Sunday, 10 March 2013

Driver Odds For The 2013 Formula 1 Season

An analysis of the most popular formula 1 betting market for 2013.

A couple of months ago I took a look at the odds for the 2013 formula 1 drivers' championship, so with the new season now only a week away I thought it would be interesting to look at how those odds have changed since the bookies first started taking bets on the forthcoming season.

In my original post I grouped the drivers into three categories; the favourites, the outside contenders and the longshots, so once again I'll look at the odds for these three groups.

The favourites:

Early Odds Current Odds
Sebastian Vettel 2.25 2.5
Fernando Alonso 3.25 4.0

It's no surprise that the bookies make Vettel and Alonso the favourites, but it's interesting that the odds for both Vettel and Alonso have drifted out slightly since the market opened.  Given the fact that the relative performances of the teams at the start of the season always contains an element of the unknown, my own personal view is that anyone wanting to place a bet on Vettel or Alonso for the championship would maybe be wise to wait until after the Australia Grand Prix, as whatever the result in Melbourne their odds are unlikely to shorten dramatically.

A poll running on the blog suggests there isn't much in it between Sebastian and Fernando, with Vettel proving only marginally more popular with punters based on the early odds available.

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The Outside Contenders:

Early Odds Current Odds
Jenson Button 9.0 7.0
Kimi Raikkonen 11.0 12.0
Lewis Hamilton 15.0 9.0
Sergio Perez 17.0 15.0
Mark Webber 17.0 19.0

This group seems to be where most of the early money has been going, with Lewis Hamilton's odds in particular tumbling quite significantly.  Sebastian Vettel recently acknowledged that he sees Mercedes as a threat and given Mercedes' impressive times at the recent Barcelona test, you could perhaps make a case for Lewis Hamilton's odds shortening slightly.  However, per-season testing doesn't always translate to race performance, so such a significant change from 15.0 down to 9.0 looks like too much of a drop in my opinion.

A poll running on the blog suggests Jenson Button is the most popular of the outside contenders with punters, followed by Raikkonen, Webber, Hamilton and finally Perez.

I wouldn't rule Jenson out, but at the current odds available my preference from this group of drivers would still be to go for a small bet on Mark Webber.  Although understandably priced a lot more generously than his triple world champion team mate, Webber was nevertheless one race away from being world champion back in 2010 and driving a Red Bull, it's a fairly safe bet that he'll have a quick car.

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The Longshots:

Early Odds Current Odds
Nico Rosberg 41.0 41.0
Felipe Massa 51.0 51.0
Romain Grosjean 51.0 41.0
Nico Hulkenberg 67.0 251.0
Rest of the field 81.0 251.0

Given the unpredictable nature of formula 1, you can't totally right off Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa's chances.  However, back when I posted my original thoughts on the early driver odds for the 2013 driver's championship I advised that it would be wise to make any bet in this category a small speculative bet and that still looks to be the case.

. . . . . . . .

The opening race of the new season is now only a week away, and so later this week I'll be making my pre-qualifying tips for the Melbourne Grand Prix.  For the opening race of the season there's always going to be a lot of guesswork involved in any formula 1 betting however, so I'd say for now it would be wise to keep any bets relatively small until the form of the drivers and the teams becomes more established.

I generally prefer to wait until after qualifying before placing my bets, and last season that proved to be the best strategy as more often than not my post-qualifying tips performed better than my pre-qualifying tips.  To test this strategy once again, I'll be making a selection of tips for the Australian Grand prix before and after qualifying and then comparing which set of tips do best.

Other recent posts:
Formula 1 Betting Markets: Part 1 - Winning Driver
Formula 1 Betting Markets: Part 2 - Podium Finish
What Are The Most Popular Worldwide Sports Based On Google Searches?
The 2012 Formula 1 Google Champion!

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Odds were current at time of publication but are subject to change.

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