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BETTING GUIDE: Who are the favourites as F1 heads to Saudi Arabia for the second race of the season?

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After Max Verstappen triumphed in the opening round of the season, can anyone stop the Dutchman adding to his impressive tally of victories when racing resumes in Saudi Arabia?

Red Bull landed a 1-2 in Bahrain to open their season in style, but with the Jeddah Corniche Circuit being such a different prospect, is there hope for the rest? Let’s see what the odds say…

188BET’s odds are presented in decimal form: for every $1 wagered you would win the figure represented by the odds; so, if Verstappen is favourite at 1.50, you would win $1.50 for every dollar bet.

The odds for the win

Unsurprisingly given he is on a run of eight straight victories, Verstappen is the favourite going into this weekend. But he didn’t win in Saudi Arabia last year, that race one of just three that eluded him in his record-breaking 2023 campaign. Instead Sergio Perez emerged victorious, bringing his very best to this street track – as he so often does when the walls close in.

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull

Verstappen started this season as he left off last year - with a victory

Charles Leclerc is the third favourite, ahead of Carlos Sainz who out-raced his team mate last weekend to take a podium for the Scuderia. But Leclerc was suffering with reliability issues, he’ll be very much hoping for a cleaner weekend in Jeddah.

Max Verstappen 1.25
Sergio Perez 9.00
Charles Leclerc 13.0
Carlos Sainz 17.0
George Russell, Lewis Hamilton 19.0
• _Lando Norris 21.0-
Fernando Alonso, Oscar Piastri 67.0
Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda 301
Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Logan Sargeant, Nico Hulkenberg, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu 601

READ MORE: What time is the Formula 1 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and how can I watch it?

The odds for who will be fastest in qualifying

Verstappen grabbed the first pole of the season as well as the first win, but the former was more of a surprise to the Dutchman who had set his car up to be stronger during the race. Nonetheless, he nailed his lap when it mattered, while others couldn’t do likewise.

Lando Norris felt his car was good enough for the front row, and that McLaren is expected to go well at this track. Both Ferrari drivers are proven performers over one lap, with Sainz riding high confidence-wise after his podium in Bahrain. As for Mercedes, the bookmakers can’t pick between their two drivers, although George Russell out-qualified Lewis Hamilton last weekend.

Max Verstappen 1.95
Charles Leclerc 3.00
Sergio Perez 8.00
Carlos Sainz 9.00
Lando Norris 17.0
George Russell, Lewis Hamilton 21.0
Oscar Piastri 24.0
Fernando Alonso 67.0
Alex Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll, Logan Sargeant, Nico Hulkenberg, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu 601

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares to drive on

Perez came home second in Bahrain - can he challenge his team mate this weekend?

The odds for a podium finish

Red Bull took two podium spots last weekend, and given how well Perez raced and how strong he was at this track last year, it is not surprising that they are once again the favourites to make it to the podium. Ferrari looked good in pre-season testing and backed that up in the opening Grand Prix – but they did suffer some reliability issues.

They weren’t the only ones, Mercedes had some problems come race day with Hamilton especially struggling. If reliability comes into play again, that could bring plenty of other drivers into consideration for the podium. Oscar Piastri did well in Qatar last year, and this is another high-speed track so that could bring the Australian into play.

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As for Fernando Alonso, he went on a podium rampage at the start of last year but his Aston Martin didn’t look too strong on race pace last weekend. Will Jeddah suit the AMR24 slightly more?

Max Verstappen 1.15
Sergio Perez 1.60
Charles Leclerc 1.80
Carlos Sainz 2.50
Lando Norris 3.25
Lewis Hamilton 3.75
George Russell 5.50
Oscar Piastri 7.00
Fernando Alonso 11.0
Lance Stroll 41.0
Daniel Ricciardo 51.0
Yuki Tsunoda 67.0
Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Logan Sargeant, Nico Hulkenberg Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu 151

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 2: Carlos Sainz of Spain and Scuderia Ferrari in parc ferme prior to the

Sainz grabbed an early podium for Ferrari in Bahrain

The odds for a top-six finish

The top six looks set to be hotly contested this year, with so little to choose between Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and even Aston Martin. Especially given the varying track characteristics, the order those teams come home in could change week by week. And that’s assuming Red Bull are out in front – they might have been in Bahrain, but that’s not to say every circuit will suit the RB20.

Alpine managed to nab two podiums last year but at the moment are well off the pace, but the chasing pack could well force their way forward as the development race heats up. But Saudi Arabia might be too soon for the likes of RB and Kick Sauber to climb into the mix.

Max Verstappen 1.10
Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez 1.15
Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton 1.20
George Russell, Lando Norris 1.25
Oscar Piastri 2.50
Fernando Alonso 3.50
Lance Stroll 9.00
Daniel Ricciardo 13.0
Yuki Tsunoda 15.0
Alex Albon 26.0
Nico Hulkenberg 34.0
Kevin Magnussen 51.0
Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu 67.0
Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant, Pierre Gasly 101

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The odds for a points finish

As for who might make it into the top 10, the front five teams sewed up all the points in Bahrain, but if reliability comes into play, who else could score? Lance Stroll did well to climb from the back of the field after spinning on the first lap in Bahrain, grabbing the last point on offer. But what about Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda?

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes

Norris left some time out there on track in Bahrain in qualifying, but Saudi Arabia is expected to suit the McLaren

That RB looked like a decent race car, and had those two not spent a few laps tussling with each other, who knows what may have happened. Although it was actually Kevin Magnussen who finished 12th in Bahrain, just holding on from the challenge of those two behind, while Zhou Guanyu picked up an impressive 11th for Kick Sauber.

Max Verstappen 1.08
Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez 1.15
Fernando Alonso, Oscar Piastri 1.20
Lance Stroll 1.55
Daniel Ricciardo 2.20
Yuki Tsunoda 2.25
Alex Albon 2.60
Nico Hulkenberg 3.00
Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas 4.50
Zhou Guanyu 5.00
Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant, Pierre Gasly 9.00

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The odds for fastest lap

Verstappen grabbed the bonus point for fastest lap with ease in Bahrain, running in clean air up front and able to extract the best from his Pirelli tyres. This weekend, the drivers have slightly softer compounds to work with. Who will use those to good effect to take the bonus point though?

Max Verstappen 1.58
Sergio Perez 9.00
Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton 11.0
Oscar Piastri 34.0
Fernando Alonso, 51.0
Lance Stroll, Nico Hulkenberg 151
Alex Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu 201
Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant, Pierre Gasly 251

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Visa Cash App RB VCARB

RB were challenging for points until the latter stages last weekend

What are the odds for which team will take the most points?

The bookmakers have installed Red Bull as favourites to take the most points, which isn’t a surprise after their strong performance last weekend. The interesting thing is that Mercedes are ahead of McLaren, with very little to choose between those two teams in Bahrain.

But many expect McLaren to be the stronger of the two here in Saudi Arabia, this track expected to suit their car. Norris is chomping at the bit after making a few mistakes last weekend, especially in qualifying. Piastri will be keen for another chance to take on his team mate too, while Hamilton might want to atone for a lacklustre opening compared to Russell.

Red Bull 1.15
Ferrari 6.50
Mercedes 15.0
McLaren 19.0
Aston Martin 51.0
Visa Cash App RB 101
Alpine, Haas, Sauber, Williams 151

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The odds for a Safety Car appearing during the race

The Safety Car didn’t come out last weekend, with just a yellow flag needed briefly when Logan Sargeant pulled off the track. But given Saudi Arabia is a street track, those looming walls could well spell disaster for someone’s race and in which case, the Safety Car is far more likely to appear.

Yes 1.15
No 5.00

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 06: George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes walks in the Paddock

Russell qualified strongly last weekend, but his Mercedes fell back during the race

The odds for a number of classified drivers

Everyone finished the race last weekend, in an incredible show of reliability considering it was the first Grand Prix of the season. Last year in Saudi Arabia, 18 cars finished with Alex Albon and Stroll the duo who didn’t see the chequered flag.

Over 16.5 1.60
Under 16.5 2.20
Over 17.5 2.60
Under 17.5 1.45

READ MORE: What tyres will the teams and drivers have for the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?

The odds for a winning margin

Verstappen won last weekend’s opener by well over 20 seconds from his team mate in an emphatically dominant performance. Will he do likewise this weekend? This race was closer last year, with Perez’s winning margin just over the five second mark.

Over 10 seconds 1.83
Under 5 seconds 3.50
Between 5 and 10 seconds inclusive 3.50

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