Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023 - Overview & Betting Tips


After one of the most dramatic season openers for several years, Formula 1 returns next weekend for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. New cars and new title contenders are sure to provide plenty of excitement in the Saudi desert, with the Jeddah circuit returning for its second year on the calendar.

Last year’s Saudi Grand Prix, which took place just four months ago, was won by seven-time F1 Drivers World Champion, Sir Lewis Hamilton, ensuring that the 2021 title would go down to the final race in Abu Dhabi. While the drivers’ title won’t be won or lost around this 3.8-mile street circuit this year, it could give us another big insight into who might be lifting the coveted World Championship trophy come December.

Heading into this weekend’s race, one thing is clear…Ferrari are well and truly back. Having not won a Constructors World Title since 2008, the team from Maranello arguably has its best chance of doing so since 2018. At the first race of the 2022 season in Bahrain, Ferrari earned a famous 1-2 finish, the team’s first since the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix. Won by Charles Leclerc, with Carlos Sainz not far behind in second, it showed that this time around, the pre-season buzz surrounding the Italian manufacturer wasn’t hyperbole.

However, their 1-2 in Sakhir is somewhat misleading, in that they achieved it thanks to a pair of Red Bull DNF’s. Before the first race of the season, Red Bull, led by 2021 Drivers World Champion Max Verstappen, looked like the team to beat. Topping the timesheets in all three of Friday’s practice sessions in Bahrain, the RB18 looked mightily impressive.

But a supreme weekend from Leclerc, Ferrari’s Monegasque superstar, saw the young driver eke out pole position ahead of Verstappen – before managing to stay ahead of the Dutchman throughout the race. In the final five laps in Bahrain, Red Bull’s worst nightmare came true, as both Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez experienced engine issues, and failed to finish the race. The pre-season title favourites suddenly don’t look as formidable as they did just one week prior.

On the flip side, Mercedes arrived in Bahrain with very little expectations, still seemingly blighted by proposing issues that first became apparent during winter testing. And yet, Red Bull’s loss was very much Merc’s gain, with Lewis Hamilton, and Silver Arrows debutant George Russell coming home in P3 and P4 respectively in Sakhir. While the W13 is still well off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari, it was a step in the right direction for the eight-time Constructor World Champions.

Best Bookmakers to Bet on the 2022 Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

In terms of the number of F1 markets available, historically we would have to look at BetVictor, who still offer a great selection. Their selection notably includes betting on the practice and qualifying sessions, which a lot of other bookmakers do not offer.

In recent years, more and more bookmakers have come round to betting on F1; with Coral, William Hill and Ladbrokes now coming to the fore.

Past Winners and Fastest Laps

Formula 1 has only visited Saudi Arabia on one previous occasion, in December of last year. Hamilton would go on to win that race, overcoming a collision with Red Bull’s Verstappen to seal his 11th victory of the 2021 season. He also went on to set the first-ever lap record with a 1.30.734 in the race, having already earned pole position the day prior. Verstappen and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas rounded out the 2021 podium in Jeddah.

Who Are the Favourites?

When looking at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix odds, rather unsurprisingly, following his dominant win in Bahrain last weekend, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is the bookies’ favourite to win in Jeddah. The 24-year-old is 11/8 (LeoVegas) as well with other best betting sites, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is next at 6/4 (bet365). Spaniard Carlos Sainz is third-favourite at 7/1 (888sport), with last year’s winner, Lewis Hamilton, a distant 10/1 (SportNation). Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who has only won two races in his F1 career, can be found at 16/1 (Coral).

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Betting Tips and Predictions

The Jeddah circuit is already notorious for being two things: fast and dangerous. With this in mind, expect the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to be attritional, which could throw up another surprise or two. The podium market could therefore be worth exploring, as we’ve already seen one race this season where issues for Red Bull allowed Hamilton to sneak onto the rostrum – despite Mercedes being way off the pace. However, here are some other Saudi Arabian Grand Prix betting tips for you to have a flutter on.

With the Silver Arrows expected to struggle even more on the streets of Jeddah, the likes of Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso, who are each over 10/1 (Ladbrokes) to get onto the podium, could be very interesting options. Further to this, the ‘First Car to Retire’ market, offered by several bookmakers, is another one worth looking at for the Saudi GP. With carnage expected from the very first tight corner, Red Bull at 12/1 looks to be an interesting option (bet365). With known reliability issues, and a fired-up Verstappen ready to strike back at the Ferrari’s, fireworks could be in order.

Betting Markets for Betting on the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Thanks to the newfound popularity of Formula 1, punters now have a host of markets to choose from on a race weekend.

For the best Saudi Arabian Grand Prix odds, you can bet on the following markets:

  • Race winner: This is as it says on the tin! You’ll be betting on whom you think the winner of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will be. Also, they may cover the podium places with an each-way tip. This means a payout on the 2nd or 3rd-placed finishers.
  • Fastest lap: Only laps during the race count in this market meaning practice and qualifying times do not apply.
  • Podium finish: Here, you will be predicting if individual drivers will or won’t finish on the podium (first 3). You will see either a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ next to each driver, this indicates if the outcome is for either, they will finish on the podium (Yes) or they won’t.
  • Points finish: Will an individual driver finish in the points? This is what is being predicted for this market. The top 10 drivers in each GP are awarded points meaning to be successful in this market the driver needs a top 10 finish.
  • Number of cars to finish the race: Once again, fairly self-explanatory here. In essence, you can bet the over/under on how many cars will reach the chequered flag of any given race.

Betting Strategy For The F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

After what we saw in Bahrain, a clearer picture has emerged of the 2022 pecking order. Just as it was in 2021, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull appear to be a cut above the rest, only this time, in a very different way. As for the rest of the field, there seems to be very little to separate the various teams on pace alone. This invariably makes betting on upcoming F1 races very tricky, especially on a track like Jeddah which is markedly different to Sakhir’s layout.

Our best Saudi Arabian Grand Prix betting tips always make sure to factor in the various strengths/weaknesses of each team. For instance, in Bahrain, we saw Red Bull and Alpha Tauri top the speed traps for the most part – which will stand them in good stead in Saudi. This fast, flowing circuit should reward cars with good straight-line speed, so any betting strategy of yours should factor this in.

Given the advantage that Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc had over the rest of the field in Bahrain (including their teammates), the winning driver and podium markets look to be sound options for punters. Highly like that one of the two young superstars will win next Sunday’s race, although reliability issues on the Red Bull side should also be factored in. In summary, it is important to understand that Jeddah isn’t your average F1 circuit, and in that respect, normal rules don’t necessarily apply.

Our Verdict

The Jeddah Street Circuit is one of the fastest we’ve ever seen on the F1 calendar, and it will once again deliver a very unique spectacle for racing fans around the world. In 2021, cars that were especially quick on the straights, such as the Mercedes W12, were blistering in Saudi Arabia. Fast forward a few months, and it does appear as if the Red Bull and Ferrari power units have levelled up significantly.

To this end, expect Red Bull to come back strong at Ferrari following a disastrous Bahrain GP. If the team from Milton Keynes can sort out their reliability gremlins, the speed of their car in a straight line will put them in a prime position to win the race.

By contrast, with proposing issues still not resolved on the Mercedes end, it could be a very testing weekend indeed for Toto Wolff and co. The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix odds, which have Hamilton at around 10/1 (bet365) to win in Jeddah , show just how far off they are expected to be. The same can be said of the other teams with Mercedes engines (McLaren, Williams, Aston Martin) who were all near the bottom of the speed trap in Bahrain.

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