Formula One, often shortened to F1, is the pinnacle of motorsport. With Grands Prix held in both North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, it is a truly global sport.
After expansion in recent years, the F1 season now runs for nine months between March and November, with just a brief summer break in August. There are 23 rounds currently on the calendar.
A hugely popular sport for both those attending race weekends and watching on TV, Formula One has a wide variety of betting options. As a result, there’s often offers and incentives available for both new and existing customers.
As raceday approaches, we’ll complete laps of all the top bookmakers to produce our very own podium of available promotions which we will highlight below.
Latest F1 Betting Offers & Promotions
On F1 markets, you could use an odds boost with Ladbrokes to increase the odds of your selection. Each day at least one odds boost will be available per customer, max stake £50.
Please note: Most F1 offers will become available in the days before the next race takes place.
How To Bet on F1
As with most sports, there is a wide range of betting opportunities when it comes to Formula One. Below we have the most popular markets in detail.
The most straightforward thing that you can bet on when it comes to Formula One is the race betting. The pinnacle of motorsports pits the best of the best up against one another, with the aim of the drivers being to win the race. With 20 cars starting each event, that is not a foregone conclusion for any driver, especially given the manner in which races can change in a heartbeat. As far as Race Betting is concerned, what you want to do is predict which driver will finish first, seeing the chequered flag waved in front of them as the speed across the line and take all of the plaudits.
There are a wealth of websites out there that have information such as how many times a driver has started a particular track and how well they’ve done each time, for example, in addition to how they’ve done from each place on the grid. You can also watch the qualifying laps to get a sense of how each driver is likely to perform when the race proper gets underway. Whilst it might be tempting to just look at who the favourite is and bet on them, especially if they have won several times in a row, doing research will put you in a better position before you make your bet.
A variation on the Race Betting that you might want to consider is to bet on their finishing position. Normally, bookmakers offer you either a Podium Finish or else a Points Finish, which are exactly how they sound. You’re betting that your chosen driver will finish on the podium, which means coming in the top three, or they will finish in the points which covers the top 10. The latter bets effectively includes the former bets, so the odds for it will be much shorter. A driver might be 50/1 to get a Podium Finish, but those odds would drop significantly to 10/11 when it comes to a Points Finish.
Whilst the types of bets you’re placing are similar, it is about what you expect the driver to do that makes it interesting. Only one driver can finish first, whilst three can finish on the podium and ten can finish in the points. This is reflected in the odds. For the Dutch Grand Prix in 2023, for example, here are the odds that a selection of drivers were given by one bookmaker for the various outcomes:
|Driver||Winner||Podium (Top 3)||Points (Top 10)|
The odds are less generous for a Points Finish, but it is also more likely to happen than either of the other two, which is what you need to consider when placing your bet.
The likes of Race Betting and Finishing Position wagers are limited to the individual races that take place over the course of a season. There are other bets that are about the long-term view of the sport, with Drivers Championship betting being one of them. Each time a driver finishes within a certain position in a race, they achieve a certain number of points. These points are added together as the season goes on, meaning that each driver has a total number of points once the final race has been concluded. The one with the most points wins the Driver Championship.
If you look before the season gets underway, you will get longer odds than if you wait until the season has started. That is because of the fact that there will already be points on the board for the drivers after the first race, so bookmakers will have more information available to them. If one driver is particularly good as the season goes on, bookies will start to offer the likes of ‘Winner Without Max Verstappen’ odds, for example, suggesting that they think that Verstappen has the Drivers Championship sewn up so you’re effectively betting on who will come second.
As well as the race to become the best driver over the course of the season, there is also a championship that is limited to the various constructors/teams. Each constructor has two cars that take part in each race, meaning that there are double the amount of points available than there are for the drivers alone. Each time one of their cars finishes in a certain position, they can win points for the constructors. Just as with the Drivers Championship, the Constructors Championship is an accumulation of all of those points during the course of the season to see which constructor is the best.
Whilst the top driver over the course of the season is always going to win a good number of points for their constructor, it isn’t always the case that their constructor will win the Constructor Championship because of the second driver. One team having a winning driver and a second driver finishing tenth every time wouldn’t win as many points as a team with the drivers finishing second and third every single race, say. This is the sort of thing that you need to bear in mind when it comes to the Constructors Championship, which is about team consistency over a long period of time.
What You Need To Know
When it comes to betting, the more knowledge you can have on a particular sport the better. As such, here are some key considerations when it comes to how you place your F1 bets.
Each race in a Formula One season has a qualifying process before the main event. This is in order to decide the positions that the various drivers will take up for the race proper. Qualifying sees the drivers take to the track effectively one at a time and do what they can to achieve their fastest possible lap. The speeds in which each driver finish the race will determine their position on the grid for the start of the race, with the driver who completed it in the fastest time said to have been given ‘pole position.’ This means that they will start at the front of all of the drivers.
This is, statistically, the most advantageous position that a driver can be in for the beginning of a race. It doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to win, with any number of things possible to happen once the event is underway, but the fact that there are no cars in front of them means that they don’t have to navigate around other vehicles in their pursuit of a better finishing position. One thing that is worth researching is how well drivers do when they are in pole position in given races, with the likes of the Monaco Grand Prix notorious difficult to overtake others around the course.
Did Not Finish (DNF)
In the world of Formula One, DNF means Did Not Finish. In some ways, all of the information that you need is in those three words, given the fact that it means that a driver failed to finish the race and therefore was not awarded any points. Equally, any bets on them to finish on the podium or within the points will be losers. There can be several reasons why a driver might not be able to finish the race, with technical issues with the car as well as a crash being two of the most common. In 1987, Italian driver Andrea de Cesaris set a record by notching up 14 DNFs out of 16 races.
It isn’t that common for a driver to DNF several times in the same season, let alone in the majority of races, but it obviously can happen. There are other acronyms that are similar but not the same. A DNS, for example, means Did Not Start, perhaps because the car suffered from technical difficulties during the warm up lap and was unable to take part in the race proper. DNQ, meanwhile, means Did Not Qualify, which means that they either failed to set a time during qualifying or else their time was too slow for them to qualify for the race. Finally, DRS is something else entirely and is to do with the mechanics of the race, standing for Drag Reduction System.
Another thing that it is worth knowing about when it comes to F1 is the possibility of team orders. As mentioned already, each team has two cars on the grid for every race, presuming that both drivers managed to qualify. The drivers are aiming to win each race, or at the very least come as high up in the finishing order as possible, whilst the team wants to win the Constructor Championship. These two aims are usually working in tandem with one another, but there are occasions when a driver will be instructed to do something by the team principal for the benefit of the team overall.
It might be the case that a team has the cars in second and first position in a race, for example. In essence, this seems like good news as it means that they will get the maximum possible points for that race. The driver in second place, however, might also be leading the standings for the Driver Championship, whilst the driver in first has no chance of winning. The team principal might instruct the driver in first to allow the driver in second to overtake them, meaning that they will miss out on the win in order to help their teammate win the Drivers Championship.
How The Season Works
The Formula One season tends to get underway in February, which is when the cars are revealed and the testing of them commences. There are then as many as 24 ‘Rounds,’ or races, which take place in different countries around the world. The races in the latest season are shown below:
|1||March||Bahrain Grand Prix||Bahrain International Circuit|
|2||March||Saudi Arabia Grand Prix||Jeddah Corniche Circuit|
|3||April||Australia Grand Prix||Albert Park Circuit|
|4||April||Azerbaijan Grand Prix||Baku City Circuit|
|5||May||Miami Grand Prix||Miami International Autodrome|
|6||May||Emilia Romagna Grand Prix||Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari|
|7||May||Monaco Grand Prix||Circuit de Monaco|
|8||June||Spanish Grand Prix||Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya|
|9||June||Canadian Grand Prix||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve|
|10||July||Austrian Grand Prix||Red Bull Ring|
|11||July||British Grand Prix||Silverstone Circuit|
|12||July||Hungarian Grand Prix||Hungaroring|
|13||July||Belgian Grand Prix||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps|
|14||August||Dutch Grand Prix||Circuit Zandvoort|
|15||September||Italian Grand Prix||Autodromo Nazionale di Monza|
|16||September||Singapore Grand Prix||Marina Bay Street Circuit|
|17||September||Japanese Grand Prix||Suzuka International Racing Course|
|18||October||Qatar Grand Prix||Lusail International Circuit|
|19||October||United States Grand Prix||Circuit of the Americas|
|20||October||Mexican Grand Prix||Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez|
|21||November||Brazilian Grand Prix||Interlagos Circuit|
|22||November||Las Vegas Grand Prix||Las Vegas Strip Circuit|
|23||November||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||Yas Marina Circuit|
As you can see, the F1 season is fairly relentless once it is underway. It is constantly subject to change, too, which is why the races might well not have taken place when we’ve written here by the time you’re reading this. Each racing weekend is given three days, allowing enough time for qualifying and so on.
The Key Races
As you might imagine, there are some races that are more important and influential than others. This could be because of their history or because of their position within the racing calendar. There are also races that come in and out of the schedule depending on numerous factors, such as the Las Vegas Grand Prix in 2023 being the first time the race has been held in the city since the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix. Here is a look at some of the standout races from across the season:
British Grand Prix
Is it because this is a British site that we’ve put the British Grand Prix at the top of the list? Possibly, although it is worth bearing in mind that it boasts a fair bit of history, having taken place every year since 1950. It is the oldest in the Formula One World Championship calendar, on account of the fact that the Silverstone Grand Prix was the first round of the 1950 championship. It sits alongside the Italian Grand Prix as being the only one that has taken place every season that an F1 championship has been held. It hasn’t always been held at Silverstone, but that is the circuit now.
Interestingly, in 1955 the Grand Prix began to be rotated between Silverstone and Aintree, the racecourse where the Grand National takes place each year. That stopped in 1962, at which point Brands Hatch was introduced as the alternative to Silverstone. Silverstone has been the sole venue for the race since 1987 and the winner has been presented with the Royal Automobile Club Trophy, awarded to the driver and then returned before the next race. Lewis Hamilton is the track’s most successful driver, whilst Ferrari is the constructor with the most wins at the track.
Monaco Grand Prix
There is an argument that Monaco is the least interesting of the Grand Prix races from the spectator’s point of but the most visually impressive. Taking place on the streets of Monaco, it is a tight course that has been host races since 1929. It is thought of as one of the most prestigious race courses in the world, sitting alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the Triple Crown of Motorsport. It is one of F1’s most demanding courses, with low average speeds doing little to reduce the danger of the circuit and regularly needing a safety car to intervene.
What makes it relatively boring for the watching audience is the fact that it is a course that is incredibly difficult to takeover one. As a result, the car that gets pole position is likely to be able to keep it provided it gets off to a good start. There are chances to gain the lead, of course, such as thanks to well-timed pit-stops, but generally speaking it isn’t a festival of racing as will be experienced elsewhere. Fernando Alonso once described it as ‘the most boring race ever,’ whilst Lewis Hamilton said after the 2022 Grand Prix that it ‘wasn’t really racing.’
Bahrain Grand Prix
At the time of writing, the Bahrain Grand Prix, or the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix as it is officially known, is the first race of the season. As a result, it is one of the most interesting to watch because it allows spectators to get their first view of the cars in the wake of the testing period, seeing how they will perform under race conditions. Given the manner in which cars are redesigned ahead of the each season, this can be one of the most telling moments of the entire year and both constructors and drivers are keen to try to make a good impression.
There has been plenty of criticism of the choice of Bahrain as a racing circuit, largely on account of the country’s appalling human rights record, but it sits alongside the likes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia as a place where Formula One is happy to have events take place. Drivers go where they are told to go, of course, and they want to make the best impression that they can at the start of the season to let the other drivers know what they are going to be about over the months that follow. With that in mind, it deserves a place on our list of the key races to look out for.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
We could easily have had the likes of the Italian Grand Prix on here for historical reasons, but at the time of writing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the one that closes out the racing season. As a result, it has plenty to recommend it in terms of its importance in the calendar, given the manner in which seasons can be won or lost on the Yes Marina Circuit. Another interesting factor is that it is a day-night race, with floodlights used to light up the circuit as it transitions from day to night, on account of the fact that the race tends to start at about 5pm local time.
As an example of just how exciting the race can be at Abu Dhabi, you only need to look to the 2021 edition. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were battling it out for the right to be crowned the champion driver, with Hamilton seemingly in the hot-seat. In a move that was controversial enough to allow it to sit alongside the human rights record of the hosts, Michael Masi, the race director, used incorrect race procedure to put the two drivers alongside one another instead of Verstappen having to make it past the overlapped drivers in the final lap, winning out.