This Sunday is Round 2 of the 2023 Formula 1 season, with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah. In the opening race, we witnessed normal service resuming with Max Verstappen cruising to victory in Bahrain. But there was a gatecrasher on the podium, with Fernando Alonso taking third place in his Aston Martin. Will it be Verstappen on top of the podium again in Saudi Arabia? Or can Alonso cause another upset this weekend? Let’s take a closer look at our Formula 1 betting picks.
If you thought Max Verstappen was too short to bet on in Bahrain, then you will be even more disappointed this week. After a strong showing in F1 testing the week before the opening race, the defending champion was priced up at -120 to win in Sakhir. Two weeks later, Verstappen is -200 to win the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
|Formula 1; 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Betting|
This is because Verstappen – along with Sergio Perez – dominated the race in Bahrain. Verstappen led his Red Bull teammate to a 1-2 finish, and as a result, the pair are leading the betting ahead of Round 2.
Perez is +450 to win in Jeddah, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso at +800, making up the leading three with the best Formula 1 Las Vegas betting sites. The two Ferraris are next, with Charles Leclerc at +900 and Carlos Sainz at +1400. And then check this out for odds on the Mercedes duo; Lewis Hamilton is as much as +2500, and George Russell is +3300.
Along with the prices of the Mercedes pair, Fernando Alonso is the other big mover in the betting. The two-time world champion went into the Bahrain Grand Prix at +2000. And after his impressive third-place finish, he now finds himself the third favorite to win in Jeddah at just +800. That’s some change in odds.
It was as if the 2022 season never ended. Red Bull dominated proceedings at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and the fear is it could be another procession for Christian Horner’s team in 2023.
To further underline Red Bull’s dominance. Max Verstappen started the season at -140 to win his third successive championship in the F1 futures market. And after just one race, the defending world champion is now into -400 to make it three in a row.
Unfortunately, this dominance means the best Las Vegas sportsbooks won’t be offering great odds on Verstappen winning races this season. But thankfully, behind the Red Bull team, we now seem to have a three-way fight developing for positions on the podium.
The emergence of the Aston Martin team, especially with double world champion Fernando Alonso driving for them, means Ferrari and Mercedes now have company in their battle for podium places.
The three-way battle could be dependent on a marked improvement in the performance of Mercedes, though. Because after their two drivers struggled in Bahrain, the betting markets seem to see them as a distant fourth in the lead-up to Saudi Arabia.
Right, the first thing to get out of the way is that if Max Verstappen gets around the course, he is most likely going to win. For anybody looking for a safe F1 bet, that seems to be it. But at Las Vegas odds of just -200, he is not good value. So, we’re looking elsewhere for our F1 picks.
That said, the chances are Verstappen will win. So, if you want to back him, it’s more than likely a safe bet. We’re looking elsewhere, though.
Aston Martin was expecting to do well in Bahrain, and thanks to Fernando Alonso, they did just that. The Spaniard finished in third position, and we think Alonso can get on the podium for the second race in succession in Saudi Arabia.
After turning down a Verstappen bet at -200, this may be a slightly contradictory pick. But Lewis Hamilton is -160 to beat his teammate George Russell, and after finishing nearly 5 seconds, and two positions above Russell in Bahrain, we feel Hamilton has the edge in the Mercedes team at the moment.
Yes, the odds are similar, but they are better. And we feel that there is better value in this bet than a bet at shorter odds of Verstappen getting around the circuit.
Next up, and the fastest lap. As Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu’s fastest lap in Bahrain proved, this can be an open market when tactics come into play.
Zhou Guanyu was sent out on soft tires with little fuel to ensure a red-hot quick lap, but as he finished 16th, he didn’t receive the bonus point (only drivers in the top 10 can claim the extra point). This was a specific ploy to deny Alpine (Pierre Gasly) the extra point.
Alfa Romeo regards Alfa Romeo and McLaren as their rivals, and this was behind the tactical move. What this shows is that teams will – in certain scenarios – be prepared to sacrifice drivers for the sake of denying the extra point to rivals. And in the case of the top teams, it will generally be their number 2 drivers who get sacrificed.
Therefore, betting on Carlos Sainz (+1200), George Russell (+1800), or Lance Stroll (+5000) could be worthwhile. Zhou Guanyu is +6600 this week, and he was probably at a similar price last week.
Take your pick from the number 2 drivers. Or, alternatively, placing a small wager on Sainz, Russell, and Stroll to record the fastest lap could be the way forward this week.
Dean has a strong affinity for the English Premier League and cricket, but his extensive understanding of sports allows him to discuss a wide range of athletic topics. Previously, Dean has explored the world to attend events such as the FIFA World Cup and Ashes cricket matches, but currently, he prefers to enjoy sports from the coziness of his home.