Breaking Down Formula 1: Is Lewis Hamilton the Best Bet?


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Pushing cars to their limit is something we’d all like to do, but very few of us actually ever get to do it. Fortunately, there are some lucky souls that have the chance to race the finest tuned engines in the industry around some of the top tracks in the world and, what’s even better, they get paid a heap of money for it.

Earlier this year rumors started swirling that Lewis Hamilton was taking bold steps to secure his own future by negotiating his new contract with Mercedes. Forgoing the virtues of using a manager, Hamilton wanted to use his immense talent as a driver to secure himself the best deal possible in the boardroom.

Although the nuances of the 30-year-old’s new contract aren’t known, many mainstream outlets have reported that the three-year deal is worth around £100 million. Such an amount of money not only proves the strength of F1 as a sport, but the high regard that a driver such as Hamilton is held in by his employers.

A Record of Success

Naturally, if you look at Hamilton’s record, he’s arguably one of the greatest British drivers in living memory. From his days as a carting champion to the leading F1 driver in the sport, Hamilton has literally seen it all and won it all. In fact, out of 153 F1 starts, Hamilton has notched up 36 wins and 75 podium finishes which equates to a top three placing in almost 50% of the races he enters.

It’s this sort of form that’s not only made Hamilton a force on the track but, it seems, a force in the boardroom. Now one of the highest paid athletes in the world, the driving sensation is clearly at the top of the game, but does that means he’s a sure-fire bet for anyone wanting to make some money in the sports betting arena?

As we’ve said, feeling the force of an F1 car isn’t something any of us will have the chance to do. However, it’s possible to recreate some of the adrenaline rush felt by drivers such as Hamilton by staking some money on them. While it’s never a good idea to wager more than you can afford, there is some value to betting on Formula 1 above and beyond the cash you can make.

A Bet Makes it Better

Having a vested interest in a race by placing a bet makes the action even more exciting and, therefore, entertaining. However, before you race off and start throwing money at the next F1 event, you should keep in mind some simple betting strategies. Although there are no “guaranteed” ways to make money, there are some things you can do to swing the pendulum of luck in your favour.

The Man Behind the Wheel

Before you analyse the mechanics of a car or assess the size of a track, you first need to look at the driver, whether it’s Lewis Hamilton or another great such as Nico Rosberg or Sebastian Vettel. Just like other sports people, motor racing drivers have their strengths and weaknesses. Just as you would size up the credentials of an athlete before they take part in a race, so to should you check out the driver’s stats before you back them. One of the key attributes you should look out for is a driver’s current form. How has the driver performed throughout the season and how does that compare to their performances in previous seasons?

The Team Behind the Man

In order for any F1 driver to show off his skills he needs a crack team of mechanics and racing experts behind him. The nature of motor racing is that the top teams have the best cars and, because of this, they can attract the best drivers. Naturally, these conditions usually result in a small group of dominant teams throughout the season. However, you shouldn’t take a team’s reputation as a given. For example, one team’s car might have great speed in a straight line, but struggle with corners. If this is the case then it’s unlikely they are going to perform well on a winding track such as Monaco. Every good driver needs a good team and every good team needs the right conditions, so make sure you consider this when anteing up.

The Tarmac Battleground

The final element of a motor racing event you need to consider when you want to place a bet is the track. As we’ve already hinted at, some tracks are more suited to certain teams and some are more suited to others. On top of this, you should also consider the immediate conditions affecting the possible outcome of a race. For example, if the track is wet or cold it can drastically alter the course of a race. Similarly, if a track is particularly narrow then it is unlikely drivers will be doing a lot of overtaking. If this is the case then betting on a driver in the middle of the grid isn’t a smart move.

Using Your Logic

Beyond any prescriptive F1 betting tactics, there’s no accounting for discipline and logic. For example, Lewis Hamilton has finished within the top three in almost 50% of his races which suggests that he’s extremely consistent when it comes to Formula 1. If this is the case, then logic would dictate that Hamilton is a great driver to bet on over the course of the season. If he isn’t winning, then it’s more than likely he’ll be in the mix.

A final point to consider when betting on F1 or, indeed, any motorsport is the money you’re staking. Professional sports bettors like to focus on something known as bankroll management which is, essentially, the amount of money you spend on a single bet. For example, if you’ve set aside £500 to bet on the F1 season, then it’s wise to break this cash down into smaller amounts.

As a general rule, sports bettors will never risk more than 5% of their total bankroll on a single bet. For someone with a £500 bankroll, this would equate to £25 per race. Of course, this 5% figure should be seen as an upper-limit and not something you should aim to hit each time.

Breaking this down further, you could wager £10 on Mr. Hamilton to win his next race and then speculate the remaining £15 on a variety of smaller wagers, including: Hamilton to make the podium, Hamilton to achieve the fastest lap or something less positive, such as Hamilton to retire midrace through a technical fault.

When you ante-up online at a site such as betfair, there is a myriad of betting options available and the smart sports bettor will always assess the market, do their research and then portion out their bankroll accordingly in order to maximize their chances of success.

The reason it’s necessary to impose a maximum wager when betting on F1 is that, no matter how much analysis you do, you can never be certain of a win. Because of this, it’s important to restrict the amount you can lose while simultaneously giving yourself a chance to win a sizeable amount of money.

To Bet or Not to Bet

Becoming as wealthy as Lewis Hamilton by betting on Formula 1 is extremely unlikely. However, with some sensible analysis and canny foresight, it is possible to make a lot of money by taking a punt on the world’s leading motorsport.

Of course, the sport has enough intrinsic value that it’s worth watching without placing any bets; however, for those looking to get a little bit extra, a few well-placed wagers can take this engagement to a new level.

With a lucrative new contract in his possession, it is likely Hamilton will be a force to come for at least the next three years. While that doesn’t automatically make him a winning bet, it does suggest he’ll be one to look out for during any Formula 1 betting market.

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