Start Your Engines: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Betting on Motor Racing

Updated: 3454 Learning

Explore the exhilarating world of Motor Racing betting, from F1 strategies to placing your first bet. This guide offers everything a beginner needs to know to bet confidently and responsibly.

Start Your Engines: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Betting on Motor Racing
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

Welcome to the fast-paced world of Motor Racing betting! Whether you're an F1 enthusiast or new to the sport, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to place your bets wisely and elevate your viewing experience. Discover tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you navigate through the betting circuits and cross the finish line with potential wins!

Speed Through Bets: Learn Motor Racing Betting for Beginners! 🏆📈

Get ready to rev up your betting game! 🏁 Our beginner's guide to Motor Racing betting is here to take your F1 wagers to pole position 🏆! Dive in now for expert tips! 📚💸

Season Long Bets

Many events come under the umbrella of motor racing including Moto GP and Speedway but by far the most popular, both from a spectator’s point of view and a punter’s point of view is Formula 1.

Some bet types and names may differ slightly between the events but they are usually pretty similar.

With Sky now controlling the rights to Formula 1 the coverage has got even better and punters are very keen to bet so this is a very important lesson.

With this better coverage the leading bookmakers have expanded their betting markets, and now offer a host of motor racing opportunities including bet boosts, accumulators bet builders and free bets

Drivers Championship

This is a bet on which driver will win the Drivers Championship. It is a popular bet ahead of the season because the odds are usually reasonably competitive. As the market remains open throughout the season, there is always the opportunity to trade out your bet at any time by laying off all or some of your liability using a betting exchange. Driver ability plays a large part in the outcome of this bet, obviously, but the ability of the cars is also a huge consideration.

List Of Formula 1 Championship Winners

Season Drive Car
2023 Max Verstappen Red Bull
2022 Max Verstappen Red Bull
2021 Max Verstappen Red Bull
2020 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2019 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2018 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2017 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2016 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2015 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
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Constructor's Championship

It's less popular than the Drivers Championship but still a very popular betting option; this is a bet on which team wins the Constructors Championship. This bet requires similar consideration as the Drivers Championship, except you are effectively betting on both drivers in the same team. The results are generally similar to the Constructors Championship, but if a team has one driver who performs very well and one who performs poorly, they are unlikely to win the Constructors Championship. Look for teams expected to perform very well in the coming season with two top drivers at their disposal. This market remains open throughout the season, allowing trading opportunities. Ferrari lead the way with 16 constructors championship wins although in recent years they have had to play second fiddle to Mercedes and Red Bull. 

List of Formula 1 Constructors Championship Since 2000

Year Constructor Champions
2022 Oracle
2021 Mercedes-AMG
2020 Mercedes-AMG
2019 Mercedes-AMG
2018 Mercedes
2017 Mercedes
2016 Mercedes
2015 Mercedes
2014 Mercedes
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Race Bets

Winner

The most popular bet on each Grand Prix is the winner of the race. It is a very self explanatory bet and the odds are likely to change after qualifying when the order of the starting grid is known with those closer to pole favoured.

XTimNL, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

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Winning Car

This is a bet on the team that wins the Grand Prix. It is effectively a coupled bet on the two drivers representing a team and is a good bet when you strongly fancy a team to win a Grand Prix but can’t decide which driver. The odds take into account that you are backing two drivers though and if you have slight preference for one of the drivers you may be better off backing both drivers but having a slightly bigger bet on the driver you favour.

Jen Ross, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Best Bookmakers

If you bet on all motor sports not just F1 then it can pay to find a bookmaker that covers Nascar, Speedway, and Superbikes,

Podium Finish

This is effectively a ‘place only’ bet on a driver of your choice to finish in the first three. You don’t win anymore whether they finish first or third which is an important aspect of this bet and the odds are much shorter than the winner market so it’s normally best to use this market when you fancy a driver at a big price but don’t necessarily think he’ll win.


Points Finish

A similar type of bet to podium finish but this time you are betting on the driver to finish within the points allocation, which means they have to finish in the top 10. 

Since there are so many short priced contenders in this market it is not a market that too many bookmakers will want to price up and instead you may only find it is available on the exchanges such as Betfair or Samarkets.

 

New Betting Markets

Some of the more innovative bookmakers have started to group betting markets together. They are offering odds for Fastest Qualifier, Fastest Lap and to Win the Race in one bet.

Fastest Lap

Whilst not many drivers will get too excited about having the fastest lap in a Grand Prix unless it contributes to them winning the race punters might get more excited if they’ve backed a driver to have the fastest lap. Not the most common of bets, find your clues from qualifying.

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Number Of Finishers

This market doesn’t require you to predict the exact number of finishers, instead the bookmakers give a number and your job is to decide whether it will be over or under that number. 

The odds should be even both sides of the argument as the bookmakers are effectively picking a ‘spread’ which will be the number of finishers they think are most likely. Don’t be confused by the fact that the number will be given as a half number (.5), this is merely so that all outcomes are capable of 

 being winning outcomes.

Other Motor Racing Betting Markets On Offer

  • 1st Driver Retirement
  • 1st Car Retirement
  • Top 6 Finish
  • Car to Set the Fastest Lap
  • Winner Without Favourite
  • Winning Nationality

Qualifying Bets

Pole Position

The whole reason for qualifying is to decide the order of the starting grid . The order of the grid has a huge bearing on the finishing positions in the race but remember that the requirements for gaining pole position are quite different to those required to win a race. Gaining pole position is less about consistency over many laps and more about a driver’s and a car’s ability to produce fast, one off, lap times. It will often be the case that some cars are better during qualifying and some are better during the race itself. Motor racing punters can and do place a bet on which driver achieves pole position.

Practice - Winning Driver

In each practice session you are able to bet on the winning driver. You should find the markets names Practice 1 - Winning Driver, Practice 2 - Winning Driver and so on and it offers multiple bets on the practice sessions.

Practice Winning Team

As above you can bet on each winning team for practice 1 and 2. 

Important Betting Considerations For Motor Sport

Early Season Form Can Be Unpredictable

Unless you happen to know something that most other punters don’t know it usually pays to start the season with relatively small stakes and increase those stakes as the season goes on. The early part of the season is notoriously unpredictable with many changes being made to cars and to which teams the drivers are driving for in between seasons.

As the season progresses the more resourceful teams are able to iron out any early season issues meaning the big boys tend to dominate towards the end of the season.

Back The Track

The circuit that the drivers face is the place to start when deciding your bets. The differing circuits have some very differing characteristics and as a result certain drivers and cars act better at some circuits rather than others. Pay close attention to previous history at each circuit and as well as which drivers and cars have gone well there in the past also look at how important the grid position is. Some tracks are almost impossible to overtake on and some courses it is much easier to overtake.

Look at Monaco for example, between 2004 and 2013 9 of the 10 winners of the race started in pole position. Not all of those winners were the favourites either, even after qualifying.


Check The Weather

The weather can have a huge impact on results. Some drivers and some teams are better equipped to handle wet conditions and completely different results can be seen on wet tracks than if the weather had stayed fair. Always know what the weather is likely to do before placing your bets and know which drivers and teams will be best suited to those conditions.


Beware Betting After A Break

During some of the longer breaks between races during a season it is likely that many adjustments will have been made to the cars (as many adjustments as they can make within the rules to improve performance). 

This means that some teams may suddenly improve and some of the teams that have been performing better might not be quite so dominant. 

Some clues could be gained about apparent improvements in the first qualifying session after a break.

Information Equals Profit

Motor Racing betting is all about arming yourself with as much information as possible. 

  • Which teams are going well and which are not? 
  • Which drivers are going well and which aren’t? 
  • Who drives this track the best? 
  • How vital is pole position at the track
  • What is the weather likely to do? 

These all need a level of form study in your hunt for successful winning wagers.

 




Motor Racing Tips

The OLBG tipping competition has a motor racing section available for all tipsters who know their stuff. Below is a sample tipping image from March 2024. 

You can check who the expert motor racing tipsters are by visiting the Motor Racing Tips page.

If you can add quality comments on motor racing and want to win a share of the tipping cash, there is £100 on offer each month

FAQ

  • Can you bet on F1?

    You can make predictions and bets on formula 1 using an online bookmaker like BetVictor. You can bet on the winner of the World Championship, individual races, and even bet on who will be on the podium by finishing first second or third. 

  • Which bookmakers for F1 betting?

    Almost all online bookmakers will have coverage of the Formula 1 season. It is a very popular sport for betting, and gets more popular as the season progresses. BetVictor are a leading online betting site taking bets on formula 1 and offer great odds on races year round.

  • Where can I bet on Formula 1

    You can bet on Formula 1 online with a bookmaker. Most online bookies will offer odds and accept bets on the Formula 1 races throughout the season. If you have a F1 betting tip for a race, take a look at the best bookmakers for Motor racing and choose one fo them where you will get better odds and have a greater choice of markets and bet types to choose from.

  • What is the best bet in F1?

    The best bet in F1 is a winning one. If you can predict the winner of the world championship before the season begins you will have better odds than if you were to bet later on. Imagine placing your bet before a race has been driven but at the end of the season with one race left you have a ticket for the winner. You would not be able to get odds anywhere ear what you are already holding.

Responsible Gambling

When you are placing any bets you need to make sure that you always gamble responsibly. We have been at the forefront of advising this practice and have a range of articles and links to assist you in this task.

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Author

The OLBG Betting Expert Andy Powell created this article, he is a keen motor sport fan and provides the majority of F1 betting blogs on the site. Another expert Nigel Skinner fact checked and formatted this article. 

Andy Powell

Andy Powell

Content editor

Andy has contributed to OLBG since 2005 and has been covering racing trends for several years looking to find betting angles in the big races both in the UK and abroad, He has an interest in numerous sports for which he manages many of our event previews, particularly horse racing, providing trends and stats looking for betting strategies.

👨‍🏫 Specialist Subjects🔬📚

🏇 Andy was part of an independent team of horse racing punters including Steve Madgwick, who developed a bespoke horse racing rating system in the early 2000s. Andy has meticulously continued to rate every runner and collect results from every race every day since. When it comes to horse racing and numbers Andy is our man. 

⚽ He remains a staunch Ipswich Town football fan and never misses a game, gaining a deep knowledge of the English Football League. 

🏎️🏁 Outside of horse racing and football, Andy also enjoys spending his weekends following Formula 1. His dedication is such that he doesn't mind setting alarms for odd hours to catch both qualifying sessions and the races. 

🏈 🏒 Parallel to these interests, Andy also possesses a keen interest in American sports with a particular affinity for the NFL and the NHL. He follows the Pittsburgh Penguins, emphasizing his broad palette for diversified sporting events.

Nigel Skinner

Nigel Skinner

Blog content manager

Nigel is one of OLBG's senior editors with 19 years of industry experience. Today he specialises in researching and writing about the betting angles to political and mainstream news stories and being the OLBG in-house expert on 'next football manager' betting markets.

Specialist Subjects🔬📚

⚽️👨‍💼 Nigel is an Arsenal fan first and foremost but has an unrivalled knowledge of English football managers at every level. Meticulously putting together our Next Manager articles, Nigel can quite possibly name you every manager of every club in the land, not to mention a pretty good eye for predicting replacements when changes happen. 

📈📊📉 A long-time exchange trader and spread betting fan, Nigel is our go-to for advice on the subjects and uses them daily in his own betting activity. 

🗳️💼 Finally, Nigel loves his politics and [some would say] has an unhealthy interest in the day-to-day events in the UK's political landscape, contributing to all our Political betting content and new pieces.

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