F1 betting is one of the most popular markets out there in the betting community, with thousands of fans backing their favourite drivers during each Grand Prix.
And bookmakers have worked hard to ensure Formula 1 betting offers a high entertainment value with plenty of attractive bets. Gone are the days when you could only bet on the winner in F1. Now, there are hundreds of markets to bet on throughout the season and live during races.
F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and with it comes big challenges for the teams competing. Even the slightest change to their cars can shave off time in a driver’s lap and aid their chances of glory.
But you don’t need to be a petrolhead to enjoy F1 betting. In this guide, we want to help you gain a better understanding of F1 betting and how to bet on Formula 1.
What is Formula 1?
Formula 1 widely regarded as the pinnacle of motorsport, where the limits of manufacturing combine with the best road drivers on the planet to create a spectacle that reaches speeds of 220mph.
Noisy, low cars are driven by charismatic drivers on some of the most exclusive and extravagant circuits in the world. There are a set number of teams in F1 — usually around 10 — with two cars allocated to each team. So a race, known as a Grand Prix, should see around 20 cars on the track at the start.
There are around 21 Grands Prix each season, although this varies over the years. The F1 season runs through the European summer, from March to November, and takes in circuits all over the planet. Each Formula 1 race must be just over 189.5 miles long and, because tracks vary in length, it means each Grand Prix has its own total number of laps a driver must complete.
Drivers earn points for their finishing positions, which tally up through to season to produce the eventual F1 Drivers’ Champion. Points are also collated for the teams competing, so there is a Constructors’ Championship up for grabs too.
In Formula 1 betting you get new and meaningful information all the time. Each race is different for a number of reasons. Different race tracks place their own unique requirements on the cars. For example, the Monaco Grand Prix and Shanghai Grand Prix place a high demand on the gearbox, as drivers change gears thousands of times during these iconic street races that twist and bend through the city. On other tracks — such as the custom-made circuits of Bahrain or Monza — the car's speed and power are the crucial factors, while on others aerodynamics and drivability are essential. The race car is simply everything within F1 and Formula 1 betting.
Bet types in F1 betting
When it comes to F1 betting, there are primarily three different bet types that stand out as the most common and most popular ones when betting on upcoming races and competitions. These are outright betting, long-term betting and live betting in-play during the races.
Outright betting on F1 races
In outright betting you are placing a bet on the winner of a specific Grand Prix. You are offered varied odds for the different participating Formula 1 drivers, where you choose one of whom you think will win the specific race. This is certainly the most straight-forward bet type and a good one to start with if you’re new to F1 betting.
To place the bet, simply click on the odds that we’re offering and then enter the desired amount of money you would like to place on the bet. You will then see your potential payout. If your driver wins the race, you win the bet.
F1 betting on a finishing position is another popular type of outright bet that we offer our players. A bet on a finishing position is usually limited to a podium place (in the top three). When you bet on Formula 1 and the finishing position, you simply choose the driver in the race that you think will end up in position 1-3.
Here’s an example. Max Verstappen has the odds of 13/1 to win a specific race, while the odds of Verstappen ending up on the podium (1-3) are set at 2/1. As you can see, betting on his finishing position is usually a safer bet if you know that a Formula 1 driver will be in with a good shout, but you’re unsure if he can win the race. But with a safer bet comes shorter odds, so that potential payout will be less.
Long-term F1 betting
Another form of betting that we want to mention when it comes to F1 betting is to back the eventual champion or the winning team. These are season-long markets where you place a bet on the most successful driver or team. It kind of works in the same way as outright betting, with the difference that you’re betting on which team or driver has gathered the most points during a single F1 season.
The odds can change dramatically through the season. For example, a team may win eight of the first 12 Grands Prix of a campaign, which would likely see their odds on winning the Constructors’ Championship drop to favourites. But if a rival team improve as the season continues, those odds will fluctuate. Some punters try to time the perfect point in a season in which to make a bet on the title.
Live betting in Formula 1
Are you the kind of player who prefers live betting and to place a bet In-Play in the heat of the moment? If so, Unibet offers live betting on Formula 1 for you to take part in.
When live betting on F1, determination, prompt thinking and quick decisions are usually rewarded. In sports such as football, tennis or basketball, you’ll get on well with a wise, versatile and universal approach. However, when you place an In-Play bet on Formula 1, you must constantly make new decisions in complex situations. You must therefore always be one step ahead when it comes to live betting on Formula 1.
One of the best methods in live F1 betting is to work out when drivers will be making their stops. Drivers must pit at least once during a race and change tyres — and that can lead to tactical advantages and errors being made.
It is definitely worth listening to the commentators if you’re watching F1 live and betting during the race, because they will always report the latest times to viewers from their bank of monitors. Any information coming down the drivers’ radios is also useful, as you can work out when they are likely to pit.
If you think a driver is pitting at the wrong time, this may be the best moment to avoid backing them. Or, conversely, it could be when you back that driver’s rival to overtake him and steal a place in the race.
Bet on the biggest Grand Prix races at Unibet with great odds. While the races are running, you can also check out our live betting section to place a bet In-Play to add even more excitement to the race.
F1 qualifying betting
A Grand Prix is not all about the Sunday race. So much about a driver’s success during an F1 weekend depends on their qualifying efforts the day before the race. Saturdays see F1 drivers enter qualifying, where they are effectively trying to set the fastest lap possible, so they can start higher up the grid.
Qualifying is often overlooked by F1 betting fans but in fact it is one of the most vital parts of the weekend. In some cases, it’s as important as the race itself!
There are three sessions in qualifying, where drivers aim to avoid the cut-off point and progress to the next stage. Qualifying is not always about the fastest car in a straight line. Depending on the circuit, it could be the car with the best handling ability or streamlined chassis that secures the fastest lap.
Betting on F1 qualifying is a great way to get used to F1 betting before the big race actually takes place. The action is fast and furious, and you should always keep one eye on those qualifying times coming through.
You may have heard of the phrase ‘one-two’ in qualifying. That’s when an F1 team sees its drivers qualify in first and second place, and in doing so they ‘lock out’ the front row. This is vitally important for a team, as their two drivers can work together from the start to fend off rivals.
Drivers can also be docked starting positions for the race, even if they qualified well on the Saturday. This may be because their team broke rules over the car, or the driver is serving a penalty for something he did on the track.