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BETTING GUIDE: Who are the favourites as F1 visits Australia for the third race of the season?

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Max Verstappen made it two wins out of two in 2024 last time out in Saudi Arabia, but the chasing pack will be looking to make life harder for the world champion as F1 arrives in Australia.

Red Bull scored their second one-two in a row at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, while Ferrari showed signs of promise as they look to close the gap at the front. Can they pose even more of a challenge at the Albert Park Circuit? Let’s see what the odds tell us…

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.

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The odds for the win

After extending his winning tally in Saudi Arabia, Verstappen is the favourite to take victory this weekend in Melbourne. Second favourite is Sergio Perez, who has started the year off in solid form, while Charles Leclerc is the closest non-Red Bull driver in the mix as third favourite.

verstappen-podium-saudi-2024.png

Verstappen extended his winning streak at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

As for the rest, Lewis Hamilton has the best odds. The seven-time world champion has won at this track on two previous occasions, though his last victory here dates back to 2015.

Max Verstappen 1.18
Sergio Perez 8.00
Charles Leclerc 15.0
Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton 34.0
Fernando Alonso, George Russell 41.0
Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri 67.0
Lance Stroll 201
Alex Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Logan Sargeant, Nico Hulkenberg, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu 601

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The odds for who will be fastest in qualifying

Both pole positions in 2024 have so far gone to Verstappen, and on each of those occasions the Dutchman has been joined on the front row by Leclerc. These two again have the best odds for sealing P1 on the grid in Australia.

Perez narrowly missed out on clinching the P2 spot last time out in Jeddah. The Mexican often had work to do on Sundays in 2023 after struggling in qualifying, so he will be hoping to continue his good Saturday form this weekend.

Meanwhile Lando Norris managed to put himself ahead of both Mercedes cars on the grid in Saudi Arabia. His odds match those of Hamilton and George Russell in Melbourne, but can the McLaren man again outperform the Silver Arrows?

Max Verstappen 1.55
Charles Leclerc 3.40
Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez 11.00
Fernando Alonso, George Russell, Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton 21.0
Oscar Piastri 67.0
Lance Stroll 151
Alex Albon 301
Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Logan Sargeant, Nico Hulkenberg, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu 601

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari SF-24 on track

Leclerc has put himself on the front row of the grid at every race so far in 2024

The odds for a podium finish

Off the back of their one-two finishes in Bahrain and Jeddah, Verstappen and Perez are the favourites to again stand on the rostrum in Melbourne. But Leclerc is not far behind, with the Monegasque having claimed a solid, if lonely, third place last time out. He also has winning form at this track after taking victory back in 2022.

With last year’s Australian Grand Prix having proved eventful, any similar action this year could offer the chance to see a different name on the podium. Fernando Alonso scored a run of top-three finishes at the start of 2023 – could he get back on the rostrum again this time around?

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

Behind the Mercedes duo and Norris is home favourite Oscar Piastri, for whom a podium finish would surely be a dream result.

Max Verstappen 1.10
Sergio Perez 1.30
Charles Leclerc 1.80
Carlos Sainz 3.00
Lewis Hamilton 4.00
George Russell 4.50
Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris 6.00
Oscar Piastri 8.00
Lance Stroll 51.0
Alex Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg, Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda 101
Logan Sargeant, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu 251

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Second placed Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing

Perez helped Red Bull to secure one-two finishes at both of the season's opening races

The odds for a top-six finish

The margins amongst the field this season appear very fine, meaning that – while Red Bull remain the favourites – the battle amongst those close by looks to again be a fierce one in Australia. Despite Perez having better odds for a podium, Leclerc just beats him when it comes to his chances of a top-six finish.

Aston Martin have put themselves firmly in the fight alongside Mercedes and McLaren following Alonso’s P5 result in Jeddah, while the rest of the pack do not appear to be too far behind. Can another name break into the top six in Melbourne?

Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez 1.10
George Russell, Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton 1.20
Carlos Sainz 1.40
Fernando Alonso 1.80
Oscar Piastri 2.00
Lance Stroll 8.50
Alex Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Yuki Tsunoda 21.0
Kevin Magnussen 34.0
Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas 67.0
Logan Sargeant, Zhou Guanyu 101

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The odds for a points finish

While the top five teams scored most of the points in Saudi Arabia, Nico Hulkenberg managed to put Haas in the mix by claiming P10. The German benefitted from a clever race strategy which saw team mate Kevin Magnussen hold up a chasing pack of cars to create more of a gap for Hulkenberg up ahead.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari

Hulkenberg scored the debut points of the season for Haas in Saudi Arabia

Carlos Sainz is set to return to action this weekend, having being forced to miss the race in Jeddah after being diagnosed with appendicitis which required surgery. However, super sub Oliver Bearman – who scored points on his debut with a P7 result – is on standby as a reserve if needed.

Others potentially in the battle for points include Alex Albon, who put in a determined drive last time out in what proved to be an intense scrap amongst the midfield but missed out on making it into the top 10.

Max Verstappen 1.05
Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez 1.10
Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris 1.12
Oscar Piastri 1.15
Lance Stroll 1.35
Alex Albon 2.20
Nico Hulkenberg 2.60
Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, Yuki Tsunoda 3.00
Zhou Guanyu 8.00
Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas 9.00
Logan Sargeant 17.0

READ MORE: Sainz shares recovery update ahead of return to action in Australia after doing ‘as much as possible’

The odds for fastest lap

Leclerc managed to add an extra point to his tally in Jeddah by setting the fastest lap of the race. But with the different characteristics of the Albert Park Circuit – and with Pirelli bringing the softest tyre compounds this weekend – will another name take the accolade in Melbourne?

Max Verstappen 1.55
Sergio Perez 7.50
Charles Leclerc 9.00
George Russell, Lewis Hamilton 13.0
Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris 15.0
Fernando Alonso, Oscar Piastri 26.0
Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll, Nico Hulkenberg 151
Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu 301

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Carlos Sainz of Spain and Ferrari arrives at the circuit during

Sainz is set to return to action in Australia after undergoing surgery for appendicitis last time out in Saudi Arabia

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

Red Bull’s continued run of form has unsurprisingly made them the favourites with the bookmakers for taking home the most points. Ferrari are their closest challengers, though they could face a slight unknown as a recovering Sainz returns to the cockpit for the first time since undergoing surgery.

Mercedes are ahead of McLaren in the odds, despite Piastri finishing in P4 in Saudi Arabia while Norris also kept Hamilton at bay in the battle for P8. With Norris and Hamilton both losing out slightly from a strategy gamble in Jeddah, both will be keen to put themselves back into the fight this weekend.

Red Bull 1.05
Ferrari 11.0
Mercedes 19.0
McLaren 23.0
Aston Martin 34.0
Alpine, Haas, Sauber, Williams 151
RB 251

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

The odds for a Safety Car appearing during the race

The Safety Car made an early appearance during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after Lance Stroll hit the wall, prompting a flurry of activity in the pit lane as most of the grid opted to make an early stop.

Last year’s race in Australia had no shortage of Safety Cars, with the action-packed race being red-flagged three times. Could there be similar drama this time around?

Yes 1.40
No 2.80

Aston Martin's Canadian driver Lance Stroll's car is hauled away after a crash during the Saudi

The Safety Car appeared in the early stages of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following Stroll's crash

The odds for a number of classified drivers

Reliability has so far looked strong in 2024. All 20 drivers finished the season-opening event in Bahrain, while only two retired in Saudi Arabia, with Pierre Gasly suffering a mechanical issue while Stroll was immediately out following his crash.

As previously mentioned, though, the attrition rate was high in Melbourne in 2023, with only 12 classified drivers by the end of the race.

Over 16.5 1.18
Under 16.5 4.50
Over 17.5 1.60
Under 17.5 2.20

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The odds for a winning margin

After Verstappen dominantly took victory with a gap of 22 seconds back to Perez in Bahrain, the gap was cut in Saudi Arabia, where Verstappen finished 13 seconds down the road. Ferrari also managed to maintain the pressure on Red Bull as Leclerc ended the race five seconds behind Perez. Will the gaps close even further this weekend?

Over 10 seconds 1.50
Under 5 seconds 4.75
Between 5 and 10 seconds inclusive 4.00

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