TV action on Sky Sports or the BBC right up until the last car crosses the finish line. When betting on the fastest lap market you are predicting which driver will get around one circuit of the course in the quickest time of the day.
The time of each lap is recorded for each driver and these are compared in real-time, as you watch the race unfold. The great thing about this bet is the fastest lap could come at any point of the Grand Prix, and from any driver. It could be the leader on the first lap as he aims to pull away from the competition, although that’s unlikely as they make a standing start on lap one. It could come from a driver in third or fourth battling for position near the end, or there’s no reason the backmarker couldn’t record the fastest lap.
The prices are attractive, and the bet will keep you in the loop until the last car has passed the finish line. When placing this type of bet it’s wise to pay attention to what went on in qualifying and practice. The results there will show you each driver’s lap times, who has taken to the course and which man is confident of a big Grand Prix.
This is a bet that can be placed and will be settled long before the Grand Prix even starts and it’s one that will appeal to avid fans of F1 racing who enjoy monitoring practice and qualifying. Here you are staking your money on which driver will start first on the grid, in pole position. From there it doesn’t matter how they fare in the Grand Prix. They could lead from line to line or they could crash out at the first corner, it’s no longer your concern.
All you’re needing your selection to do is win the qualifying stage of the race which will ensure he starts the Grand Prix in pole position. You can get an idea of who to back from how the drivers performed in practice and the results from the previous year. Perhaps a certain constructor dominated the race 12 months ago or a driver had particular joy at a racetrack.
If he picks up where he left off and puts in a solid few laps in qualifying, he will rank top and start the race in pole position, winning you a profit in the process. A great way to bet on F1 while avoiding the drama of the Grand Prix. In qualifying there are no other cars to worry about, so your pick is getting a clean run around the track. Pick a consistent driver in a fast car who has performed well at a certain venue in the past and you won’t go far wrong with this market.
There are several specials offered on F1 racing these days and bookmakers appear to offer more coverage every season. Visit the Formula One tab of your favourite online F1 betting firm, click the upcoming Grand Prix and you’ll see for yourself.
One of the more popular specials available concerns the safety car. Will we see it used? You can bet on yes or no. The safety car is sent out to slow down the action in the face of any danger to drivers, such as bad weather or a multi-car crash. It doesn’t matter why the safety car is used if it appears on the track your bet’s a winner.
This is often seen as an interesting side bet by punters and it’s another that is live until the F1 cars pass the finish line. It could come in at any stage, earlier in the race following a pile-up or later on as the rain starts to fall. Try it as an addition to your Grand Prix bets. It’s an exciting alternative.
Some of the other specials markets available that could help ramp up your interest in the Grand Prix are the first driver to retire. Here you should pick an F1 pilot you believe will suffer a woeful race and will be forced to pull out before his rivals.
This could happen at any stage and for any reason. If you are confident a driver is going to win the GP you could call the winning margin, predicting how many seconds he’ll finish ahead of the runner-up. The winning nationality market is just that, a bet that allows you to throw a blanket over a few drivers and give yourself a better chance of winning. Will a British driver win the race, a German or another nationality? You decide.
How many drivers will finish the race? Will it be a full list, or will we lose some along the way, as so often is the case? You can predict how many finishers there will be and the less you go for the better the price will be offered by bookmakers. Another good side bet is to finish the race or not market. Pick a driver and click yes or no on him finishing the race.
The better the driver the less of a price you’ll get on him completing the laps, but it’s a great way to bet if you believe one of the front runners will have problems. It doesn’t matter why they fail to finish, as long as they don’t cross the line, your bets a winner. It works both ways too.
Pick an outsider to finish the race at a decent price and it doesn’t matter where they end, first, last or somewhere in between. As long as they can complete the race, you’ll see a profit deposited into your account.
Understanding Formula 1 Odds
F1 betting odds are a little trickier than some other sports because of the many factors in play. The bet type, race, and driver all affect the odds.
With so many different outcomes, trying to predict what will happen is a true gamble, that’s what makes it so exciting. Unlike with many other markets, the F1 odds vary between bookies. Each bookmaker estimates the probability of a certain outcome considering different factors.
Finding An F1 Value Bet
Yes, it’s fun to place a bet and wait on the edge of your seat to see the outcome, but people wager on sports to win money. To win big, identify the real value of odds. It will help you see what the opportunity is. Say, for example, you think that a specific driver has about 70% chance to win the championship, and the bookie gives the driver a 7/2, you’ve got a good betting opportunity at hand.
Formula 1 Live Streaming
Unfortunately, due to licensing issues, very few sportsbooks offer live streaming. William Hill and bet365 are some bookies that live stream F1 races and offer in-play betting. The following online sportsbooks also offer live streaming for betting on F1: Betfred, Coral, and Ladbrokes.
Most bookies offer in-play betting these days, and when betting at one of the mentioned bookies, you can keep a close eye on the race. You’ll find the schedule for the live races on the official Formula One site. The practice and qualifying sessions also go live. Follow them to make calculated bets.