Formula 1 Betting Guide

Formula 1 is one of the richest sports in the world thanks to its mass global appeal, its glamorous image and its almost limitless opportunities for product promotion and endorsement. It also happens to be incredibly exciting and, even more importantly, is a fantastic betting opportunity for those prepared to put in a little research.

There are numerous factors to consider when betting on F1 and various different markets on which to place a bet. This may all seem a bit daunting to a beginner but with 19 races on the 2013 calendar spread out between March and November there is plenty of time to get to grips with F1 betting.

Of course, whilst the aim of any bet is to win money, many people have a bet just for a little bit of fun and gambling on Formula 1 is well-suited to that. You can choose bets that will keep your interest for the entire season or ones that will be settled almost instantaneously.

F1 is also very attractive to the more serious punter as there is a wealth of information available on the sport, a relatively limited number of competitors and, due to the correlation between financial backing and levels of success, it is reasonably predictable, with the best drivers and teams winning more often than not.

Most Popular Formula 1 Bets / How To Bet On Formula 1

There is a whole host of different bets you can place on F1 covering the various stages of the race from practice to qualifying and even in-play during the race itself, as well as various season-long options. Here we take a look at the most popular options:

  • Race winner – The most popular F1 bet for most people and also the simplest – who will win any given race. This can be placed at any time, either before the starting order has been decided or after, or even during the race with many bookies.
  • Podium finish – Another simple one and very similar to backing a horse “to place”, to win this bet your selected driver must finish in the top three.
  • Pole position – This market is a bet on who will head the pre-race qualifying which takes place on Saturday afternoons the day before the race itself. Whichever driver is fastest in qualifying starts the race in pole position at the front of the grid.
  • Drivers Championship – This is a season-long bet on which driver will accrue the most points throughout the course of the season and win the World Championship. You can back drivers throughout the season as the odds fluctuate according to results.
  • Constructors Championship – Similar to the above this market is won by the team whose drivers win the most points over the whole season.
  • Straight forecast – Like a straight forecast in other sports this is a bet on who will finish first and second in a given race and your selections must come in the right order.

Formula 1 Betting Rules

The many rules and technicalities of Formula 1 rarely affect us as punters but here we take a look at some of the major ones that could. Of course, rules vary from bookmaker to bookmaker so if in doubt it’s always worth double checking directly with the bookmaker, either through their customer service team or their onsite rules.

  • Pay-out limits – This is one to watch with all sports and all bets and whilst it is unlikely to impact many people it is worth knowing. Many bookies have a maximum payout that can vary according to the sport in question. For example, say the maximum payout for football and for F1 is £500,000 and you place a crazy accumulator on various races and matches with odds of 500,000/1. It wins – lucky you – and you had £2 on it and are expecting a cool £1m back but you will only receive £500,000, meaning you would have been wiser to only stake £1. You’d get over the disappointment though eventually.
  • Dead-heat rules – Dead-heat rules will often apply to markets where there could be a tie, such as which driver will win the most races. In the event of a tie (between two drivers), this means that half your bet is settled as a winner and half as a loser.
  • Points/podium finishes – If a driver is subsequently disqualified many bookmakers will count the result as it stood at the time of the official FIA podium presentation.
  • Head-to-head – In head-to-head bets, such as Hamilton versus Button, both drivers must start the race or the bet is void.
  • Incomplete race – If a race is abandoned or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances then most bookies will void bets in the case of postponement and settle based on official FIA results if abandoned. However, as with all rules, the exact terms will vary from bookie to bookie.