September 25, 2022

A chaotic British Grand Prix saw Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claim pole, his first-ever Formula 1 win.

Elsewhere, Max Verstappen’s ground puncture led to a P7 for the world championship leader while both Haas cars managed points in a race that saw six driver retirements.

As for our bets, it was a solid week. Lewis Hamilton clung to the podium to collect a nice ticket +250 while Yuki Tsunoda won in a match against Zhou Guanyu for a gain of +135.

Unfortunately, Daniel Ricciardo finished outside the points to make this game a losing one.

These results raise our season record to 18-12 (+8.25 units) as we turn our attention to this week’s Austrian Grand Prix.

With that established, here are my best bets for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Before that, however, here are the correlated tracks I used to help handicap this race: Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and Canada.

F1 choice for the Austrian Grand Prix

*Quote as of Thursday afternoon

Red Bull Double Podium (+160), BetMGM

Much like our Lewis Hamilton bet last week at Silverstone, this bet is based on Red Bull’s added motivation in their home run.

We’ll start with Verstappen, who is a big -300 favorite to finish on the podium at the Red Bull Ring. The reigning world champion has won this race three of the last four years and has finished on the podium every year with Red Bull in which he finished the race in Austria.

Moreover, Verstappen has a good track record on the correlated circuits this season. It has won the Spanish and Canadian Grands Prix this season and finished no worse than P2 last year in the Netherlands, Mexico and Brazil. A week after experiencing bad luck, expect Verstappen to dominate this week.

This would presumably leave Sergio Perez with the responsibility of cashing that ticket. Consecutive P6 finishes at the Red Bull Ring may cause concern, but the positives help offset that record.

In his last four races at correlated circuits, Perez has notched three finishes of P4 or better, including a DNF in Canada this season. Additionally, in his last five races overall, Perez has finished on the podium four times.

Given the extra straight-line speed the Red Bulls have this season, I expect Perez to have a better result in Austria and join his team-mate on the podium.

Esteban Ocon Points Finish (+100), BetMGM

Ocon arrives in Austria on a DNF at Silverstone, but this track should see him back in the points.

Although the Alpine representative posted a DNF in his last effort at the Red Bull Ring, he was P8 here in 2020. Also, if you look at his efforts at correlated circuits, there is much to be encouraged with Ocon.

This season he was P7 in Spain and P6 in Canada. Last year, in three races in the Netherlands, Mexico and Brazil, Ocon finished 10th or better in two of the three races.

Also, despite being a bit of a small sample, Ocon has a great record this season of bouncing back from poor finishes.

This season, the Frenchman has only finished outside the points on three occasions, including in last week’s British Grand Prix. But, in the previous two races after finishing P11 or worse, Ocon finished in the points each time.

Apply that same trend up to last year’s British Grand Prix and would-be punters will find Ocon followed a pointless finish with a P10 or better in three of the four races.

Finally, it bears repeating that Ocon has established himself as a reliable points-scorer with Alpine. It has finished 10th or better in 11 of its last 14 and 17 of its last 25 races, which gives an implied odds advantage on this price if it continues at this pace.

For these reasons, play Ocon at -120 for a points finish in Austria.

George Russell (+104) on Lewis Hamilton, FanDuel

Much like our Tsunoda/Zhou showdown play last week, this bet is derived from the fact that I think these drivers are more even than the odds would suggest.

Just in the last five races in which both Mercs have crossed the finish line, Russell has gotten the better of his teammate in four. In fact, through 10 races this season, Russell has beaten Hamilton in seven and Hamilton has had the best in two in a row.

Moreover, in the two events this season on correlated circuits, the pair are tied in their results. Russell won the head-to-head in Spain (P3 vs. P5) while Hamilton took the head-to-head victory in Canada by a slight margin (P3 vs. P4).

Another aspect to consider: Hamilton has never had great success at the Red Bull Ring. He failed to finish on the podium in five consecutive races in Austria, posting three P4s, one P5 and one DNF during that period.

Although Russell’s past record is difficult to assess, he managed an 11th-place finish last year, his fifth-best finish on last year’s schedule with Williams, after qualifying P9.

So while I’m only backing Russell as long as he stays at +100 or better, take the Englishman back to last week’s DNF at Silverstone.