Guest post written by Paul Micelli
Although individual drivers and constructors will inevitably dominate a Formula One season, sports betting enthusiasts should not make the mistake of thinking these one particular driver/constructor combination will be victorious in all 18 races that make up a full season. Indeed, one of the best indicators of a potential result is previous performance. This is a particularly useful way in determining the winning driver or team in individual races. After 8 races of the 2008 season, only 4 drivers had managed to secure race wins and these came from just 3 different teams. Of these 8 races, there was a certain air of predictability about the results of 7 of them. Lewis Hamilton achieved victories in Monaco and Australia on behalf of the McLaren team while Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen had 5 victories between them under the banner of Ferrari.
The only other driver to make an impact during this initial 8 race period was Robert Kubica who won at Montreal in his BMW Sauber. However, there was a certain element of luck to proceedings as Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were both forced to retire from the event following a collision in the pit lane. This opened the way for an unlikely victory for Kubica, who failed to make a significant impact on the Drivers Championship throughout the remainder of the 2008 season.
On a somewhat surprising note, many drivers and constructors in the world of formula One have very little possibility of making an impact on the sport. For many constructors, the sport is little more than an expensive hobby that is sustained by expensive sponsorship deals and heavy investment from team owners. In the same way as small provincial clubs make up the numbers in most major football leagues throughout the world, smaller constructors effectively make up the numbers in the world of Formula One.
In reality, betting opportunities will inevitably surround just a small handful of drivers or the teams that they represent. A closer look at the current 2010 campaign highlights a very similar pattern to the examples already provided from 2008. After 8 races, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Mark Webber have been victorious in 6 of them. Of the same 8 races, McLaren-Mercedes and RBR-Renault have enjoyed success in 7 of them as constructors. The previously successful driver/constructor combination of Fernando Alonso and Ferrari were victorious in the first event of the season in Bahrain.
In terms of betting, the best odds can usually be secured prior to qualifying but placing wagers at this stage can be a particularly risky affair. Most Formula One events involve a series of unfurling stories and these usually provide a better indication of likely outcomes in a race once the qualifying session has finished. By securing pole position or a place on the front row of the grid, a driver and constructor combination will have significantly increased their chances of enjoying success in the race itself. Although betting odds will inevitably fall once a front row position has been achieved, sports betting enthusiasts will stand an increased chance of enjoying a decent ‘run’ from their chosen driver.