Fans of Formula 1 auto racing do not have to make a case for it being one of the fastest and sexiest sports on earth.
After all, F1 features good looking drivers, behind the wheels of $15 million cars, moving at speeds of 220 miles per hour.
But, as Formula 1 is poised to make its Las Vegas return (after a 40-year-long hiatus), with the big race scheduled for November 19, in a competition that will have souped up autos doing 50 laps along the Vegas Strip, the issue for many of us is how to bet on a sport that has not quite gained traction in various sectors of the world.
For starters, here are the bets to be made on the Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix:
At the most basic level, you can place money on who will win the race.
Then there is a podium bet, which is, essentially, wagering to win, place or show. You put money on one driver to finish first, second or third.
If he hits any of those spots, you get the same payoff regardless of his final position. There is often little value in backing the favourite in this particular market.
If you want to get a little creative, punters can look toward the future and bet on the Constructor’s Championship. This is wagering on which team will be the overall winner in the 2023/2024 season.
According to 888sport United States Grand Prix odds, superstar driver Max Verstappen is the clear frontrunner to ace the race at 1/4. That’s not much of a return on your wager, but the odds are short for good reason: he has won the majority of races this season.
That said, there isn't much value in the market so F1 betting punters may wish to consider Lando Norris at 17/2 - second likeliest to win the race according to the odds.
On the other end of things, the biggest dog in this Vegas run is Zhou Guanyu at 250/1. He sounds like a gutsy bet at this stage...
The World Constructor’s Championship will be decided in 2024. That is a bet on which auto constructor generates the most points, based on a system deriving from F1 Grand Prix results.
Last year’s winner was Red Bull, thanks in large part to the fact that Max Verstappen drives for the Bull. That victory broke an eight-year-long streak that was dominated by Mercedes Benz.
For the Benz run, credit Lewis Hamilton, who reigned as F1’s dominant driver behind the wheel of a Mercedes.
Not surprisingly, this year’s frontrunner to snag the Constructor’s Championship, once again, is Red Bull. 888sport F1 betting markets have the energy drink’s red and yellow logoed sets of wheels at 2/5.
Number two, according to 888’s oddsmakers, is McLaren at 3/1. If you’re feeling brave and want to go for a known quantity in racing at a bigger price? Alfa Romeo is at 99/1.
When looking at F1, it is advisable to focus on Verstappen. The 25-year-old Dutchman has been touted as a “once in a generation driver.”
He first made his bones on the European go-kart scene, where he out-drove all competitors before getting behind the wheel of an F1 racer at the tender age of 17. At that point, the teenager had not yet been issued a legit driver’s license.
In considering Verstappen’s ability to handle his monstrously powerful car and win races more consistently than anyone else on the circuit, The Athletic points out his “daring overtakes, perfect pole laps and recoveries from sideway slides.”
The publication quotes Verstappen’s race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, who puts a fine point on what we’ll be seeing when Verstappen stomps the accelerator on November 19: “An innate feeling for the connection between himself, the car and the road.”
Whether you’re watching the race from lavish grandstands that Vegas casinos have constructed along the Strip – for high rollers who’ll be there as invited guests and F1 super-fans who’ll dig deep into their pockets for elite tickets – or at home on TV, fast-paced thrills are guaranteed, and they will be extra exciting with at least a few dollars bet on any driver; from king of the course Verstappen to ultra-longshot Zhou.
Anyone looking to take a flyer on how far from last place he’ll finish? The very best of luck.
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to Alamy*