The Best F1 Online Betting Strategies

For Intermediate
f1 betting

Formula One is undoubtedly the biggest racing sport in the world. In the US, the sport is slightly overshadowed by the fame of NASCAR, but Formula One (F1) is gaining in popularity. Considered the highest class of single-seat race car driving in many parts of the world, F1 is fast-paced and action-packed. 

Here at Sports Betting Guide, we understand that it might be scary to bet on such an unknown sport for American bettors. However, if you don't know what you are doing and are looking to improve your action, then you couldn’t be in a better place!

This article will take you by the hand and show you the basics of F1 betting alongside some excellent tips that will get you winning quickly! 

This guide comes from the hands of our F1 experts at Sports Betting Guide, who want nothing more than to see people have fun and improve their game when it comes to F1 online betting. Take a look around, do your research, manage your bankroll, and become an F1 bettor in no time! It’s time to step on the gas, go flat-out, and win some serious cash!

Table of Contents

The Basics to Understand F1 Online Betting

What you first want to look at with F1 online betting is the various kinds of bets you can place. Many of the bets allow for substantial value; however, there are a few bad apples in the bunch that can limit your cash flow. Keep on reading to discover all the essential wagers and also the ones you should preferably avoid. 


Nearly all online bookies in the US offer F1 as one of their market options. Each bookmaker has the power to decide on what odds each bet is worth to them. Understand that each of the sportsbooks wants to make money, but they all do it differently. This is why you should scout around for the best odds involving the bets that you wish to place. Browsing around for the best odds can turn a decent chance into a good one or a good one into an amazing one! Over time, with such a long season of F1 and so many different kinds of bets, you will find that scouting for the best odds really adds up to your winnings.

F1 sports betting in the USA hasn’t been around long, and it shows. Sportsbooks are looking to get more action in the industry by giving away free bets! In essence, welcome-bonuses or promotions give you the ability to place bets for free or at a discounted rate. Shop around the many online sports betting sites and check out our bonus page here at Sports Betting Guide for the most outstanding bonuses!

Like we said before, here are many different ways to bet on F1. Let’s do a rundown of the basic set of wagers. 

Race Winners

Betting on the race winner as a Single bet sounds pretty straightforward, right? It is, winning this bet requires you to pick the winner of the final race of an F1 weekend. Only three teams are currently able to provide a winner in the sport. It’s important to note here that not all organizations, ten in total, are equals. Each team presents its two drivers with a car that can be drastically different from other teams. Haas F1, a US-based team, only broke the top 10 of the race seven times this season. Betting on one of their drivers is a hopeless enterprise. The three teams that watched one of its drivers pass the finish line first are Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari. Because of the limited amount of drivers winning a Grand Prix (GP), the odds offered for potential winners are relatively low, making this bet, despite its popularity, hard to make profitable.

F1 Driver vs. Driver Matchups

Now here is something infinitely more exciting than the race-winner bet. Throughout the online sportsbooks which provide action on F1, you will find matchup bets. Two drivers are virtually pitted against each other. Pick the winner of the two, regardless of their finishing position in the race, and you take home the bacon. Even when it is a battle between two drivers at the back of the pack, matchup bets still count. Predict the outcome between two individual drivers from different teams or sometimes the same team!

So if you think that a driver will do better than the bookies give him credit for, but you still don’t think he will get the win, this is a great option. You can benefit from the knowledge of a driver’s good form, even if you don’t believe he can win the race.

Around 10 to 15 matchup bets are commonly available in each sportsbook, so you are bound to find one you like.

Qualifying bet

Every GP consists of three days filled with action. On the first day of the weekend, Friday, you have a training day. Drivers can test their cars, and you can check them on their capabilities of scoring big on qualifying or race-day. Saturday is called ‘qualifying’ day. Each driver goes out on the track to set their best time, a time-trial of sorts. Whoever wins this time-trial, gets pole position! The qualifying bet, or pole position bet, is relatively straightforward, just like the race winner bet. Pick your guy who will come out on top on Saturday and will start from the first position on the grid.

Although it seems that this bet is quite similar to the race winner bet, it has distinct differences. Some cars can be tuned tremendously to excel for short periods like qualifying sessions, while other cars are more adept to the stamina-game of race day. Other factors that influence the difference can range from weather situation to the kind of track they are racing on. These factors we will discuss later on in the article.

F1 Betting

F1 Top 3 and Top 6 Bets

When you have a feel for a few drivers who might come out on top but don’t know who exactly will win, the top 3 bet (or podium bet) is the right wager for you. Select the three drivers that you see standing on the podium at the end of the race. It doesn’t even matter in which order you pick them, as long as they are all on the podium. This bet can have some serious value, but be careful; crashes and car failures happen plenty enough, nearly every race.

A more risky continuation of this wager is the top 6 bet. Similar to the top 3, seeing that you don’t have to choose any order of results. Now though, six drivers need to be selected correctly to win it all. Something we mentioned before might pop up in your head now. Out of all the ten teams in the circuit, three teams with two drivers each are dominating every race. That makes six in total, right? True, but this doesn’t make a bet any easier. Just as with the top 3 bets, crashes and car failures often happen, even more within the top 6. Risks are high, and the payouts don’t always resemble this high variance. Choose wisely when it comes to this specific kind of F1 online bet.

Winning the Championship bet


The last primary wager, and one of the so-called ‘future bets.’ Pick your winner of the Driver’s Championship. Each position in a race gives you points. From the tenth to number one, points are awarded corresponding to your position. At the end of the season, points are added up, and the driver with the most points wins the Championship. Mercedes has won the last five championships in a row, their driver, Lewis Hamilton winning four of them. For next season it doesn’t look like much has changed, but the gap between Mercedes and the rest has narrowed significantly. In the season after the coming one, a lot of rule changes are introduced as well, perhaps further evening out the playing field.

You can take this type of bet on before the start of the season, or while the season is already underway, with decreased odds. It is recommended to let the season be underway for a few races to get a sense of the capabilities of the different cars before you gamble on your winner!

F1 Specialty bets

Besides the basic bets, you might looking for special bets (prop bets) to spice up the betting action. All these bets are unique to the sport, and while some are skill-based, most are entirely dependent on luck. Luckily, sportsbooks tell you which ones are which, right? No, they give you no hint to whether the prop bet in question is based on luck or skill. That’s where we come in, look at the two lists below to see which bets you can do more research on, and the ones that are decided by fate.

Skill-based prop bets:

  • What driver will lead the most laps?
  • What driver will record the fastest lap during practice?
  • Winning margin.
  • Will driver X lead a lap during the race?

Luck-based prop bets:

  • The first driver to retire during a race.
  • The first team with a driver retiring during a race.
  • Who will be the first driver to make a pitstop?
  • Will driver Y get caught speeding in the pit lane?
  • How many times will the safety car come out?

As you can see, proposition bets are fun but also complicated bets. Risks are high for even the skill-based ones, but winning can be so incredibly rewarding!

What’s the track, and how’s the weather?

There are two variables in an F1 race that mainly decide what the competition will be looking like. Barring major accidents or any engine failures, the sport can be accurately predicted with these two elements in mind. Seeing as these two variables are so worthwhile to look at, we provide you with the top things to look out for in terms of weather and the track. 


A change of the weather can alter the top 10 altogether. Formula one races are so profoundly affected by the weather because of the speed of the competition. When cars are often going over 200mph and taking sharp turns at 80-100mph, a few drops of rain can make a simple corner turn into a slip and slide. 

Take a look at the weather before the race and adjust your bet accordingly. When the forecast talks of average temperatures and blue skies, the race will most likely not be affected all too much. All teams can cope with these conditions equally. However, when the weather worsens, issues start arising. Hail and rain can devastatingly alter the position of a car in the race. Even extreme temperatures can change the chances of a car winning. Formula 1 teams have multiple sets of tires during a race, that work optimally for various conditions, so sometimes all it takes is a pit stop. Still, that can be just the pit stop that made your pick drop  from first into the fifth position, potentially losing you the bet. 

Some data to look out for when researching the weather before a race:

  • What is the current forecast?
  • How did the weather look like the previous years?
  • How does a driver typically perform in this kind of weather?


When it comes to betting in Formula One, we advise you to learn all the tracks, and it’s layouts. Each individual track has its own specialties and curiosities. All drivers have their preferences when it comes to routes, and the teams can often be found preferring a particular tuning for their car. That’s why you need to study the track in detail.

Types of tracks

Like we said, each track has its specialties. Tracks have a multitude of options to design their layout, as they are not bound down by rules and regulations. The number of corners, straights, elevation changes, can be endless. Some cars are designed to perform better in these straights, while other cars exceed at making turns. Besides the layout of the track, the location also influences a lot. You will notice that on nearly every continent, a GP is held. While most tracks have a mild environment, there are a few instances of extreme heat or humidity in which the drivers have to race. Look at the track record of a driver during the season and match that with the different conditions to see who favors what kind of track. 

Every race track is unique, and each of them presents new challenges for the drivers and teams. Some cars are designed to perform better in corners while others prefer straight-line speed. Other factors in which the track can have a deciding role is temperature or humidity. Engines behave differently at different altitudes, temperatures, and moisture levels. Specific teams cope better with certain conditions, and this shows. Look at the track record of a team during the season and match that with the different weather conditions to see who will be the next one.

You can see how much the condition and layout of the track can impact the race. Check out how the car is looking during practice and qualifying to find out how prepared it will be for the actual race.

F1 Betting

The best tips to win it big

  1. Find value

We mentioned it before, only six drivers have an honest shot at winning. The value is found in these top drivers, as some of them are seriously undervalued. Keep scouting those odds at different sportsbooks until you find the best one. 

  1. Understanding Track history

All F1 tracks are not created equally. Compared to some other popular racing organizations, F1 tracks are probably the ones with the most differences. This means that you need to understand how each driver has historically fared at each track or type of track to get a better plan of how they will perform.

  1. Before or after qualifying bets

Some Grand Prixs feature an unusually narrow track. For these tracks, betting on the race winner is highly dependent on who wins the pole position in qualifying. At these tracks, the odds are wildly different before or after qualifying for these tracks. Take advantage of this when you see a clear winner for pole position.

  1. Better teams mean better results.

Two stand stronger than one; this is also true for F1 teams. A top driver with a reliable teammate can benefit more than one with an inferior teammate. It is easier for organizations to devise a winning strategy when they have two talented drivers at the wheel. Pit-stop tactics and drafting for each other can significantly impact the race.

  1. Bet on multiple drivers during a race

Separating the experienced from the novice bettors is easy. Ask them who they are betting on. If they only mention one name, you can bet on it that they are novices. F1 odds are so generous that it usually pays out to bet on multiple drivers winning the race. Sure, there still is a chance that both your guys won’t come out on top, but spreading the odds and placing your bet like this is the way to go!

It's possible now to bet on F1 racing in many US states and there are for sure more to come in the future, for example Florida. The ones who offer legal golf betting so far, you'll find here:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Illinois
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia

F1 Betting FAQ

  • Is it safe to bet on F1 in US?

    Just like with any other sports bets in US, F1 is completely safe and 100% legal to bet on. As long as it is all happening on a regulated sportsbook, you are good to go!
  • Should I bet my entire bankroll each race?

    We do not recommend you spend all your available money in one race weekend. Take it slow and start betting small if you are new to the game. Take more significant plunges when you gain confidence, but never step out of your comfort zone.
  • Can I bet during a race?

    Yes! Live betting is at an all-time high. Updates of odds are quick and seamless, making placing a bet during a live stream profoundly enjoyable.