Top Formula 1 Betting Sites
Formula One – the world’s most popular motor sport – has come along way since its inaugural season in 1950. The technical aspects to F1 have led it to become so much more than the simple idea of racing cars around a circuit. The sport is becoming more and more popular with punters, who enjoy the challenge – and rewards – of betting on such a multi-faceted sport. PlayRight’s recommended F1 bookmakers have all demonstrated a commitment to bringing punters the best F1 betting experience.
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Best Betting Site for F1 Odds
While F1 is a sport so technical that margins are measured it one hundredths of seconds, bookmakers’ analysis of qualifying, the races and the season as a whole can vary. In simple terms, that means you can get better F1 odds by shopping around.
The table below shows the odds to win the 2018 German Grand Prix. To provide a little bit of context, these odds are given just before the Grand Prix starts. The favourite, Sebastian Vettel, will start in pole position for the race. Lewis Hamilton, who was the favourite before qualifying, will start the race in 14th position, after suffering a technical problem in qualifying.
|Bookmaker||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen|
As you can see, the margins in the odds are quite fine when it comes to Sebastian Vettel, although Sky Bet is the only bookmaker to offer returns of over 50% from a winning bet on the German. It is difficult to pinpoint the bookmaker with the best odds here, because all have a case to make depending on your driver selection. However, the standout price is clearly Mr Green’s 14/1 on Lewis Hamilton, more than double those offered by Sky Bet.
Verdict: Mr Green
Best Site for F1 Betting Promotions and Offers
All of PlayRight’s recommended bookmakers offer top sports promotions to their online customers. Although, some generic promos, such as boosted returns for accumulators and Acca Insurance, do not match up well with individual Grand Prix races. However, you’ll often find lucrative promotions on the weekend of a race. Sky Bet, for example, is offering a Price Boost for both Ferrari drivers to finish on the podium (top 3) in Hockenheim. In addition, F1 is also compatible with Sky Bets’ Free Bet Club: Bet £25 on any sports across the week, receive a £5 Free Bet the next. But, regardless if you are a F1 fan or not, the best incentive has to be the £10 Free Bet No Deposit Offer currently offered by Sky Bet to new customers.
Verdict: Sky Bet
Best Site for F1 Betting Markets
As you might expect, there is more to betting on F1 than just picking the winner of the race. Paddy Power Sports, Betfair Sports and Sky Bet are all very strong in this category. Across all three bookmakers you can find markets for Grand Prix winner, fastest lap, qualification winner (pole position), podium finish. However, Sky Bet goes a little bit further than the rest, offering markets for points finish and hat-trick (winner of the race, pole position and fastest lap treble). In addition, Sky Bet adds markets from Request a Bet customers. These are unique markets requested by Sky Bet customers and uploaded to the site. For example, for the German Grand Prix you can bet on Lewis Hamilton to win and Sebastian Vettel to retire (10/1) or Mercedes to finish 1st and 2nd in any order (7/2).
Verdict: Sky Bet
Best Site for In-Play Formula 1 Betting and Live Streaming
From 2019 in the UK, all races but the British Grand Prix will be shown on Sky Sports. As broadcasters pay millions to exclusively broadcast the races (Sky’s deal is estimated at £200,000,000 per year), you will not be able to stream F1 races live for free on bookmakers’ sites.
In a sport where speed is the aim of the game, there are unique challenges faced by bookmakers in live betting markets. Tiny margins in, for example, a qualifying lap can have a massive impact on the Grand Prix and, indeed, the season as a whole. For that reason, you must prepare for the markets to be suspended often when you are betting live on F1. Indeed, during qualifying (takes place the day before the Grand Prix) there is a betting blackout.
Formula one In-play betting is only really available during the Grand Prix race itself. Even then, most bookmakers are limited to offering a single market – the winner of the race. However, Sport Nation has committed to offering a few more markets than its competitors. During the German Grand Prix, for example, Sport Nation offered live markets on the fastest lap, the use of the safety car, top three finish and race winner.
Verdict: Sport Nation
Popular Types of Formula One Bets Explained
|Grand Prix Winner/Outright||A bet on who will win the Grand Prix Race|
|Podium Finish||A bet on a driver finishing the race in either first, second or third position|
|Pole Position||A bet on a driver starting the race in pole position, i.e. at the front. This is earned in the qualifying for a specific Grand Prix by achieving the fastest time in a lap|
|Outright Championship Betting||A bet on the Drivers’ Championship, i.e. which driver will have accumulated most points at the end of the season|
|Team Betting||A bet on the winning team. This could be in an individual race, or outright for the season – the Constructors’ Championship|
|Qualifying||Like pole position above, a bet on the different aspects of qualifying. For example, the margin of time between pole position and second place on the grid|
|Fastest Lap||A bet on which driver will complete the fastest lap during the Grand Prix|
|Driver to Retire||A bet on a particular driver not finishing a race, normally due to a crash or technical issue|
|Safety Car Bets||A bet that the safety car will appear on the track. The safety car is used to slow the race if there is some sort of debris on the track, normally after a crash|
|Handicap Betting||Handicap betting can refer to a bet placed on a driver given a theoretical time disadvantage, for example Lewis Hamilton to win the race by over three seconds|
F1 Betting Tips and Systems
If you bet on F1, you should be aware that there are a lot of variables which can impact the outcome of a race. Tyres, the weather, circuit, changes to the car and, of course, the individual driver’s ability to adapt to these changes all must be taken into consideration before betting. For that reason, it is a good idea to read some expert opinion, especially if you are not au fait with every aspect of Formula One yourself. Autosport.com and Planet365.com give quite broad and detailed analysis (from a non-betting perspective), whereas Sportinglife, OLBG and Bettingpro can give some good advice on Formula 1 betting. Betfair have an excellent F1 Betting Blog, although it is not updated as much as we would like.
Betting systems are not as ubiquitously used for F1 as they are for, say, football or horse racing. As ever, we suggest that you be cautious before signing up to receive tips, certainly if there is a paid for subscription service. In the end, doing your own research to find a value bet makes it a bit more fun. With all those variables impacting the race outcome, we suggest that you check sites like Statsf1.com or F1 Stats Zone from SkySports.com before you bet.
Events and Races
The Formula One season runs from March to November, with 21 races (Grand Prix) held in various countries across the globe. Each Grand Prix is held on a Sunday (UK times will vary due to time zones), with qualifying and practice held on the Friday and Saturday.
Currently, there are 10 F1 teams: Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Haas, Force India, Renault, Williams, Sauber, Toro Rosso. Each team will have two (principle) drivers. For example, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both drive for Mercedes. Drivers in the same team will race competitively against each other, although there is sometimes evidence of team ‘tactics’ being employed, especially if one driver is in with a chance of winning the world championship.
The winner of the race will receive 25 points, 18 points for 2nd place and so on right down to one point for 10th place. Scoring is the same for each Grand Prix, with points tallied for the Drivers’ Championship. At the end of the season, the driver with most points is crowned Formula One world champion. Lewis Hamilton has won the last three Drivers’ Championships.
Those points won in a Grand Prix are also tallied for the F1 teams. For example, if Lewis Hamilton won a Grand Prix and Valtteri Bottas came 3rd (15 points), Mercedes would be awarded 40 points towards their standing in the Constructors’ Championship. It is important to note that the winner of the Drivers’ Championship and the Winning Constructor are not always the same team, as was the case in 2008 when Ferrari won the Constructors’ Championship and Lewis Hamilton (then driving for McLaren) won the Drivers’ Championship.
General Overview of Grand Prix Races
As mentioned, there are 21 Grand Prix races, although the number can be tweaked each season. No country hosts more than one race, nor is there a discernible pattern in where the races are held, except for that, generally, the European races – Italian, British, Spanish Grand Prix etc. – are held over the summer months. Traditionally, the season opens with the Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne). The final Grand Prix of the season (November) has been held in Abu Dhabi since 2009.
All Grand Prix races have equal importance in terms of points, but some have arguably more prestige:
The Biggest Grand Prix Races
*Note that F1 Drivers do not receive prize money in the same way as, say, tennis Grand Slam champions. Prize money is shared out – in famously convoluted fashion – at the end of the season.
Formula One History and Rules
Motor sport has been around ever since cars started rolling off production lines. This is important to note because the idea of Grand Prix racing is a lot older than the F1 World Championship. However, by most measures, we record the first F1 season as being 1950. Back then, there were seven Grand Prix races, compared with the 21 held today.
It was, of course, a much simpler sport back then. Today, the technological aspect, as well as several rule changes, have caused the sport to be so much more complicated, yet, arguably, more exciting. Technology rules the sport more than ever before, with stipulations like the limited number of tyre changes impacting results of each Grand Prix.
Michael Schumacher holds the record for most Drivers’ Championships with seven gained between 1994-2004, although there is an expectation that current drivers Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton (both with four) could one day overtake the legendary German.
A Grand Prix weekend is made up of practice (Friday), qualifying (Saturday) and the Grand Prix race (Sunday). Practice is important from a betting perspective because it gives us an insight on how teams and drivers are coping with the track and conditions. It can also impact odds.
Drivers have 18 mins on the track to post a qualifying time. The fastest lap achieved in qualifying will start in pole position (at the front) for the race. However, drivers’ can also incur penalties when qualifying, causing them to be placed further back in the starting order.
The distance of a Grand Prix race is defined as the smallest number of complete laps that exceeds 305km. There is a special exemption for the Monaco Grand Prix (260.5km, 78 laps). Drivers will normally have one, two or three pit stops in a race, allowing them to change tyres and take on fuel etc. The timing and execution of a pit stop can have a massive bearing on the outcome of a race.
The nature of the sport means that crashes (mostly benign) are a reality. When this occurs, the safety car usually appears on track, allowing the stewards to clear any debris from impeding the drivers. This, however, slows the race down to such an extent that it is almost like starting over again.
In the end, the driver who completes the race in the quickest time is awarded the win and the 25 points. However, drivers can face retrospective penalties (docked points) if there is evidence of foul play during the race.
There are plenty of reasons to weigh up your options in terms of online bookmakers for F1 betting. Hunting for value in the odds can be rewarding, especially if you have done some research or found some F1 tips pre-race. The unpredictability and competitiveness of the sport, coupled with the huge number of markets you can bet on leads to a decent opportunity for the knowledgeable punter to make some profit. Choosing any of our recommended bookmakers will give you a worthwhile Formula One betting experience, not to mention some lucrative promotions and offers to get you started.