F1 Odds, Picks & Predictions: 4 Bets for Dutch Grand Prix (Sunday, August 27)
Dan Istitene/Formula 1 via Getty Images. Pictured: F1 driver Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren
The Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort on Sunday morning is back on the F1 calendar for the third year in a row, and it's a staple to kick off the second half of the 2023 season.
After a month-long summer break, racing is back on Sunday morning (9 a.m. ET, ESPN) in the Netherlands right off the coast of the North Sea. This year's installment of the F1 Dutch Grand Prix will be the 33rd running, coming after a five-year contract to bring the race back in 2021.
In the past two years of this race, Max Verstappen has been able to start on pole and win the race in front of a home crowd. The Orange come out in full force to support their guy and will be hoping to see history on Sunday.
What’s at stake for Verstappen is pulling off the three-peat at Zandvoort and a record-tying ninth-straight F1 victory. Only Sebastian Vettel has accomplished nine straight victories in F1 (2013).
What a season we've had so far…
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 26, 2023
F1 qualifying on Saturday started off with a damp track and the threat of rain, and it finished under bright sunshine and a dry racing line.
Q1 and Q2 had all drivers on the Intermediate tires while Q3 brought out the slick tires and some low lap times.
Not all went right in Q3. In fact, both Logan Sargeant and Charles Leclerc crashed out of the session, though they will start ninth and 10th on the grid.
Verstappen won pole position for today's race with a 1:10.567 in Q3, earning his eighth pole this season.
Right next to Verstappen on the front row is Lando Norris in the McLaren that has arguably been right on par with the Red Bull car for the past four races.
Behind them on the second row are two Mercedes cars, but not the two that you’re thinking of. P3 on the grid is George Russell, and right next to him will be Alexander Albon in the Williams-Mercedes.
Looking at the forecast for Sunday afternoon’s race, the current expectation is for cool temperatures and mostly cloudy conditions during the race window. Sunday morning will bring rain showers and a damp track, with only a 20% chance of rain by the time we go lights out at 3 p.m. local time.
F1 Picks for Dutch Grand Prix
McLaren Continue to Impress
Through eight races in 2023, McLaren were sitting at 17 points combined in the Constructors’ Championship. Turning things around over the past four race weekends, they are now sitting in fifth place (103 team points) trying to catch both Ferrari and Aston Martin in the standings before the end of the season.
Lando Norris has been the driving force behind the turnaround. He's qualified fourth, second, third, seventh and now second on the grid for Sunday’s race.
At a short track where overtaking will be difficult, starting on the front row of the grid will likely lead to a podium finish for Norris in the papaya orange No. 4 car.
As for teammate Oscar Piastri, his car received the massive upgrade package a week later and heading into Silverstone, and he's impressively qualified third, fourth, six and now eighth this weekend. Despite crashing out of the previous race, Piastri has looked strong and should be able to turn things around on Sunday.
Looking at the qualifying times from Saturday, Piastri and Norris went No. 3/No. 4 in Q1 with 1:21.231 and 1:21.276, respectively.
Piastri jumped up to take second in Q2 with a 1:19.392 while Norris did just enough to get into Q3. As the track dried and the drivers put on the soft, slick tires, Norris posted a 1:11.104 (second place), and Piastri posted a 1:11.938 in Q3.
I am all in on McLaren for the F1 Dutch Grand Prix. I like the value of plus money on both McLaren drivers to finish in the top 6. Piastri by himself is +125 (DraftKings) to finish in the top 6 while the combo of Norris and Piastri to finish top 6 is +162 at bet365.
Norris is a stiff -500 to lead at least one lap in this race, which is too rich for me, but I like the exact number of race leaders for the race of two being plus money. Remember, the race leader only counts at the end of the lap crossing the line, not counting the overtakes during a lap.
Should something happen to Verstappen and leave him unable to win for a ninth straight time, a great shot in the dark for an outright winner is the aforementioned Norris.
The history of this track has the winner coming from either the first or second spot on the starting grid 75% of the time (24 of 32).
The Picks: Lando Norris to win (1 unit, +800 on DraftKings) | McLaren – both cars Top 6 finish (1 unit, +162 on bet365) | Exactly 2 – number of race leaders (1 unit, +120 on bet365)
Prop Bet for the Dutch Grand Prix
For both the 2021 and 2022 edition of the Dutch Grand Prix, there were exactly 18 classified drivers each time. Neither race produced a collision, and the only retirements were due to engine/power-unit issues or something going wrong on the car.
We all know that the public bettors love to bet overs (in football, basketball, etc.), so here is one more to add to the betting card. I like the over 17.5 total classified finishers for Sunday’s race.
I believe the lack of overtaking spots at the Zandvoort has a lot to do with the past two clean races.
Digging into the numbers, the average finishing (classifying) percentage over the previous five and a half years of F1 is 86.5%. This equates to just over 17 classified drivers per race over a 115-race data set.
For 2018-2020, the number of retirements averaged out to exactly three per race. For 2021, the number dipped to only 2.27 retirements per race, and it jumped back up to 2.91 in 2022. Through 12 races on the 2023 calendar, that average is a miniscule 1.67 (20 in 12 races) retirements per race.
Following this trend and considering the track history of a high number of classified finishers, I am more than willing to lay the juice to grab the over on this one.