Formula 1 Bahrain GP: Betting preview & Best bets ahead of season opener

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Bahrain grand prix
FEBRUARY 23 – SAKHIR, BAHRAIN: 01 VERSTAPPEN Max (nld), Red Bull Racing RB19, action during the Formula 1 Armco pre-season testing 2023 of the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship on February 23, 2023, at the Bahrain International Circuit, in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo by Xavi Bonilla/DPPI/Icon Sportswire) ****NO AGENTS—NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA SALES ONLY****

The new Formula 1 season is just around the corner. The Bahrain GP kicks off the 2023 campaign this weekend and all eyes are on Max Verstappen and Red Bull. Preseason testing brought us plenty of talking points, but how are the drivers priced ahead of the season opener?

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Formula 1 Bahrain GP Odds: Max Verstappen the clear favorite going into Bahrain

Max Verstappen-120
Charles Leclerc+275
Lewis Hamilton+850
Carlos Sainz+1000
Sergio Perez+1200
George Russell+1600
Fernando Alonso+2200
Lando Norris+15000
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It shouldn’t be surprising to see Max Verstappen listed as the heavy favorite to win the season opener. After winning his second consecutive world title in convincing fashion last year, the rest of the field has spent the offseason playing catchup.

What’s interesting though is that this hasn’t typically been a circuit suited to the Red Bull’s. A Red Bull driver has won this race on just one occasion since 2015. One could argue a late crash stripped Max Verstappen of a potential second victory last year, but the point stands. This has been a Mercedes/Ferrari stomping ground for a number of years now.

Perhaps the most surprising name is Fernando Alonso, who is the first driver outside of a top-4 team in the odds lost. Red Bull reportedly named Aston Martin as a team to watch this year and Alonso’s full-race run over the weekend did more than turn heads. Given that the Silverstone based team finished 7th in the Constructors last year, that’s quite the jump.

Where to find value at the Formula 1 Bahrain GP

Fernando Alonso to finish inside the top 6 at Bahrain GP: -225

The two-time champion has a knack for dragging poorly performing cars into deep points and we should expect nothing less here. He had podiums with Alpine and made a dying McLaren look mildly competent in his later years and with an Aston Martin car that looks like it could well contend for podiums, is a Fernando Alonso masterclass really out of the equation? Betting on a top-6 finish here is definitely a strong bet given their pace in testing

Nyck De Vries to finish inside the top 10 at Bahrain GP: +190

The two-time Formula E Champ stunned the world last year after he held off a chasing pack to finish 9th in his F1 debut. He now finds himself in slightly faster machinery and at the back of a chasing pack that includes a lagging Williams, a disappointing McLaren, and evolving Hass team. In an ideal world, De Vries should be able to hang in the mid-teens and take advantage of any retirements. It’s a strong bet given the odds.

George Russell to finish inside the top 6 at Bahrain GP: -280

The King of consistency from one year ago should have a better car under him going into the season opener. Mercedes have a real chance to close the gap to Red Bull and while a podium for both drivers may feel a touch out of reach, Russell’s consistent nature should get Mercedes some secure top-5 points in the early goings. A top-6 feels like a given.

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Photo by Xavi Bonilla/DPPI/Icon Sportswire