Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Early Odds For The 2013 Formula 1 Season

An analysis of the formula 1 odds for 2013.

It's only a few weeks since the 2012 formula 1 season ended and I'm already getting withdrawal symptoms.  So to help me cope with the close season I thought I would have a look at the early odds for the 2013 driver's formula 1 championship.

Looking at the odds available from SkyBet, you can pretty much divide the field into three groups of drivers; the favourites, the outside contenders and the longshots.

The favourites:
Perhaps not surprisingly, SkyBet's odds seem to suggest that we're in for another two way battle between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, with the pair of them the clear favourites in the current betting:

Sebastian Vettel - 2.25
Fernando Alonso - 3.25

The Outside Contenders:
SkyBet don't rule out the rest of the field entirely though, with five drivers available at odds which suggest they can't be discounted from the title battle:

Jenson Button - 9.0
Kimi Raikkonen - 11.0
Lewis Hamilton - 15.0
Sergio Perez - 17.0
Mark Webber - 17.0

The Longshots:
Of the rest of the field, Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa are the shortest priced of the longshots:

Nico Rosberg - 41.0
Felipe Massa - 51.0
Romain Grosjean - 51.0
Nico Hulkenberg - 67.0
The rest of the field - 81.0 and up

If I had to offer my own opinion I'd say that SkyBet have probably got the odds just about right, but if I was going to opt for a bet in each category then I'd probably go for:

The favourites: Sebastian Vettel
Although Fernando won plaudits in 2012 for his consistently excellent driving, you can't overlook the fact that Sebastian Vettel has now won three championships off the belt.  Added to this, Red Bull always seem to ultimately produce the fastest car and when you put Sebastian Vettel in the best car, at times he looks untouchable.  So although the regulations aren't changing much for 2013 (change usually favours the most brilliant designers such as Adrian Newey), you would still have to expect Adrian Newey to nevertheless work his magic once again and produce another potentially championship winning car for Vettel.

I'm also not entirely convinced that Alonso's habit of frequently downplaying the performance of his Ferrari is a wise strategy in terms of motivating his Ferrari team, so although overall there's very little in it, I would have to edge slightly towards Sebastian Vettel as the better bet of the favourites.

The Outside Contenders: Mark Webber
Of the five drivers in this category, Kimi Raikkonen was without doubt the most consistent driver in 2012.  However, the current scoring system and set-up of formula 1 is designed to reward drivers who are prepared to take risks for victory, rather than solid consistency, so another consistent year from Kimi probably won't be enough.  Although Lewis Hamilton may well challenge for the occasional victory, I would expect 2013 to come too soon for Mercedes, and 2014 when more significant changes are made to the regulations, may well turn out to offer a better chance of success for Mercedes and Lewis.

Jenson as a former champion and the most experienced driver at McLaren can't be written off, but overall of the outside contenders I think I'd be most tempted by a small flutter on Mark Webber.  In 2010 he was one race away from winning the championship and at one stage in 2012 he led eventual winner Sebastian Vettel in the championship standings, so if Mark can string a run of consistency together early in the season then his current odds of 17.0 may well quickly shorten.

The Longshots: Felipe Massa
If you were having a bet on one of the drivers in this category then it would be wise to make it a small speculative bet, but of all the longshots if I had to have a small bet on someone then it would probably be Felipe Massa.  Don't get me wrong, he's the clear number two at Ferrari, but although he started 2012 in poor form, he managed to turn things around by the end of the season and in fact outqualified Alonso at the final two Grand Prix of the year.

Felipe has previously been one corner away from taking the championship, and accidents and reliability issues can sometimes make formula 1 an unpredictable sport, so despite the fact that Alonso is the clear number one at Ferrari, odds of 50/1 are worth a look for any driver driving a Ferrari.

Whoever wins the 2013 formula 1 title though, I hope we're in for another season of close racing like we witnessed in 2012.  One betting market which I haven't noticed just yet, but which I'd definitely like to bet on, is to be able to bet on which race you think the driver's championship will be decided at.  As formula 1 fans we've been lucky over the last decade or so to witness so many seasons being decided at the final Grand Prix (2011 being the most recent exception), so if such a betting market was available then given the strength of the field at the moment, both in terms of drivers and in terms of teams, you would have to expect the final race to be the odds on favourite.

Anyway, I've added a few polls down the side of the blog, so please add your vote for which drivers you think represent best value in the formula 1 driver's championship betting market for 2013.

And if you fancy a flutter on the 2013 formula 1 season then SkyBet are currently offering a completely free £10 bet for any new customer who signs up for a new SkyBet account.  Check out the link below:

Footnote: All odds were correct at the time of publication but are subject to change.

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