We’re ready for the second round of the 2023 Formula 1 season. Red Bull had the 1-2 finish at Bahrain last week, as Max Verstappen started the new year the way he finished 2022, rolling both to pole position and to the victory. Teammate Sergio Perez was right behind him. Mercedes continues to be a bit of a joke this year after several seasons of domination, with Lewis Hamilton sitting way down the odds list this week. Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin is currently the third betting favorite after the two Red Bull drivers. We have the Formula 1 betting odds for you as well as insights for your wagering choices.
Formula 1 News: Saudi Arabia Grand Prix Preview
|Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu||+60000|
|Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen, Lando Norris, Logan Sargeant,Niko Hulkenberg, Nyck de Vries, Oscar Piastri, Yuki Tsunoda||+90000|
Charles Leclerc had been seen as likely to beat Alonso, but he has a ten-place grid penalty with Ferrari, and so his odds have moved down the table. If his car proves more reliable this week, Leclerc could cause a few more problems for the competition.
Sergio Perez wasn’t breathing down Verstappen’s neck at the end in Bahrain, but he did finish well ahead of Alonso, who settled for third.
Carlos Sainz had a tough time keeping pace in Bahrain, but Ferrari should make the necessary changes to have greater consistency in Saudi Arabia. Sainz took third at this track last year, so he has the experience here to take a podium spot. Aston Martin’s team is expected to struggle in the conditions at Jeddah.
Looking for a dark horse?
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are interesting. Gasly finished ninth last week despite starting at the back of the grid, moving from 20th over the course of the race. Particularly, his performance showed how speedy the Alpine car can be when driving in a straight line. Ocon took three time penalties that kept him from contending. However, Ocon and Gasly have come away from Jeddah with points in three of their last four starts combined. That includes Ocon’s stellar sixth-place finish in 2022. He needs points to start building any sort of case for the World Drivers’ Championship.
What about Mercedes?
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had a disappointing 2022, as the car they were given tended to bounce, and the remedies that Mercedes attempted to solve the problem kept the car from performing. We spent the off-season hearing that Mercedes had figured out the difficulties and would make the right changes. However, Mercedes not only lost to Red Bull but found itself behind Ferrari and Aston Martin, now in the midfield. According to Russell, Mercedes set insufficient “targets” for itself and did not account for the new FIA floor rule change, which elevated the height of the edges by 15 mm. Rumors are swirling about Hamilton leaving Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the season. Revisions to the sidepods are just one area of upgrades that are expected to appear when the circuit moves to Europe in May, but don’t expect this team to compete in Saudi Arabia, as the betting community clearly doesn’t.
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