Australia betting: How to know who to bet on – and when
If you’re considering a bet on the first race of the new F1 season this weekend there are two things you need to get right.
Of course you want to pick the right driver to bet on. But less obvious is the question of timing – at what point in the weekend should you place your bet?
Make a bet before practice starts on Friday morning (1:30am UK time) and you may be able to take advantage of some good value odds. The problem is knowing which ones to choose, as we don’t know much about who’s quick and who’s not.
Friday’s two practice sessions will give us some ideas about what the cars are capable of. But by then the odds will have been adjusted accordingly, and naturally those who look quick will have had theirs cut.
The third time to make a bet is after qualifying on Saturday. At this point we will have had our first indication of how quick the cars are over a single lap and the grid for the race will be set, leading to another overhaul in the pre-race odds.
Interpreting practice pace and qualifying
So what should you look out for as the weekend progresses?
The form of world champions Red Bull will be scrutinised closely. In recent years the team has given away little about its pace on Friday, preferring to run heavier fuel loads and disguise how quick they really are.
So don’t be surprised if Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber aren’t near the top of the times sheets on Friday, and be ready to take advantage of any lengthening of their odds that might occur as a result.
It could prove to be one of those rare occasions when you can get good odds on a Red Bull. Webber is currently on 2.5 to finish on the podium in his home race for the first time. Vettel is favourite to win at 3.0.
There is a chance of rain on Saturday which would make predicting form even trickier. It is expected to arrive between final practice and qualifying, so keep an eye out for anyone who looks quick in the morning but doesn’t get a grid position that does justice to their pace in the afternoon. Drivers in that position may yield some rewarding odds.
Early odds for Australia
Who else offers good value for this weekend? Jenson Button has to be worth a look as his form in this race is excellent – he’s won three of the last four Australian Grands Prix. His odds for a fourth win this year are 6.0.
But don’t overlook his new team mate Sergio Perez either. As noted last week his form in Melbourne is also good. Since then his odds for a victory have crept up to a very attractive 18.0 and he’s on 4.75 for a podium finish.
However a driver whose odds have moved in the opposite direction since last week is Lewis Hamilton. Previously at 15.0 to win, he’s now down to a less appealing 8.0.
Give some thought to Pastor Maldonado at 15.0 to finish on the podium. Maldonado may not have the coolest head in the game but he’s quick on street circuits and revelling in the feel of his new Williams FW35.
On slightly shorter odds is Felipe Massa, priced at 7.0 for a podium finish. Massa was in great form at the end of an otherwise tough 2012 season. The new Ferrari is clearly a better prospect than its predecessor, making this a bet worth considering.
Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic