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Betting on Formula 1

Formula 1 Betting Sites

Formula One betting or F1 betting is becoming more popular especially in the betting in play version. The sporBetting on Formula 1t is closely associated with high-class living, and there are billions of pounds that are floating around the teams. Drivers are some of the best-paid sportsmen with salaries that can get to £30 million plus performance bonuses and sponsorships.

Lots Of Bookmakers Have Formula 1 Betting Odds

This is a sport that has evolved massively over the last decades as the technology has advanced. Some fans are now betting a considerable amount of money both on F1 markets before the race and also in live during the race. The vast majority of bookmakers do now provide F1 betting odds, and there are also exciting F1 offers and bonuses that can be found throughout the Formula One season. The aim of this betting on the F1 guide is to show you what are the best betting sites to wager on Formula One, the types of bets that is possible to place, where to get the best odds, payouts and offers. In addition to that, we will be looking at the major races, the drivers, teams, history and so on.

Best Online Bookmakers For Formula 1 Betting

BetwayBetway  – Pole Position

As we have seen for other sports, Betway has a more international outlook than most others bookmakers and Formula 1 is a proper international sport. On Betway you will find fantastic market coverage and depth, and frequently there is also excellent odds enhancement offers. Betway provides early prices, and you can bet on the next driver championship before the last one has ended.

If you like to bet in play on Formula 1, then Betway is the right place. They have an excellent intuitive interface, and the sport lends itself well for live betting.

Betway is also running long season offers like retirement insurance where you are getting the money back on pre-race outright bets if you lose due to a driver failing to finish. Betway Full Review.

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BetfairBetfair  – Fastest Lap

Betfair is one of those bookmakers that are utterly reliable in regards to good Formula 1 coverage both pre-race and during the race. They are also leading the pack as they can provide excellent F1 offers.

Even if on Betfair you won’t find F1 season-long deals they have a top promotion almost every race. A popular one is money back if a driver fails to finish the race and also free bets and price enhancements.

If you like betting on the Formula 1 and don’t have an account with Betfair yet, bear in mind that there are regularly enhanced odds offers for new customers around F1 races: some of the offers are like ’10/1 for Lewis Hamilton to win the race’ when the actual odds are close to 2/1. In addition to that, you will also get your money back in case Hamilton will not win the race. Although those offers are generally reserved to the biggest races, keep an eye open as they will go a long way in welcoming you in Betfair. We will post the best offers on our homepage so make sure you bookmark our site to avoid missing them.

Betfair also cover some markets that some other bookies don’t from fastest lap betting to the total number of finishers. All markets are widely available before the race and in play, and they also cover Formula E. Betfair Full Review.

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CoralCoral  – Second Row Of The Grid

Coral is doing more or less the same as the other top F1 bookmakers, and they do exceptionally well. They have excellent market coverage, and you can find some bespoke lines that are not available elsewhere. One example of this is the ‘king of the road’ bet which is the price for a driver to be first in qualifying and to go on and win the race.

The odds are very competitive on all markets, and usually, there are also promotions on top especially on the outrights markets at the beginning of the season. You can also expect to find some enhanced odds offers around big races. Coral Full Review.

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888-sport 888 Sport  – Podium Finish

888 Sport is also a very reliable betting site when it comes to Formula One. They offer some very early prices and are one of the few betting sites that have promotions for Formula 1.

On 888 Sports you will find enhanced odds offers but also money back, free bet and insurance deals for most of the season. 888 Sports is doing well, and it is one of the most appreciated bookmakers when it comes to betting on anything rather than football, horse racing and tennis. You can see that their focus is to own the niche sports like Formula 1 so if you love betting on this sport you have to include 888 Sports in your betting portfolio. 888 Sport Full Review.

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BetVictorBetVictor  – Fastest Pit Stop

BetVictor have invested heavily in creating a great Formula One betting interface, and the difference with the competition is evident. It is a great pleasure to bet on F1 with this betting site both before and during the race.

On BetVictor, you will find all the most critical lines, and they are presented in a very easy to digest way. As we know on BetVictor, you won’t see a vast amount of offers, but you can be sure that the raw odds are excellent value. For BetVictor providing great odds lines is a must and having a bookmaker like this in your betting portfolio is strongly advised. BetVictor Full Review.

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UnibetUnibet  – Top Speed

Unibet is without doubts one of the best Formula 1 bookmakers that you are going to find: this is because they are primarily a European bookmaker and this sport is trendy across many continental countries.

Since they are not a UK focused bookmaker you won’t find odds that always revolve around British drivers: you will have a wide range of markets that will allow you to make the best decisions. Unibet is also running regular promotions on Formula 1 like retirement insurance, free bets and bonuses. If you like betting on Formula 1, then you should consider Unibet. Unibet Full Review.

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A Brief History Of Formula 1

History of Formula 1Car racing goes back to as soon as cars were invented. It was in the 1920’s, and 30’s that the first European Grand Prix Championships was organised, but Formula One only officially began in 1946. On that year rules were standardised by the Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI) under the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) which was the new governing body.

The Early Days

Earlier in the days, Formula One was titled Formula A, but this didn’t last long. Drivers and constructors championships only started from 1950. The FIA created the championship to respond to the famous Motorcycle World Championships that began the year before. The championship was held over six major European Grand Prix with the addition of Indianapolis 500.

Italian brands like Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo dominated the early years with great drivers like Juan Manuel Fangio. It was Nico Farina who won the first championship, and Fangio followed the year later. Indianapolis was abandoned in 1960 as leading teams didn’t have interest in the race. So until 1953, it was a European Championship: in that year Argentina was added to the calendar.

It was only in the late 50’s and early 60’s that British racing started to improve with names like Lotus, BRM, Cooper followed by Mclaren, Tyrrell and Williams. The likes of Jack Brabham and Sir Sterling Moss won titles during those periods.

The 1960’s

Later in the 1960’s the car design started to evolve with aluminium monocoque chassis that was introduced: those were the years of domination by Lotus and Ferrari. In the 1970’s there were substantial technological improvements in all materials and engines. The main issue, however, remained safety with a vast number of drivers like legend and champion Jim Clark that lost their lives in the sport.

In the late 70’s there were some real safety improvements, and sponsorship money started to come into the sport. F1 cars began to look as they are today with side pods, a front wing and a rear spoiler. In the 1980’s the turbo engine was introduced, and we had top pilots like Nigel Mansel, Alain Prost, Niki Lauda and Ayrton Sena contending glory.

Although safety in Formula 1 improved significantly, it was the death of Ayrton Senna at Monza in 1994 that revolutionised the sport. The safer F1 at the end of 90’s saw Ferrari dominating with legend Michael Schumacher.

How To Bet On Formula 1

Betting on Formula 1Even if Formula 1 is not the first sport regarding betting, it does lend very well to it. You can bet on the individual element like betting on a driver or a team achieving a result over the season, but you can also bet on a single Grand Prix. The new split format of qualifying provides more betting opportunities to be available.

Betting in play on the Formula 1 is fun, and there is a vast range of markets available like betting on the safety cars, fastest laps, who will finish the race and so on.

Formula One Rules

Formula One is made up of around ten teams (called constructors), and each has two drivers and two cars. Despite the Formula One calendar changes frequently there usually are 20+ races in the season that goes from mid-March to the end of November. Races are held all around the world every 2-3 weeks.

Drivers do qualify for their initial position on Saturday by trying to complete a lap as fast as they can. Qualifying is divided into three phases, Q1, Q2 and Q3. In Q1 drivers outside the top 15 are eliminated. Q2 eliminates another 5 leaving the top 10 and ultimately in Q1 the top 10 will compete to decide the starting grid position.

Races tend to be between 50 and 80 laps long depending on the length of the lap. Drivers have all the fuel they need but still have to pit to change tyres. The pit stops on the type of race. If there is an incident, then drivers must slow down if there are yellow flags out. In some cases, the safety car may be sent out: drivers will then need to follow the safety at rather low speed until the track is safe. Recently also a virtual safety car has been introduced, and in this case, drivers need to do a lap at a set time keeping the distance between other vehicles. The advantage is that races can restart a lot quicker.

Drivers get points if they finish from 1st (25 points) to 10th (1 point). The constructors’ championship is the cumulative points won by both drivers of that team. If you want to know more check our bet types guide.

Outright Result Betting

Every bookmaker will provide outright lines on the drivers’ championship and constructors championship winners and also on the winner of individual races. Those are the markets where you can get the highest value. Betting sites tend to compete on these lines, and you usually will also get enhanced odds offers for both new customers and existing customers.

Every year there are rule changes in Formula One and those can affect the strengths of teams: this is why odds tend to fluctuate significantly around this time. It is essential you don’t just take the first odds you are provided, but you compare this with others, top bookmakers.

There are lots of things that can influence a single race, and this means that odds are very decent, always higher than evens at least for the top drivers.

Win, Place And Each Way Betting

The number of place markets can change depending on bookmakers, but you usually get two places at odds of 1/4 or 3 to 4 places at odds of 1/4. The majority of bookmakers that give outright lines also give each-way prices. Place betting is not very common in F1 but more famous is betting on a driver to end in the top 3, top 6, top 10, etc.

Bet on Season Markets

At the beginning of the season, it is allowed to bet on all sorts of markets regarding players, teams and so on. Usually, you can bet on things like how many races will a driver/team complete, how many races they will win, how many retirements, safety cars and so on.

Especially for less common markets be careful as odds might be poor value especially if only a betting site is offering it.

Podium, Top 6 And Points Finish

This is similar to place betting in horse racing. You can bet on a driver to finish in the top three positions and get on the podium. You can also back a driver to finish in the top 6 or even to finish in the top 10 and get the last point available.

Qualifying Markets

The betting lines for the qualifying part are generally similar to the one for the race. You can bet on the fastest qualifier, on what drivers will not make it in Q1 and Q2, the margin between the 1st and the 2nd and a lot more. With some betting sites, you can also bet on qualifying order which is a type of forecast bet.

Practice Markets

Before the qualifying, there are practice sessions that are run on Friday and Saturday morning. Those are needed by drivers to check the track and conditions and get the team to optimise the car. You can bet on the driver that makes the fastest lap, longest qualifying run, retirements and lots more. Not all bookmakers are offering odds on practise markets so make sure to check our recommended betting sites if you are interested in placing those bets.

Fastest Lap

Formula One is about speed and betting on the fastest lap is a famous market. The driver that with the fastest race lap usually is not the driver that wins so this is an excellent opportunity to place a bet and get some good value especially when there is a definite race favourite. It is also possible to bet on the fastest qualifying lap and practice laps.

Winning Margin

With this type of bet, you are predicting the distance in time between the winner and the second place. They usually are larger spreads between the winner and the 3rd, 6th, 10th etc. You can also bet on the spread of the entire field at the end of the competition. Winning margin is a popular bet on qualifying.

Winner Grid Position

If you believe someone has qualified out of position, this is a perfect betting opportunity. Let’s, for example, imagine that Lewis Hamilton has a fault or penalty and qualifies in 15th: even if he starts from the back, he will have the car and quality to win the race especially in wet conditions. In this case, you will get great odds, and it makes sense to try this type of bet on Formula One.

Driver To Retire Markets

F1 is a mechanical sport, and things can happen at any time: you can have driver errors, pit errors, engines failures and so on. You can place bets on a driver/team to retire first or anytime in the race. With some betting site, you can also bet in which period or lap a retirement will happen. This market tends to have lots of regular F1 offers around it: the most popular is the money back on pre-race outright bets if a driver will not finish the race.

Team / Constructor Markets

If you are a fan of a particular team rather than a driver, then you can bet on many markets for constructors. You can bet on the team of the winning car, what is the first contractor not to finish the race, if both cars of a contractor, what is going to be the driver of a team to finish first, both drivers on the podium, both drivers scoring points, the margin between drivers at the finish, fastest lap in a team and a lot more. In a nutshell, normally every market where you can bet on an individual driver is also available for team betting.

Safety Car During The Race

Betting on the safety car during a Formula One Grand Prix is by far one of the most popular betting markets. The reason is that it does require very little knowledge of the drivers and teams as it just needs a rather severe injury during the race so that the safety car will be necessary. You can also bet if there will be multiple safety cars during the Grand Prix and if the safety car will be required in a set period like, for example, the first lap. Since it is famous, all the significant bookmakers offer this line, and it is therefore quite competitive regarding value.

Driver / Team Specials

Usually, there are lots of drivers and teams specials, but it depends on the actual betting site, and odds tend to be very different. For example, you can bet on a driver or a team to lead at the end of any lap, a driver to be the first or last to do a pit stop, to get a penalty, to retire before the first lap and so on. As always, when we have bespoke markets, odds value could be poor so worth checking if it makes sense to get involved or not.

Combined Markets

Some of the most popular combined markets in Formula One is to bet on a driver or a team to end first at the end of the qualification, win the race and also get the fastest lap. If you think a driver or a team is going to dominate over the whole weekend, then it makes sense to take advantage of those odds. Others traditional combined markets are for example a driver to qualify in the top 10 and finish on the first three at the end of the race.

Handicap Betting

Usually, this type of bet is found in connection with the winning margin. For example, you can get Driver A to win +10 seconds: this option will have better odds than just backing Driver A to win. You can also back a driver with a negative handicap like for example -20. There are many different ways to bet with handicap on Formula 1, but not all bookmakers are offering.

Other Bets

It is possible to place conditional bets, spread bets, forecast bets and more on Formula 1 but usually the book size even with the top Formula 1 bookmakers it is not large enough to include these.

Formula 1 doesn’t lend itself to accumulator betting, but you can always create accas by mixing with other sports. The only thing to be careful when you are doing so is that max payouts will be limited by the sport that has the lowest payout limit. Formula One is very suited to bet builders as those allow you to combine related events into multiple bets.

Live In-Play Betting

betting on football - Betting on Formula 1Formula one races are long as they can last anything between 90 minutes and hours so are perfect for in play betting. Some of the best F1 betting sites are offering between 50 to 100 betting markets in their live betting section. It is great to watch the race on a Sunday afternoon and have extra fun in placing a flutter on live betting.

In live, you can bet almost on everything like retirement, next pit stop, safety car, length of a pit stop and so on. You can also bet by lap, period or race.

News, Results And Statistics

Bookmakers do not offer the same level of coverage on Formula 1 like they are doing for some other mainstream sports, but still, there are plenty of betting sites where you can find excellent information. William Hill, for example, has a superb section with more depth than Sky in some cases. If you have Sky Sports however you can access their F1 channel for a complete dedicated coverage.

You will also find in a lot of betting sites results and stats that will help you select your Formula 1 bets.

Live Streaming And Commentary

Due to the cost of rights Formula, one live streaming is not standard, but you will have all races covered live on Sky and some on Channel 4. If you have the opportunity to watch the race while betting you will find that Formula 1 is one of the best sports.

The audio commentary is not also common as there is little interest in listening to a car race! To get all the details of the bookmakers that allow live betting and have streaming features check our betting site reviews.

Safety In Formula One

One of the most significant challenges in the history of Formula One is safety. The sport has always had a terrible reputation due to deaths: surely driving cars at 200+ miles an hour can never be completely safe but the way the sport was in the 1950’s and 60’s was horrible.

Since 1952 there have been around 50 driver deaths in Formula One with just half of these that came in the first ten years of the sport. Since the mid-1990’s only one driver has lost his life.

Formula One Safety

It is unrealistic to think that Formula One will be completely safe but it is getting safer every year. Back in the 1950’s cars were designed just for speed with strong front engines and dangerous drum brakes. Along with many others technology improvements in 1970, the FIA started to do circuit inspections pre-race to ensure crash barriers and a safety distance between fences and spectators will always be maintained (3 meters).

The improvements continued through the 1980’s with significantly better fuel tanks and cockpits, helicopters, medical facilities and higher safety walls. In 1990 the detachable steering wheel was introduced. In the new millennium, lots of additional penalties were added to reduce dangerous driving. Lots of changes are continued to be made every year with the intent of improving safety further without reducing the thrill of the sport.

1955 Le Mans Horror Crash

Although this wasn’t an F1 race lots of the Formula One drivers of that time were racing in the 24 hours Le Mans race. 300,000 people were watching in crowds. An incident occurred between Hawthorn and Macklin. Levegh didn’t have time to react and made contact with Macklin: his car went airborne and skipped over the embankment and crashed over the packed crowd of spectators. Levegh and 83 spectators lost their lives with the fuel tank that exploded in the crowd. This horrible incident shocked the world of motorsport and started the slow march towards safety.

Formula One Worst Accidents And Deaths

It is unfortunate, but there have been fantastic drivers that lost their life in Formula One. Britain has seen the majority of deaths with 14.

  • Early Years – This is known as the worst period of the Formula 1: from 1950 to 1961 saw 25 drivers killed in Formula 1.
  • Wolfgang Von Trips 1961 – Von Trips collided with Jim Clark and his Ferrari plunged into the side barrier crushing spectators. He died at the scene.
  • Jim Clark 1968 – He was the most famous of this driver of his period having won two times the World Champion. He was killed in a Formula 2 race in Germany at just 32.
  • Jochen Rindt 1970 – this was a horrible year for the Formula 1. Rindt was killed during qualifying as his brake failed. The car went directly over the barriers and caught fire.
  • Roger Williamson 1973 – Williamson crushed in Zandvoort, Holland. His car caught fire, and there was no-one to help him in time.
  • Niki Lauda 1976 – Lauda survived his crashed at the Nurburgring, but his car caught fire, and he went close to die from burns and toxic smoke.
  • Tom Pryce 1977 – He was killed at the Crowthorne corner at South Africa’s Kyalami Grand Prix.
  • Ronnie Peterson 1978 – Ronnie Peterson, the great Swedish driver, was killed in Monza as he became trapped in an eight-car collision. Peterson’s died from severe burns.
  • Gilles Villeneuve 1982 – Villeneuve, one of the best of his time, clipped the back of the car in front at 140 mps. His Ferrari went up in the air, and Gilles broke his neck and died at the scene.
  • Ayrton Senna 1994 – One of the saddest ever day in Formula One saw the death of Ayrton Senna during the Imola Grand Prix. Senna crashed into the barrier at Tamburello at around 150mph, and the suspension went loose and pierced his visor fracturing his skull.
  • Robert Kubica 2007 – During the Canadian GP the BMW Sauber of Kubica crashed into the back of Jarno Trulli’s Toyota.  The driver survived but was severely injured
  • Jules Bianchi 2014 – Jules was the first deadly accident in the F1 after 20 years: it showed that there is still something to do to improve safety in this sport. The French driver lost control in wet conditions at the Japanese Grand Prix and collided with a recovery vehicle. He went into an induced coma and died in July 2015 of his injuries.

Odds And Payouts


Some of the Formula One markets are very competitive so you can expect to find some excellent value odds, especially on outright markets. Betting sites are also offering promotions, and enhanced odds offers in most races. Others famous competitive lines are on retirement and safety car.

Less competitive markets can have poor value so when betting on more obscure lines be careful as prices do not reflect the actual likelihood of an event happening. Betfair is one of the best bookmakers for Formula 1 as have some great promotions. BetVictor, on the other side, although they don’t usually have offers, they are leading in regards to best odds.


LimitsPayout limits are not as reasonable as big sports like football and horse racing. Generally, in Formula One the average tend to be around £25k but make sure you check before if you are looking to place a big bet as this tend to change significantly depending on operators. Smaller lines and specials can have lower payouts.

Below we have an example of the payout structure of one of the best Formula One bookmakers:

  • £250,000 for Formula 1 main markets
  • £100,000 for the rest of Motor Sports