Betting on F1: The Most Popular Bet Types


2 January 2024 - 17:54
Betting on F1: The Most Popular (...)

When people think of sports betting, they usually think about horse racing or sports involving two opposing teams or players. However, one of the most enjoyable sports to bet on is Formula One. Not only is the sport incredibly popular worldwide and a rush to watch, but it also offers a wide range of elements that can be bet on.

At the same time, however, betting on a sport for the first time always feels risky, even if you’ve followed the sport before. For that reason, we’ve prepared this guide to the most popular bet types in F1 – the “smart” bets, the critical specifics that differentiate F1 from other sports, and so on – and how they work.

F1 Betting

In principle, betting on F1 is similar to betting on horse racing – but instead of horses, there are cars. This is a significant difference, however, as it introduces many questions into the sport. For example, what are the technical parameters of each vehicle? How long do pit stops last? How do different cars perform under unusual weather conditions? How will the qualifiers for each Grand Prix go? And, fortunately, most of these factors can be bet on.

1. Grand Prix Winner

The most obvious yet popular bet type is who will win a particular race. An individual race in Formula 1 is called a Grand Prix, and every race takes place on a different racetrack in a different city around the globe. This brings a lot of diversity to each Grand Prix, yet you’ll find that the same few people win most races.

Like in other sports, F1 usually has a few favorites that are better than most competitors that year. For example, there were a total of three race winners during the 2023 season across 23 races – Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, and Carlos Sainz Jr. What’s more, Max Verstappen won 20 out of the 23, with Perez taking two and Sainz winning just one.

This means that betting on a race winner is relatively easy; even though some years see more race winners, there are still one or two clear favorites. However, successfully betting on the favorite will usually yield a minor return too. In contrast, successfully guessing the few races that aren’t won by the favorite comes with pretty lucrative odds.

2. Podium Finish

The next popular bet is for the three drivers who’ll take the gold, silver, and bronze medals. The exact finish order doesn’t matter for these bets. It only matters who the three people will be. These bets are sometimes seen as a safe option if you’re not sure who the winner will be but are relatively certain that there are three clear favorites. Alternatively, these bets can also yield great odds if a fourth dark horse driver typically finishes outside the top three but might surprise people in a given race.

3. Pole Position

Another difference between Formula 1 and horse racing is that F1 has a qualifying round determining all drivers’ starting positions. That’s simply a matter of logistics – a standard horse racetrack can fit 12 to 14 horses on the starting line. In F1, however, you can’t have more than two cars starting next to each other, yet every race includes 20 vehicles. So, every Grand Prix has qualifiers to determine the positions of all 20 cars.

During these qualifiers, the drivers don’t race against each other but against the clock – whoever records the best time starts the Grand Prix from the pole position, the second-best time earns the second spot, and so on.

4. Drivers’ Championship

F1 betting also offers a couple of fun futures bets. The first is the Drivers’ Championship bet, which refers to which racer will earn the most points by the end of the season. The way the point system in F1 works is that racers get 25 points for a Grand Prix win, 18 points for second place, 15 for third, and then 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1 point for positions four to ten. Such futures bets can be placed months before the season has even begun or once it’s underway, with the odds changing depending on the circumstances.

5. Constructors’ Championship

Similar to the above, another futures bet is the Constructors’ Championship. The way this works is that every Formula 1 constructor team typically has two racers. In 2023, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez for the recently renamed Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell for Mercedes, Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll for Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes, and so on. Naturally, the constructor team that yields the Drivers’ Champion also has the highest chance of winning the Constructors’ Championship. However, If the second racer underperforms, the Constructors’ Championship may very well go to another team.

6. Head-to-Head Bets

Head-to-head bets are quite straightforward but also fun to bet on. Essentially, with these bets, you bet on two drivers and their positions relative to each other at the end of a Grand Prix. However, these bets don’t care about the exact ranking of the two racers – just their head-to-head positioning.

7. Live Betting

Live F1 betting is fairly new but also very exciting. Another term for it is “in-play betting,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like – you’re betting on the drivers while the Grand Prix is going on, with the odds constantly changing depending on the circumstances on the track. If this seems too risky and unreliable – like some people feel about betting on online casinos – rest assured that a lot of strategy goes on in live betting. When each driver will go in for a pit stop, whether someone will need a second pit stop, whether someone will risk their tires for a few extra laps, whether the weather is about to change, and so on – factors like these can drastically change both the live odds and the outcome of a race in a matter of moments.

8. Prop Bets

Like in other sports, there is a huge variety of prop bets in F1 that can also be immensely enjoyable. These bets can cover the winner’s nationality, who will record the fastest lap, whether or not a safety car will come out, which racer will be in the lead for the most laps, and so on. On their own, few prop bets are overly popular because different bettors go for different bets, but prop bets as a whole are a fan-favorite category.

In Summary

As you can see, even though Formula 1 is a somewhat predictable sport in some respects, it offers a solid variety of bets – some safe, others risky but lucrative. There are various prop bets, future bets, live betting, and much more. Like in other sports, however, you’d want to familiarize yourself with F1 quite well if you’re looking for a consistent return on investment and not just betting for fun.


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