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2021 French Grand Prix Betting Odds: Hamilton Still A Strong Favorite

Neither Max Verstappen nor Lewis Hamilton picked up any points from a wild Baku race a couple of weekends back. Instead, Sergio Perez helped Red Bull intensify the race for the constructors championship with a win in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. A period of three races in three weekends, beginning with the French Grand Prix on Sunday, could just decide this season. Here is a look at the F1 odds and a detailed analysis of how to handle your bets.

At BetOnline, Hamilton (+120) is still the favorite in the F1 odds, closely followed by Verstappen (+135). Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (+800), Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (+1000) and McLaren’s Lando Norris (+2800) round up the F1 oddsboard for La Castellet.

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Formula 1 French Grand Prix Betting Odds

F1 French Grand Prix odds 2021
DriverOdds
Lewis Hamilton+120
Max Verstappen+135
Valtteri Bottas+800
Sergio Perez+1000
Lando Norris+2800
Charles Leclerc+3300
Carlos Sainz+6600
Daniel Ricciardo+6600
Pierre Gasly+10000
Sebastian Vettel+20000
Yuki Tsunoda+25000
Esteban Ocon+50000
Fernando Alonso+50000
George Russell+50000
Lance Stroll+50000
Antonio Giovinazzi+200000
Kimi Raikkonen+200000
Mick Schumacher+200000
Nicholas Latifi+200000
Nikita Mazepin+200000

Odds as of June 17 at BetOnline

Previous Race

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was one for the ages, an absolute treat for the neutral spectator. Most importantly, Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll are physically fine after their respective crashes along the main straight after their left rear tires just gave way. The second crash, to Verstappen late in the race when he was looking set to extend his lead on Hamilton in the drivers standings with a P1, forced a red flag.

After the race restarted, Sergio Perez was at P1 and Hamilton P2. Hamilton nearly completed a masterful overtake but his brakes overheated at just the wrong time, preventing him from completing the overtake at turn 1. Perez staved off the rest of the pack to finish with his first win of the season.

Sebastian Vettel was undoubtedly the driver of the race as he took P2 and some fine late driving from Pierre Gasly in the Alpha Tauri rounded off the podium spots. Charles Leclerc finished fourth after starting the race at pole. Crucially for the constructors championship, neither Mercedes driver took any points from Baku.

Verstappen Against Hamilton, Red Bull Against Mercedes

The consistency of Verstappen (+135) has created one of the most intense fights at the top of the drivers standings in recent memory. Proof of that statement is in his rapidly shortening F1 odds. He drove expertly for the majority of the weekend but was still forced to retire after a dangerous crash toward the end of the race. It will hurt even more because he was cruising to a win with a Red Bull 1-2. There can be no better result for a constructor.

Verstappen will have to put that race behind him in a more traditional race after a couple of street races in Monaco and Baku. His speed in the Red Bull has been a treat to watch but maintaining that for the duration of more than 20 races will be the challenge for Verstappen, Christian Horner and the rest of the Red Bull team.

“Sometimes you can hate this sport – for a few hours, then I’ll be fine again,” Verstappen said. “Honestly, up until that point it was a great day – the car was on fire, I was just matching whatever I needed to do behind me, I was quite comfortably in the lead. It would have, let’s say, have been an easy win. But, of course, there are no guarantees in the sport. We missed out on the opportunity to make the gap bigger because we know when we get to normal tracks, Mercedes normally are very strong.”

There were a few mind games in the pits during the red-flag stoppage with Hamilton (+120) suggesting he might have been satisfied with P2 but then going for the lead along turn 1. That’s Hamilton in a sentence. He has the tendency to push the off-track games to the limit within the rules, of course, but then also backs his ability to be blistering on the track. Mercedes and Hamilton were both nowhere in the streets but a return to a traditional racing track will suit him.

Despite Verstappen’s pyrotechnics and youth, Hamilton is still arguably the best driver in F1 right now. He is still the leader in the F1 odds across races. He is still driving the best car in F1. These are all influential factors, if you’re looking for a safe bet. And Hamilton is definitely the safest bet in F1 right now.

Left-Field F1 Betting Predictions for French Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas (+800) was nowhere to be found in Baku as he continued to struggle for speed and consistency. Mercedes should have a better race in La Castellet with their strength along the straights. F1 odds of +800 are not bad for a driver in a Mercedes but your biggest obstacle in a winning bet could even be team principal Toto Wolff if he decides that Hamilton has to pass. These are all factors you will need to consider.

Sergio Perez (+1000) is an F1 race winner again. Red Bull capitalized on a two-second delay for Hamilton in the pits as he was forced to either wait for Pierre Gasly to pass or face a penalty due to an unsafe release. Perez was the beneficiary. He showed he can maintain his own under incredible duress from Mercedes. If there is rain, he could have a slight chance again.

“I think he (Hamilton) had a bit of a slow stop as well so we overcut him, a bit closer to him and he just pushed me from that lap onwards. I had the pressure from him pretty much from the beginning, and then at the (restart) I had a poor start so he was alongside me, but I was like, “I’m not going to miss it’, y’know?” Perez said after the race.

Unfortunately for F1, the pack thins out drastically after Mercedes and Red Bull. That’s why you see high F1 odds for the rest of the driver lineup. Charles Leclerc (+3300) had his second successive pole position but was no match for the pace of even the Alpha Tauri of Gasly later in the race. Lando Norris (+2800) is definitely a podium candidate but the McLaren is still not well positioned to win races yet.

History of the French Grand Prix

Work on the track began back in 1969. French racers Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo had initially worked as consultants for the layout of the Circuit Paul Ricard. The first French Grand Prix was in 1971. In the old Tyrell 003, Jackie Stewart won that inaugural race. The French Grand Prix was not held in 2020 as the FIA made quick adjustments to the calendar on account of the coronavirus. The lap record at this circuit was set in 2019 by Vettel with a lap time of 1:32.740.

Race Technicals

The length of the circuit is 5.842 kilometers per lap. There will be a total of 309.69 kilometers of racing at the French Grand Prix, split into 53 laps. There are 15 turns at this track (five in sector 1, four in sector 2 and six in sector 3). There are also two DRS detection zones, the first along the straight close to turn 7 and the second between turns 13 and 14.

From a betting standpoint, there are some important points to note about the technicals of this race. Firstly, overtaking isn’t a major concern. There are several high-speed corners and multiple straights as well, which will work well for an overtaking car on account of DRS as well as a potential tow. Secondly, massive comebacks are not implausible at this track. In 2018, Vettel came storming back from 17th to finish at P5.

Forecasted Weather Conditions

There is a chance of rain on Sunday in La Castellet. Weather forecasts several days ahead are not exactly 100 percent accurate, so be sure to check the weather before you place your bets. At the time of writing, there was a 25 percent chance of precipitation in the French city on Sunday afternoon. If there is some rain, it will heavily influence your betting decisions because it is the great F1 leveler.

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Betting Strategy for French Grand Prix

F1 betting starts to get tricky at this point. If you backed the powerful combination of Hamilton and Mercedes in the previous races and lost, you might have no regrets. However, armed with the information of the fight that Verstappen and Red Bull are projecting, there will be a tinge of regret for not taking that into account.

Here are the simple facts. Verstappen was just too good in the street circuits of Monaco and Baku, while Hamilton was simply not good enough. However, the circuit at Paul Ricard is not a street circuit. Mercedes should return with a vengeance after two awful street races. Overtaking is possible, which makes qualification less of a factor compared to Monaco, for instance.

Similar to the rule of thumb of not betting against the Golden State Warriors of 2017, I would not bet against the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at a circuit like this even with the F1 odds very much still in his favor.