- The 2021 Formula 1 Season Opens Sunday in Bahrain
- Lewis Hamilton Seeks His Record Eighth Title
- Max Verstappen and Red Bull are the Top Challengers
After the COVID-shortened 2020 season, 2021 Formula 1 betting can get back on track with a full 23 race slate! After a shortened testing session in Bahrain, the 2021 F1 season begins on March 28. The Bahrain Grand Prix revs up with a first practice session on Friday. Then, on Sunday, March 28, the race goes lights out at 11:00am EDT.
If you are a long-time F1 bettor, this preview may help sort out your thinking when approaching this year’s odds. This column will also speak to new F1 fans who watched Drive to Survive and Senna on Netflix.
The 2021 season will conclude back in the Middle East on December 12 with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Between then, Sir Lewis Hamilton (yes, he was knighted this off-season!) will attempt to win his record eighth Drivers’ Championship. This would break his current tie for the most world titles with German legend Michael Schumacher.
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas will seek their seventh consecutive Constructors’ Championship. Toto Wolff returns as Team Chief, maintaining the same stable of drivers. Can anyone dethrone the Mercedes tyrant in 2021?
2021 Formula 1 Driver Changes
The only constant in Formula 1 is change, and when betting, you have to stay on top of the news.
This offseason saw Mercedes’ chief rival for the Constructor’ Championship, Red Bull Racing, add Sergio Perez. The former Racing Point driver earned his first F1 checkered flag in 2020 but looked to be the odd man out during the off-season’s game of musical chairs. Can the Mexican driver repay Red Bull’s gambit?
Fan-favorite Australian Daniel Ricciardo will fill Sainz’s seat at McLaren. Ironically, it was Ricciardo who forced the Spaniard to McLaren when he signed with Renault for 2019.
Renault will rebrand as Alpine F1 for 2021 and return Spaniard and former champion Fernando Alonso to one of its two seats.
Other moves include Vettel joining Aston Martin and rookie sensation Yuki Tsunoda grabbing an F1 spot at AlphaTauri. Finally, youngsters Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin slot into Hass’ two open spots.
Formula 1 Betting Drivers’ Championship 2021
The first bet to break down is the individual prize for this season’s top pilot. Points are awarded to the top ten finishers on a quickly de-escalating scale.
The winner of each race receives 25 points, with second getting 18 and third place 15. Those drivers who do not reach the podium then can score between 12 points for fourth and 1 point for tenth. There is a bonus point awarded to the fastest lap so long as it was achieved by a driver who finishes top 10.
For reference, in yet another Championship season, Lewis Hamilton pulled in 347 points over 16 contested races in 2020.
2021 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship Contenders
For those interested in 2021 Formula 1 Betting, the Drivers’ Championship odds come down to one question: can anyone beat Hamilton?
At -250* to win the world title, the British legend does not offer much value. Instead, consider his chief competitor.
Max Verstappen (+300)
Despite being only 23, this will be the Dutch wunderkind’s fifth season in Formula 1. He reached the podium in all but one race he completed in 2020. This year, hopefully a matured driver and Red Bull engineers can avoid so many DNFs. He will probably win a world-title eventually, why not this year?
Daniel Ricciardo (+4000)
It is clear now that Ricciardo’s move to Renault was an impulsive, poor decision. In 2020, Ricciardo was still able to muster a fifth-place finish for the French team. Despite only two podiums, the Aussie was consistently in the points. Will the change to McLaren turn those midfield finishes into podiums?
The 2021 Drivers’ Championship Underdogs and Longshots
Due to Hamilton and Mercedes’ continued brilliance, the odds for other drivers to take the leap from midfield to contender fall off quickly.
Charles Leclerc (+5000)
Ferrari continued to disappoint in 2020, with an unimpressive sixth place finish in the Constructors’ Championship. Leclerc’s hopes rise if some of the team’s recent struggles can be attributed to drama between the drivers. With Sebastian Vettel moving on, Leclerc is now the clear number one for Scuderia.
Fernando Alonso (+8000)
Everyone seems to expect Alpine to fall back further in the midfield this season. However, a driver with championship pedigree with a team that finished fifth in the Constructors’ Championship last year at 80 to 1? Alonso looked solid in pre-season testing, showing no rust.
2021 Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship Betting
Ten teams enter, but it is tough to see anyone not named Mercedes or Red Bull taking the 2021 Constructors’ Championship. Scoring for this trophy is the same, only combining the scores of both drivers on a team.
Red Bull (+250)
Mercedes again offers next to no value at -400. For six years, everyone has failed to best the kings of the track. However, this year, Red Bull’s pre-season testing results leave room for optimism. Verstappen is a known challenger, but adding last year’s fourth place driver, Sergio Perez, boosts their chances.
Aston Martin (+500 To Be Top Finisher Besides Mercedes/Red Bull)
There is not much debate that either Mercedes or Red Bull will hoist the Constructors’ Championship. Therefore, 2021 Formula 1 betting books are offering odds on what team will finish third. At +500, Aston Martin offers some solid returns. Last year’s fourth-place finisher has rebranded and added the legendary Sebastian Vettel.
2021 F1 Betting Specials
To wrap up this 2021 Formula 1 betting preview, check out some of the special bets offered for the course of the season.
Verstappen to Win Drivers’ and Red Bull to Win Constructors’ Championships (+600)
Both Max Verstappen and Red Bull are solid bets to end Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ reign at the top. If you can parlay those two futures for better odds, feel free. But if you cannot and like Red Bull’s chances, this special is for you.
Haas Not to Score A Point in the 2021 F1 Season (+165)
The American-owned Haas racing only managed to score 3 points in 2020. They have admitted they are not focused on developing their car for 2021, choosing to conserve resources for 2022.
Two rookie drivers will be manning their seats. All signs point to extreme difficulties throughout the season. Haas’ best chance to steal a point may come from the chaos of weather or big wrecks.
The upcoming 2021 Formula 1 betting season will be exciting at every bend, straight, and chicane—Want to get in on the action? Check out our sportsbooks reviews for the best places to wager on Formula 1, and stay posted on the latest F1 updates and news.
*All odds per Bovada on 03/22/2021.