Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Austrian Grand Prix Betting Preview: F1 is Back in July

By Takayuki Suzuki - https://www.flickr.com/photos/
78475089@N02/49028922522/, CC BY-SA 2.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83879385
As most F1 fans are well aware, the 2020 season will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix taking place from July 3 to 5. The action will take place at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, and both fans and teams will be raring to get started after months of waiting around.

There will, of course, be two grand prix races at Spielberg this season, with another race – the Styrian Grand Prix – scheduled to take place a week later. You can get more details on the plans for the new F1 season, but, for this betting preview, we are going to concentrate on the first race of the season. Let’s dive in:

Race Winner
It won’t surprise you to learn that Lewis Hamilton is the race favourite, with a price of 9/5 (all odds here sourced from MansionBet UK) to get off to a winning start in Spielberg. That’s quite a big price when you consider Hamilton is odds-on to win the drivers’ championship. However, it’s probably reflective of the fact that Hamilton tends to start the season slowly by his standards. In fact, you will have to go back to 2015 to find a time when Hamilton won a season opener. Will that apply in Spielberg?

Bookmakers really believe that Max Verstappen can get close to Hamilton this season, and at 2/1 he is almost neck and neck with the Brit in this race. The Red Bull Ring is seen as home turf for Verstappen and his Red Bull team, and he did win the race back in 2018 and 2019. Elsewhere, Charles Leclerc is priced at 4/1, Sebastian Vettel at 11/2 and Valtteri Bottas at 6/1.

Podium Position 
You can get the likes of Hamilton and Verstappen at short prices to finish in the podium positions in this race, but an interesting candidate for punters is Red Bull’s Alexander Albon. Verstappen’s team-mate has never finished in the top three before during his short career, but he has the goods to start delivering on his promise. He is cited at 3/1 for a podium finish, and it looks like an interesting bet to make, especially if you consider Red Bull’s insider knowledge of the circuit. He is a much larger 28/1 if you fancy the upset of an outright win.

Fastest Qualifier 
Similar to the race winner odds, the markets for pole position have Hamilton at 7/4 and Verstappen at 9/5. Intriguingly, Bottas is the next in line at 7/2. That tells you that bookmakers have faith in the Mercedes car to deliver fast laps, but that they still believe the jury is out on the Finn having the nous to consistently deliver race wins like his team-mate.

Winning Team 
Mercedes is the firm favourite for delivering a win on the day, with bookies factoring in the chances of either Hamilton or Bottas taking the chequered flag at the end of the race. It’s hard to look beyond the price offered of 11/10 for Mercedes. However, if you do believe Albon has a chance this season, then the 9/5 offered for Red Bull is only marginally smaller than the price for a Verstappen win. That might be the value bet.
Artes Max from Spain / CC BY-SA
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)
Overall Thoughts 
Whether we like it or not, this is not going to business as usual for F1. Starting the season in the middle of summer is not ideal for any team so you can expect some surprises. As such, it might be the opportune moment to take a risk on your betting strategy, perhaps by overlooking the usual candidates. Whatever happens, it will be fantastic to see those cars line up on the grid once more.

All odds were correct at the time of writing.

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