Betting on F1 – The Complete Tutorial

Betting on F1

“It’s not always about picking the fastest driver”

It does not matter, which country do you live in, you will always have an opportunity to follow Formula One races on the TV. F1 racing has already established itself a name as one of the most popular sport in the world. This may be correlated with the fact, Grand Prix races take place all around the world, so if you have a car and some money to spare, chances are you will have an opportunity to go and see some of the best drivers face off on the tracks designed for speed and entertainment of viewers.

With the popularity of F1 in the last 40 years, it has also become a popular sport between the bettors. Despite giving a lot of room for discussion about the new technology of cars and new designs of the tracks, betting of F1 is seems to be fairly simple. This is an argument you will hear from people not familiar with the betting world around F1. “You just need to pick the driver that will be the fastest” But in reality, there is much more behind it.

About Formula One

Formula 1 season begins in March and ends in November, with 19 racing weekends, each taking place every 2nd or 3rd week. Grand Prix takes place over the weekend, with 2 free practise sessions on Friday, another free practice on Saturday, followed by qualifying later the same day. The qualifications have a form of a three-round elimination, where 24 drivers try to get a better position than their opponents. Each round lasts 10 minutes and 7 drivers are being removed from qualifications, to be placed on the rear of the starting grid after each of the first 2 rounds.  The last 10 drivers battle it out for the first 10 starting positions on the race day. After qualifications are over and we know on which position, each driver will start, we just have to wait for the race, which takes place on Sunday.

With racing tracks all around the globe, the first races start somewhere in the eastern part of the world (Australia), in May the races behind to happen in Europe and then move to the far corners of the world (Japan, Singapore, Brazil,…). Formula 1 has a few players each season that “dominate” the leader boards, so you may think we should just bet on them and that’s it, right?

Well, that is far from the truth. An experienced bettor will study drivers form, their morale, relations to co-workers, how did they spend their free time and much more. It’s much more complex that it seems at the start, that’s why I wrote this article to help you better understand the world of betting on F1.

Betting on F1 offers a lot of options, but the most popular are;
Overall Qualifying
– Winner
– Fastest Lap
– Podium Finish
 – and of course Championship winner

Before choosing what type of bet and which driver/team you will choose. I strongly encourage you to take into consideration the next variables:

Pole position

It’s a topic open for discussion, but I’ll share my own opinion on this. Statistically, pole position is important, as it correlates with the win %. But then again, it’s important what the percentage is, so it’s not as simple as it seems. Knowing only the position on which will the certain driver start does not help you much, if you do not know the track he will race on, and the driver himself. Some of the tracks (such as Monza) give the driver starting from 1st position an exceptional chance to win the race, whereas other tracks (Silverstone) are much more open and give a lot of opportunities for drivers to overtake one another, so starting position can be (almost) neglected. In short; Each track is different, and so are the chances of 1st positioned driver to win. So studying the track, combined with pole position gives us much better insight on how the race (statistically) should play out.

The driver which do start on the 1st position is also an important aspect. Statistically, they should win as the odds show. But even the best drivers, such as Vettel and Hamilton do not always win when they start on the pole position. Actually, both win only a fraction more from the pole, compared to those starting behind.  This is really important info for the bettors, which seek for a good value on each driver.


It is without a say one of the factors that are of tremendous importance in this sport, and one of the factors, which can have a huge effect on how the race plays out. I strongly advise you to check the weather forecast for the city in which the race will take place. Historical data of the weather can also be used in determining the. After you gain the needed information about the weather, research the following factors:
Driver’s experience; drivers with little experience on the track will most likely perform worse in harsh conditions
How each team performs in different kinds of weather; It’s clear each team has it’s strengths and weaknesses, thus performing differently in different conditions.
Driver’s style; Not only teams, as a whole, but drivers differentiate from each other in their style of driving, some prefer driving in the rain, others just can’t perform in rainy conditions etc.
 Will the weather change during the race?


You do not need to be an expert to know Tyres are important when it comes to racing. Tyre selection is connected with previous factor (the weather) as well as driver’s preference, team strategy etc.

The Track

Each track is unique in its own way and is one of the factors an experienced bettor takes the most time analysing. Some of the tracks are twisted like a snake, others offer more straight parts, which are a joy to watch. Formula 1 drivers use them for overtaking and we as the viewers can see them driving at tremendous speed by us.  When analysing the track, we must also go back to the driver himself. Some can take advantage of curves, others are just not experienced enough to do so. With observing the qualification run we can get somewhat good insight on how the racers will perform on the race day

Rumours/information before the track

Some people might disagree, but in my opinion, it does not hurt to follow driver’s twitter accounts and to stay updated on driver’s life. Events like break-ups with a girlfriend, any tragic in the family can be used, as it affects the driver’s morale. For those of you, who think this is nonmoral, I’m sorry to say that the professional betting world is just not for you.

Disclaimer: do NOT believe everything you read on the internet, some information might be false.

Lastly, I would like to give a few short tips before you go and bet on F1 races:

Do NOT think, the fastest qualifier will post the fastest lap; Sometimes the most logical thing to do turns out not to be the smartest, especially in betting.  Only 1/4 of drivers who won the qualification, turned out to drive the fastest lap on the race day.
On the other hand, there is some logic behind it. The driver who starts on the 1st position will most likely drive more conservatively, oppose to those behind him, who strive to overtake drivers ahead of them.

 Do NOT believe everything you read via media (as mentioned before)

–  Get as many information as you can on the event, drivers, cars, teams, new rules…; Sometimes misfortune happens. Some of the F1 fans will remember Mika Häkkinen accident with the clutch in 2001 Spanish Grand Prix. Things like that happen, but with enough information, we can bring them to a minimum.

Do not over commit at the beginning of the season; The high odds might be tempting, but I recommend to avoid betting on who the champion will be, or on races before the season starts. One of the main reasons is, teams need some time to adapt and start showing their true capabilities. If you want to use this approach, I would recommend to start with low stakes and slowly increase them appropriately with the knowledge about the new season you accumulated.

– and lastly do NOT over bet the driver on the pole; I can’t stress this enough, as tempting as it is, it’s not always the best option. Study the track and the drivers and decide accordingly.

At the end, I would like to thank you for reading my short guide on F1 betting. As you may have seen F1 betting is not as simple as it seems at the start, it has a lot of variables and factors we as a bettor need to study to get the best possible results. I hope I answered the questions you came here to search for and I wish all of you good luck with F1 betting. We also offer F1 betting predictions and if you are interested, then check out our premium subscription.