F1 Odds, Picks & Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix
Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images. Pictured: Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks with Max Verstappen
A chaotic British Grand Prix saw Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz win from pole, his first ever victory in Formula 1.
Elsewhere, Max Verstappen’s floor puncture led to a P7 finish for the world championship leader while both Haas cars managed points in a race that saw six driver retirements.
As for our bets, it was a solid week. Lewis Hamilton hung on for a podium finish to cash a nice +250 ticket while Yuki Tsunoda came through in a matchup over Zhou Guanyu for a +135 payout.
Unfortunately, Daniel Ricciardo finished outside the points to render that play a loser.
Those results move our season-long record to 18-12 (+8.25 units) as we turn our attention to this week’s Austrian Grand Prix.
With that established, here are my best bets for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Before that, though, here are the correlated circuits I’ve used to help handicap this race: Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and Canada.
F1 Picks for Austrian Grand Prix
*Odds as of Thursday afternoon
Red Bull Double Podium Finish (+160), BetMGM
Much like our Lewis Hamilton bet last week at Silverstone, this bet is based on the added motivation for Red Bull in its home race.
We’ll begin with Verstappen, who is a heavy -300 favorite to finish on the podium at the Red Bull Ring. The defending world champion has won this race three of the last four years and has finished on the podium every year with Red Bull in which he finished the race in Austria.
Plus, Verstappen has a good track record at the correlated circuits this season. He won both the Spanish and Canadian Grand Prix this season and finished no worse than P2 last year in the Netherlands, Mexico and Brazil. A week after he experienced some bad luck, expect Verstappen to dominate this week.
That would presumably leave the onus on Sergio Perez to cash this ticket. Consecutive P6 finishes at the Red Bull Ring may lead to some concern, but the positives help counter-balance that record.
In his last four races at correlated circuits, Perez has notched three finishes of P4 or better, including one DNF in Canada this season. Plus, in his last five races overall, Perez has finished on the podium four times.
Given the added straight-line speed of the Red Bulls this season, I expect an improved result for Perez in Austria and for him to join his teammate on the podium.
Esteban Ocon Points Finish (+100), BetMGM
Ocon arrives in Austria off a DNF at Silverstone, but this track should see him get back in the points.
Although the Alpine representative posted a DNF in his last effort at the Red Bull Ring, he was P8 here in 2020. Plus, if you look at his efforts on correlated circuits, there’s reason for encouragement with Ocon.
This season, he was P7 in Spain and P6 in Canada. Last year, in three races in the Netherlands, Mexico and Brazil, Ocon finished P10 or better in two of the three races.
Further, although it’s a somewhat small sample, Ocon has a great record this season of bouncing back from poor finishes.
This season, the Frenchman has finished outside the points only three times, including at last week’s British Grand Prix. But, in the two prior races following a finish of P11 or worse, Ocon finished in the points each time.
Apply that same trend all the way back to last year’s British Grand Prix and prospective bettors will find Ocon has followed a non-points finish with a P10 or better in three of four races.
Lastly, it’s worth repeating that Ocon has established himself as a reliable points-getter with Alpine. He’s finished P10 or better in 11 of his last 14 and 17 of his last 25 races, giving a bit of an implied probability edge on this price should he continue that rate.
For those reasons, play Ocon to -120 for a points finish in Austria.
George Russell (+104) Over Lewis Hamilton, FanDuel
Much like our Tsunoda/Zhou matchup play last week, this bet is derived from the fact that I believe these drivers are more equal than the odds suggest.
Just in the last five races in which both Mercs have crossed the finish line, Russell has gotten the best of his teammate in four. In fact, through 10 races this season, Russell has bested Hamilton in seven with Hamilton getting the best in two straight.
In addition, in the two events this season at correlated circuits, the pair is even in terms of their results. Russell won the head-to-head in Spain (P3 vs. P5) while Hamilton earned the head-to-head win in Canada by a slight margin (P3 vs. P4).
The other aspect worth considering: Hamilton has never experienced great success at the Red Bull Ring. He’s failed to finish on the podium in five straight races in Austria, posting three P4’s, one P5 and a DNF in that timespan.
Although Russell’s past record is difficult to evaluate, he did manage a P11 finish last year, his fifth-best finish across last year’s schedule with Williams, after qualifying P9.
So, although I’d only back Russell so long as he stays at +100 or better, take the Englishman to recover off last week’s DNF at Silverstone.