Formula 1 Odds, Picks & Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix
Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images. Pictured: Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen claimed the inaugural Miami Grand Prix as he steadily ate in to Charles Leclerc’s lead in the world championship race.
As for our bets, it turned out to be our fourth 2-1 week in five attempts as a perfect 3-0 still eludes us. The lone loser came on our Lando Norris top-six play, but Esteban Ocon came home over Daniel Ricciardo while our Verstappen/Lelerc both on the podium play cashed with relative ease.
Those results move our record to 9-6 (+3.95 units) as we turn our attention to the Spanish Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton won in 2021. In addition to considering past results in Spain, I used Australia, Hungary and Mexico as track correlations to inform my three best bets for the race.
That trio of plays can be found below, but let’s take a look at the odds to win the race first:
Formula 1 Odds for Spanish Grand Prix
*Odds as of Thursday night and via BetMGM
Formula 1 Picks for Spanish Grand Prix
Pierre Gasly Points Finish (+100 at BetMGM)
It’s proved to be an up-and-down season for Gasly, who has posted two DNF’s and finished in the points just twice. However, I believe this race sets up well for him.
Gasly recorded a points finish in Australia by finishing P9 at Albert Park after qualifying in P11.
He also has good records at other comparable tracks.
In last year’s race in Hungary, Gasly finished P5. Last year in Mexico, he was P4. Additionally, he was P10 in last year’s Spanish Grand Prix after qualifying P12, and P9 in the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix after qualifying P10.
Additionally, even though the race results haven’t come his direction, Gasly has proven somewhat reliable in qualifying this season. He qualified P7 in Miami and has qualified P10 or better in three races and P11 or better in four of five to date.
Expand that data set to include the final five races of last season and bettors will find Gasly has qualified P10 or better in seven of his past 10 races and has finished inside the points in six of those races.
Lastly, Gasly posted the eighth-fastest lap time in last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, a nine-place improvement over his fastest lap in 2020. He’s trending in the right direction in Barcelona.
For all of those reasons, I’d play the Alpha Tauri representative up to -115 for a points finish.
Mick Schumacher (-135 at BetMGM) over Sebastian Vettel
Even though it’s not necessarily a comparable track, Schumacher’s performance in Miami showed me he may be among the best of the bottom-half.
Although he started and finished P15, there were portions of that race where Schumacher was flirting with the points. Additionally, Schumacher posted the sixth-fastest lap in that race, notably putting him ahead of drivers like Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas and Lando Norris.
Plus, in evaluating the Australian Grand Prix, Schumacher lands ahead of Vettel in most categories. He out-qualified the four-time world champion (P15 vs. P17), recorded a faster lap (P14 vs. P19) and ultimately finished higher (P13 vs. DNF).
Additionally, Vettel doesn’t have the best track history in Spain. In his first appearance with Aston Martin last season he recorded a P13 finish. It’s a different story in his time with Ferrari — Vettel was no worse than P4 in the five previous starts in Spain — but I don’t believe this track suits him.
Even if you set aside the fact that Vettel has two DNF’s in three starts this season, his qualifying record leaves a lot to be desired. In the two non-sprint races this season, he’s qualified P17 (Australia) and P13 (Miami).
Although I’d be surprised if either finishes in the points, I do believe Schumacher crosses the line first.
Max Verstappen Podium Finish & Lewis Hamilton Top-6 Finish (+105 at FanDuel)
Verstappen is in a class of his own this season and as long as he doesn’t encounter mechanical issues or crash out, I believe he’ll be on the podium.
Incredibly, Verstappen has won every race this season in which he’s finished. He’s also qualified inside the top-four in all five races. Although it’s slightly concerning that his car failed him in Australia, I’m encouraged by the fact Verstappen qualified P2.
Verstappen was P2 in last season’s Spanish Grand Prix and P1 in Mexico (he was P9 in a hectic Hungarian Grand Prix). In his 2020 campaign, Verstappen finished P2 in both Spain and Hungary (the Mexico GP didn’t run that year).
As for Hamilton, there’s an argument to be made his best race of the season came down under. The seven-time world champion finished P4 in Australia after qualifying P5. Plus, his record last season at the notable tracks — P1 in Spain, P2 in Hungary and P2 in Mexico — gives me confidence this is a track that suits the lead Mercedes driver.
Further, even though the car isn’t as high-quality as the past few seasons, it’s worth noting Hamilton has won the Spanish Grand Prix six years in a row.
That track familiarity should give him an edge, so I’m happy to back him and Verstappen for a top-six finish.