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When choosing an online bookmaker to classify as best for a given sport, the decision is usually subjective. Each site has different offerings and to get the best odds you’ll need to shop multiple sites. However, when it comes to F1 betting from India the choice is easy. www.bet365.com has by far the most F1 markets and they allow Indians to open an online betting account in Indian Rupee (INR). UK Licensed since 1974 and owned by the same family who owns the English Premier League team Stoke City FC, Bet365 is also a safe and secure site to wager with. In this article I’ll show how they stack up against other F1 betting sites.
Most Common F1 Markets
Qualifier Odds: The day before F1 races qualifiers are held to determine where drivers will start on the grid. Online it is possible to wager on which driver will qualify for the pole position. This market opens a couple weeks in advanced at Bet365 and William Hill where it’s listed as “fastest qualifier” and at Betfair where it’s listed as “Overall Qualifier Winner”. At the two other Indian friendly sportsbooks we recommend you’ll need to wait until the weekend of the race to find this market.
Race Winner Betting: While BET365 is slower to post odds on who will win the pole position, they’re generally one of the first to post odds on the race winner. If you’re capable of handicapping F1 races before the odds open, you can gain an edge using BET365. If not, well in the hours after Ladbrokes opens the odds, Betfair, William Hill and Bet365 all follow.
Race Matches: Match ups are generally offered close to the start of the race. This is where a group of divers (between 2 and 6) are matched up together. You’re not betting on if these drivers will win the race, but rather if they’ll finish ahead of the others listed. On occasion you’ll find match ups well before the race, but most of the time you’ll need to wait until race day to find this at online sportsbooks.
Podium Finisher: Wagering on if drivers will finish in the top three is available quite early at Bet365 and William Hill. With other sites you’ll need to wait until the weekend of the race to find these odds. One rupee bookmaker we haven’t mentioned yet that is worth shopping on race day is www.bet365.com.
What Makes Bet365 Unique
At Bet365 the four most common markets are offered well in advanced, but setting them apart from the competitors is their alternative F1 markets. One week before race day bet365 opens 12 other markets which are covered below.
Fastest in First Practice – This is a unique market that very few bookmakers offer odds for. During the warm ups, times are tracked – but many drivers use the first practice for testing their car and getting a feel for the track. For this reason you’ll see more experienced drivers who are both strong at making adjustments and often fearless priced higher than drivers favoured to win the pole position. Lewis Hamilton tends to be favoured on this market most the time. Meanwhile Jenson Button is a driver most would assume to be a favourite as well, but those who study this market would know he’s generally conservative during the first practice. This is a fun small market proposition bet that can be profitable to those who do the research well.
Qualifying Margin – At many F1 betting sites the only qualifier wagering available is who will have the fastest time. At Bet365 there is an alternative 3-way market on qualifying win margin. This is often priced as under 0.15 seconds, between 0.15 and 0.25 seconds and over 0.25 seconds. To give a small tip around 35% of the time the pole position win is decided by under 0.15 seconds.
Top 6 Finish – This market is offered at other sites on race day, but Bet365 has it a full week in advanced. Generally you can find some decent value on second tier racers that might have a chance. Nico Roseberg is the seventh or eighth favourite in many races, betting him at any tracks that favour his style is a good way to find value.
Points Finish – The top 8 finishers in an F1 race get points. The odds are so steep on the top racers like Vettel, Alonso, Webber, Button, Hamilton, Massa, Rosberg and Schumacher, that you usually need to look down further on the list to find value. Looking for tracks guys like Adrian Sutil, Sergio Perez or Paul di Resta might perform well on is a great way to find value on this market Bet365 offers.
Fastest Lap – This is neat proposition bet where a lot of value can be found. While Sebastian Vettel is currently favoured in most races, certain tracks will favour Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso or even Mark Webber over him. This is an awesome market for true F1 racing buffs.
Winning Car – This is a proposition bet on which team the winner will come from. For example in the 2011 season = betting on Red Bull gave you Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, where betting on McLaren gives you both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. This is decent market over race winner as you end up getting two drivers in a single bet.
Driver Specials – Bet365 offers prop bets on the top 5 drivers for each race. Here’s a random example of actual odds for Lewis Hamilton on a past Singapore Grand Prix.
- Leader at end of any lap 1.50
- To be the first driver to make a pitstop 11.00
- To be the last driver to make a pitstop 11.00
- To get caught speeding in the pit lane 34.00
- To get the fastest lap and win the race 9.00
- To get the fastest qualification time and win the race 11.00
- To get the fastest qualification time, fastest lap and win the race 26.00
- To retire on the first lap 23.00
While these might appear to be novelty wagers, Lewis Hamilton has the fastest lap more often than other racers on tracks with long straights. He does overtake more often than other drivers, but there’s a huge edge to starting first on the grid. If you like Hamilton during the qualifying round, then getting 25 to 1 (26.0 European) on a prop might be a more fun lottery ticket then betting him straight up.
Safety Car Period During Race – This is a prop bet to do some serious research on. For example in the Singapore Grand Prix there is an incredibly high probability of a safety car being deployed at some point, where Hungary it is used less often. See the F1 Blog for details.
Number of Classified Drivers – Any driver who completes at least 90% of the race is considered classified. Bet365 offers a three way market on this: usually under 19, between 19 and 20, and over 20. The under is generally a large favorite.
To Be Classified – Bet365 generally splits this bet in two groups. For the top 13 drivers you can make wagers that they won’t be classified, and for the bottom 13 drivers that they will be classified. The first of these options offers high payouts, where the payouts are quite small when betting yes on a driver to be classified.
First Driver to Retire – This is a tough bet to win due to so many options and things that can go wrong during a race. It does pay well however if you’re able to correctly speculate the winner of this prop.
First Constructor Retirement – This is the same as the bet above but you’re now betting on which team first to retire will come from. This one is tough to predict, Hispania Racing tends to be favored most often but even so their odds are generally 5.00 to 7.50, while our home team Force India is often as equally of an underdog in this field as they are to do much in the race.
Top 5 F1 Betting Sites for Indians
#1 Bet365 – As you can clearly see Bet365 offers a wide variety of Formula 1 wagering options.
#2 Betfair – The one challenge with Betfair is they only offer Indians accounts in GBP, USD or EUR. They still however are Indian friendly, and you might consider depositing with EntroPay when dealing with Betfair . The reason to use them is superior odds, just be sure to factor in currency conversion fees when deciding on a bet.