Max Verstappen was unstoppable during a triumphant Imola race after Lewis Hamilton’s rare mistake. Hamilton still leads the driver standings by just one point after two races in this F1 season. Will the Red Bull driver overtake the reigning champion? We take a look at some considerations for your bet slip from the upcoming Portuguese Grand Prix.
There is a shorter turnaround period between Imola and Portimao, with the race scheduled for May 2. According to Sportsbook F1 odds, Verstappen and Hamilton are even favorites at +125 each. Valtteri Bottas (+800) and Sergio Perez (+800) are next on the oddsboard to win the Portuguese Grand Prix.
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F1 Odds to Win the Portuguese Grand Prix
Odds as of April 21 at Sportsbook
After Lewis Hamilton finished on pole position, it was Max Verstappen who overcame a tough starting position with a masterful second-gear move that pushed him from P3 to 1. Hamilton had his chance to make up some ground toward the middle of the race but a slower pit stop and a mistake ensured Verstappen built a healthy lead.
Eventually, Verstappen won the Imola Grand Prix with exactly 22 seconds to spare. Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris claimed the remaining podium positions.
A dangerous crash between Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and George Russell even forced a red-flag stoppage, which was followed by an expletive-laden rant with their respective race engineers. Ferrari finished P4 and P5 with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz picking up a combined 27 constructor points.
F1 Odds Favor Verstappen, Hamilton
In a young season, Verstappen has already proved his reputation as one of the best drivers on the circuit. In Bahrain, he pushed Hamilton to the absolute brink with an intense charge late in the race. At Imola, he first used outstanding technical skills to climb two spots on Hamilton and teammate Sergio Perez. Then, he sustained that with an almost flawless remainder of the race despite tricky weather conditions that forced Red Bull’s racing team to switch tire tactics.
“It was very challenging out there, especially in the beginning,” Verstappen said after the race. “It was very hard to stay on track to be honest, it was very slippery. And then of course with the tires degrading in the wet and then choosing the right moment to go onto slicks is never easy.”
While Verstappen enjoyed a race free of significant errors at Imola, Hamilton did not. He pushed one curve too hard at Tosa, causing a skid into a tire wall. A rare error from Hamilton was quickly followed with a legal reverse maneuver, a pit stop and a typical fightback to finish second in the race.
"We’re only human, so just that bit of a mistake was one to learn from,” Hamilton said. “I remember just sitting there, looking at the barrier and I refused to think that the race was over.”
In handicapping, the confidence and momentum that a race like that can provide can often be understated. Verstappen will be a future F1 champion but that might be a hard task with Hamilton still in his prime from a technical standpoint. The implied probability for both drivers, according to the current F1 odds, is 44 percent.
Left-Field Predictions for Portuguese Grand Prix
While the spotlight of Mercedes falls on Hamilton and Red Bull on Verstappen, their teammates have exhibited the power of their respective cars despite not being at their best. Bottas (+800) has picked up 16 points while Sergio Perez (+800) has managed 10 points this season. Their implied probability to win is 11.11 percent each according to our sports betting calculator.
The surprise has been Lando Norris (+3300), who is currently third in the driver standings. The McLaren car has been finessed expertly by Norris so far. From last year’s evidence, it’s not unusual for Norris to outperform the competition by exceeding expectations in McLaren. Odds of +3300 are definitely in left field but it has happened before. Unless there is a miraculous event, your Portuguese Grand Prix picks could be restricted to these drivers.
History of the Portuguese Grand Prix
The FIA had to act quickly to bring several new locations into the new calendar with the coronavirus pandemic ripping through Asia and some parts of Europe. As a result, this track was brought in for the first time to conduct an F1 World Championship event last year. It was previously used for winter testing in 2008-09. The Portuguese Grand Prix was the 12th round of the 2020 F1 season but has been advanced to the third round this season.
Mercedes went 1-2 in qualifying, with Lewis Hamilton taking pole position and Valtteri Bottas second. Red Bull’s Verstappen was third in qualifying. There were no changes to that order by the end of Sunday’s race as Mercedes picked up maximum constructor points from Portugal. Lance Stroll was the only driver not to be classified after damage to his car forced his retirement from the race.
The course length of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is about 4.684 kilometers. The total length of the race will be close to 307 kilometers, split up into 66 laps. There is elevation change already designed into its layout.
In total, there are 15 turns in this circuit at Portimao. There is one DRS detection zone between turns 14 and 15. Between turns 15 and 1, there is a single patch of straight road, where drivers will start from. Toward the first turn of the circuit, there is a speed trap that drivers will have to be cautious about.
The lap record at this circuit was set by Hamilton last year with a speed of 1:18.750. Unlike Imola, there are several turns that could be conducive to overtaking without damage to a car’s aerodynamics.
Forecasted Weather Conditions
The weather conditions for Portimao – the port city half an hour away from the race track – for the race weekend are set fair, with sunny intervals and a moderate breeze. The highest probability of precipitation is five percent early in the morning. As a result, you might expect a consistent strategy of using the faster soft tires for the majority of this race.
Betting Strategy for Portuguese Grand Prix
The F1 odds have only changed slightly from Imola to Portimao. I still can’t see beyond Hamilton and Verstappen. Hamilton’s focus will be solely on winning this race after his errant Imola drive. That race still showed his sensational technical skills to recover from a terrible position to finish second.
Based on your risk profile, you could divide your Portuguese Grand Prix picks as follows. One, back either driver to win outright even before the race weekend begins. The driver that finishes on pole position is likely to win the race.
Two, divide your entire investment between Verstappen and Hamilton. Since their F1 odds for this race are above +100, you will make a profit if either driver wins. The latter option would be my strategy for this race because I’d be backing two terrific drivers in order to generate a return.
We’ll return after the conclusion of the Portuguese Grand Prix to provide you with a betting update for the next race. Till then, happy F1 wagering.