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BETTING GUIDE: Who are the favourites for the first race of the 2023 season?

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 25: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG

The 2023 season is set to get under way this weekend in Bahrain, as Max Verstappen and Red Bull look to get their respective championship defences off to the perfect start. But what do the odds say about their chances?

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

Bahrain is one of the few races on the calendar where Verstappen has not stood on the top step of the podium. But, the two-time world champion is the big favourite to claim victory after a strong pre-season test at the same circuit.

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The winner of last year’s Bahrain GP, Charles Leclerc, is the second favourite to claim victory, while the odds believe that Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso has an outside chance at winning this weekend’s season opener, in what would be incredible scenes.

  • Max Verstappen 1.80
  • Charles Leclerc 4.50
  • Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez 10.0
  • George Russell 19.0
  • Fernando Alonso 23.0
  • Lance Stroll 151
  • Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas 301
  • Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg, Oscar Piastri, Pierre Gasly 601
  • Alex Albon, Logan Sargeant, Nyck de Vries, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu 901
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 23: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull

Verstappen and Red Bull had a strong pre-season test in Bahrain

The odds for who will be fastest in qualifying

Leclerc took pole in Bahrain last year – one of his nine pole positions in the 2022 season, which was the most on the grid – but he is second behind Verstappen in the odds for who will be the fastest in qualifying come Saturday evening.

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Ferrari's Carlos Sainz is the third favourite to start on pole this weekend, while his compatriot Alonso is fifth in the odds, ahead of both Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

  • Max Verstappen 2.20
  • Charles Leclerc 2.75
  • Carlos Sainz 8.00
  • Sergio Perez 11.0
  • Fernando Alonso 15.0
  • Lewis Hamilton 21.0
  • George Russell 26.0
  • Lance Stroll 81.0
  • Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas 101
  • Esteban Ocon, Oscar Piastri, Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu 151
  • Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg 601
  • Logan Sargeant, Alex Albon, Nyck de Vries, Yuki Tsunoda 901
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 24: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR23

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 24: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR23 Mercedes in the Pitlane during day two of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 24, 2023 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

The odds for a podium finish

Hamilton has finished on the podium 10 times in Bahrain, but after a mixed pre-season test for Mercedes, he only has the fourth best odds to add an 11th – ahead of his team mate George Russell, who is considered the seventh favourite.

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McLaren’s Lando Norris was the only driver outside of the top three teams in the championship to stand on the podium last year, but he is given quite long odds to finish on the rostrum after a difficult pre-season for the papaya squad.

  • Max Verstappen 1.25
  • Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez 1.65
  • Carlos Sainz 2.50
  • Lewis Hamilton 2.80
  • Fernando Alonso 3.25
  • George Russell 4.00
  • Lance Stroll, Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu 34.0
  • Esteban Ocon 41.0
  • Oscar Piastri, Pierre Gasly 67.0
  • Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg 101
  • Nyck de Vries, Yuki Tsunoda 126
  • Logan Sargeant 151
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 20: Third placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes celebrates

Hamilton has stood on the podium 10 times in Bahrain

The odds for the fastest lap

Verstappen is seen as the favourite to set the fastest lap time in Sunday’s race, once again ahead of Leclerc. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll – who is returning from wrist surgery – is also given outside chance at claiming the fastest lap prize.

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  • Max Verstappen 2.60
  • Charles Leclerc 3.75
  • Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez 8.00
  • Fernando Alonso, George Russell, Lewis Hamilton 10.0
  • Lance Stroll 41.0
  • Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu 101
  • Kevin Magnussen 201
  • Logan Sargeant, Alex Albon, Nico Hulkenberg, Nyck de Vries, Oscar Piastri, Yuki Tsunoda 251
leclerc-day-three-bahrain-test.png

Leclerc is considered one of the favourites for the fastest lap this weekend

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

Red Bull are seen as the favourites to secure the most points this weekend, as they look to get their championship defence off to a winning start.

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Alpine – who finished fourth in the constructors’ championship in 2022 – are given the seventh-best odds to claim the most points this weekend, just ahead of Haas.

  • Red Bull 1.55
  • Ferrari 3.00
  • Mercedes 7.00
  • Aston Martin 19.0
  • Alfa Romeo 126
  • McLaren 151
  • Alpine 251
  • Haas 301
  • AlphaTauri, Williams 501
alpine f1.jpg

Alpine are the seventh favourite to get the most points in Bahrain

The odds for a Safety Car appearing during the race

The odds see it as more likely than not that a Safety Car will make an appearance in Sunday’s race. The Safety Car was needed last year after Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri caught on fire in the closing stages of the race.

  • Yes 1.30

  • No 3.30

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