How to Bet on F1
What You Need to Know
- If you're new to betting on F1, you should try starting off with a small bet on the likely winner of an individual Grand Prix
- As well as race winners, most bookmakers offer a huge range of betting markets, including on Drivers and Constructors Championships
- The best place to bet is online, where you will find the most bets and be able to bet as a race unfolds. For this guide we used Bet365 who offer a bonus of up to £200 if you open an account with them
- If you want to bet on a top driver winning a race, then you will usually get short odds. Consider combining this bet with others to increase your winnings. A popular bet is on the treble of race winner, fastest qualifier and fastest lap
- Upsets do happen in F1, especially if the weather is bad. Over the course of a whole season, however, the best teams and drivers usually come out on top, so consider betting on the overall Championships if you want to play it safe
- Remember that knowledge is power, so do your research, read the latest F1 news, learn about form and about how things like tyre changes and bad weather can affect a race
- Be aware that sports betting can become addictive, so be sure to only bet responsibly
Betting on F1
With its glamour and speed, F1 is one of the most exciting sports on the planet. And it can be even more exciting if you have money riding on either a single race or the entire season.
Fortunately, not only is betting on F1 incredibly simple (and it can be as easy as just picking the driver who think will win one race), online and high street bookmakers usually offer a huge range of betting markets for you to choose from. As with all sports betting, however, you should take the time to learn a little more about gambling on F1 before you put any money down.
Where to Bet
The best place to bet on the F1 is to go online. A large number of online firms allow you to bet on individual Grand Prix and on the whole F1 season, usually offering a huge range of betting markets and letting you place wagers as a race unfolds. Check out our guide to the Top 10 Sports Betting Sites (http://www.uknetguide.co.uk/Sports/Betting/) and make use of special introductory offers to get some free bonus money to start betting with.
If you do choose to bet online and if you're serious about making money, you should definitely open up accounts with more than one online bookmaker. This way you can compare odds and get the best price on every bet you make. After all, why should you take odds of 3/1 on a certain driver getting a podium finish if another bookie is offering odds of 4/1?
Understanding the Odds
The odds (also known as the price) indicate how the bookmakers think an event will happen. The odds also determine how much you will win if your prediction is correct. On most sports betting sites, the odds will be expressed as fractions. Or they could be expressed as decimal points or even in the American style. In all cases, however, you should be able to change the settings to suit you.
Here's what each of these mean:
1) Fractional Odds
On UK-based sports betting sites, the default setting for displaying the odds will be as fractions. Odds displayed this way show you how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on. The first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.
So, if the odds for Driver winning a Grand Prix are 2/1, this means if you bet £1, you will receive £2 in winnings (and you will get your original stake back on top of this).
This works on a ratio basis. So, if you are extra confident and place £10 at odds of 2/1, you will receive £20 in winnings. Or, if you place £7 at odds of 2/1, your winnings will be £14, plus your initial stake.
Sometimes you will see that the second number of the fraction is larger than the first. This is an 'odds on' bet and signifies that the bookies believe that the chances of a particular prediction coming true are greater than 50/50. This is quite common in F1, especially when the best driver is in pole position for a race. The principle remains the same, however: the first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction
For example, if you put £2 down on odds of 1/2, your winnings will be £1. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £60 at the same odds, you will win £30, plus your initial stake.
2) Decimal Odds
Since the majority of sports fans are used to seeing odds displayed as fractions, getting your head around decimal odds may seem daunting. But, don't worry! This system is equally straightforward once you've got the hang of it.
The way it works is that you just need to multiply your stake by the decimal shown and this is how much you will receive in winnings, including your returned stake.
So, if you put £1 down on odds of 3.00, you will win £3.00, including your initial stake, if your prediction comes true. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £15 at the same odds of 3.00, you will win £45, including your original stake.
A Further Note About Odds
Some online bookmakers will also display odds in the 'American' style. While some US sports betting fans prefer this system, to avoid any unnecessary confusion, you should switch the odds to either the fractional or decimal system.
If you're still confused about the odds on offer, then click on the bet you want to make and type in the amount you want to bet. With most online bookmakers, you will then be shown how much your stake will return and, using this information, you can decide whether or not you want to go ahead with the bet
Common Types of Bets on F1
As with most sports, there really is no limit to the number or range of bets you can make on F1. In fact, if you can think of a scenario – Lewis Hamilton to crash out on the fourth lap in Monaco, for instance – then you should be able to find a bookie who will offer you odds on it happening. That said, some bets are more popular than others. Here are some of the most commonly-placed bets on F1 and some of the easiest to make if you're new to betting on motor racing:
1) Race Winner
The most popular and easiest bet to place on an F1 race: simply choose the driver you think will win a specific Grand Prix and put money on it.
Let's take the odds offered for the Chinese Grand Prix, as an example. Below is a screenshot from Bet365, a popular online betting company. Here you can see the fractional odds given for each driver to win the race. So, if you were to put £10 on Nico Rosberg to win the race and he did indeed finish first, your winnings would be £30, including your initial stake. If Rosberg does not win, however, then you lose your stake.
Note that here you are also given the chance to place an 'each-way' bet. This means you can bet on a driver either winning or finishing second in a race. Usually, as is the case here, the odds are halved if you bet each-way on a driver.
A Note About Race Winner Bets
Before you place a Race Winner bet, be sure you know the bookmaker's rules. Above all, check what happens if a race is abandoned or if a driver does not start. Will the bookie declare all bets void? Similarly, what are the rules in the event of a driver being named the winner through a steward's enquiry or an appeal?
2) 'Podium Finish'
If you think a driver will do well in a race but are not completely sure he will win it, then you could put money on him finishing in the top three, and so getting on the podium afterwards. This works in just the same way as a Race Winner bet in that you just pick a driver and put your money on him. However, it doesn't matter if he finishes first, second or third: so long as he finishes in the top three, you will have won your bet.
3) To Be Classified
Just as with a Podium Finish bet, you can also bet on a driver being classified at the end of the race. Under the official FIA regulations, a driver who completes at least 90 per cent of the race distance will be classified, regardless of whether or not he is running when the winner takes the chequered flag. The will always get terrible odds on top drivers being classified, but you may be able to get some attractive odds on lesser-known drivers, especially those with a history of crashing out or retiring early, making the grade.
4) Fastest Lap
As the name suggests, here you just put money on the driver you think will clock the fastest lap in a specific race. In most cases, this is just a fun bet, with serious gamblers wary of putting money on lap times. It can, for instance, be a good way of keeping you interested for the whole of the race, provided of course that the driver you have your money on stays on the track.
5) Winning Margin
One other popular bet is to put money on the gap between the winner and the runner-up in a certain Grand Prix. Winning Margin bets tend to be quite a gamble as anything can happen during a race, but they can be a fun way of making an event that little bit more exciting and even of winning a little extra cash.
As you can see from the example below, you will be given the chance to bet on certain margins of victory rather than on exact times. So, using this example, if you think the race will be close and you put £8 on the winner winning by under five seconds, then you will walk away with £23, including your initial stake. If the second-placed driver crosses the finishing line just 5.001 seconds after the winner, however, you lose.
Note that you don't have to specify which driver you think will win for this kind of bet. Most bookmakers will, however, allow you to combine bets. So you could, for example, have a double on Lewis Hamilton being the race winner and winning by a comfortable margin of 10 seconds or more.
6) Fastest Qualifier
As well as betting on the outcome of a race, you are also able to bet on the qualifying sessions. The most popular type of bet is to put money on the fastest qualifier – that is, the driver who will start a Grand Prix in pole position. You should approach this type of bet in the same way you would placing a bet on a possible Race Winner. That is, you should do your homework, find out about different drivers' form in qualifying sessions, plus consider placing an each-way bet if you're not completely certain in your choice.
7) Drivers Championship
Anything can happen in an individual Grand Prix; tyres can burst, cars can breakdown, accidents can occur. This means that even strong favourites can occasionally fail to make the podium or even finish.
Over the course of a whole season, however, the best drivers almost always rise to the top, making a bet on the Drivers Championship a very attractive proposition. You can either bet at the beginning of the season or as the season progresses, with the odds varying according to ongoing results. Here we can see the odds offered on different drivers to win the Drivers Championship. Lewis Hamilton is clear favourite, and the bookie is also offering the chance to bet each-way at half odds:
8) Constructors Championship
Alongside betting on a driver to come out on top at the end of the F1 season, you can also bet on the outright winner of the Constructors Championship. Each constructor has two drivers and all their points are counted towards the team total. So, if a team has two excellent drivers and you struggle to choose who will win the drivers' championship, consider instead putting money on their team winning the constructors' title.
Here we can see the odds offered for the Constructors Championship of 2014. Note that there are only a few strong contenders, with Mercedes GP the strong favourites. Note also that you are only able to be one-way (that is on a winner) with no each-way bets allowed.
9) Driver Specials
Again, in F1, the best drivers and teams almost always come out on top, barring any freak accidents or weather conditions. This means that the odds offered on the favourites are usually not very long, meaning your winnings will be relatively small.
To lengthen the odds and so boost your potential winnings, consider putting money on the special bets offered by nearly all online and high street bookmakers. These can cover almost anything and everything, from the likely to the very unlikely. Here we can see the various special bets offered on Lewis Hamilton before the Chinese Grand Prix. As you can see, at 5/2 the treble of Hamilton starting in pole, winning the race and recording the fastest lap time, is far more attractive than the 8/11 offered on him just winning the Grand Prix.
Again, most bookies will be happy to give you odds on almost any possible situation or outcome, including doubles, treble and accumulator bets. So if you have a bet in mind, just ask and see what odds you are offered.
If you're betting in-play and online, then you will often be given the chance to 'cash out' on a bet. This means the bookmaker offers you an amount of money to cancel your bet and it can be a good way of either cutting your losses or quitting while you're ahead.
For example, if you have placed £20 on Rosberg to win the Chinese Grand Prix at odds of 9/4 and he's in third place with just 10 laps to go, the bookie could offer you the chance to cash out at £4.50. While this will be a loss on your initial stake, if you don't take the offer you run the risk of losing all your money. Of course, there is a chance Rosberg could go on and win, so cashing out is always a gamble.
Alternatively, if you have placed the same bet and Rosberg is leading with 5 laps to go, you could be offered £53 to cash out. Accepting the offer means you have made a profit on your initial stake and no longer have to worry about things going wrong. But then if you do accept it and your initial instinct was correct, you will have missed out on even bigger winnings.
Hints and Tips for Betting on F1
- Know the difference between the different course as this has a huge influence on the race outcome. For example, the driver who is in pole position in Monaco almost always goes on to win the race, but in the Canadian Grand Prix, the fastest qualifier only occasionally takes the chequered flag.
- Respect the tyres: the tyres the drivers use are vitally important in F1, so all serious gamblers will have a good understanding of the different tyres used by the different teams. You also need to appreciate the links between tyre types and the drivers. For instance, if rainy weather calls for wet tyres, does a driver tend to struggle racing with these on?
- Look outside the elite few and consider putting money on lesser-known drivers and teams. For instance, a relatively-unknown driver may still be good at classifying every race, or a team may have an excellent record at one specific Grand Prix. Look for trends and at past form to help you pick a winner.
- If there has been a change in the rules and regulations between seasons, consider waiting to see how this has affected teams and drivers before you place any bets on the end of season standings
- Start enjoying F1 and even become a fan. As with all sports betting, knowledge is power, so make sure you're up-to-speed with all the latest news and developments as this could help you stay one step ahead of the bookies. Check out the official F1 news site (http://www.formula1.com/news/0 for the latest information
As before, the best teams and drivers almost always come out on top in F1, if not after one Grand Prix then certainly at the end of the season. That said, there is no such thing as a sure thing, something you should always remember before you place any bets. Remember also that betting on sports can become addictive, so be sure to bet responsibly at all times.
Further Sports Betting Reading
As well as our own youtube videos showing you how you can make online bets we have comprehensive betting tip and advice guides which include:
- Horse racing is still the UK's most popular sportsbet. UK Net Guide have a video and a guide on How to bet on a Horse ,
- Tennis a global event with matches being played most weeks, its not just about Wimbledon once a year in the UK, our comprehensive guide on How to bet on Tennis will show you how to get involved all year round.
- How to bet on football our youtube video shows how to bet on the Champions League in the knock out stages. Our odds sports betting pages show you the latest odds for "Home Win", "Draw", and "Away Win".
- Cricket is now played throughout the year in Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa there has never been a better time to learn How to bet on Cricket .
Further F1 Reading
The official site of F1 (http://www.formula1.com/) is a great place to find out about upcoming races and to read up on past results.
The F1News website (http://www.f1news.com/) can also be a good source of the information you need to make a wise bet.