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The previous Formula 1 season was one of the most dramatic in the competition’s history. The fierce battle went to the wire, and I’m sure that many of you can’t wait for the next campaign. That’s the subject of my F1 2022 season betting preview.
I explore the new rules, what the top teams and drivers have to offer, and I also take a look at the 2022 Formula 1 betting odds. I share my predictions and betting picks for the F1 season based on all that at the end.
Before I continue, let me make a quick disclaimer. I’ve worked with Barcelona preseason tests results, rumors, and impressions from the previous season here. If you stumble upon this post later and want to bet on F1 futures after the campaign has started, make sure to analyze the actual results!
2022 Formula 1 Betting Odds
Let’s begin with the latest F1 2022 betting odds. They are an excellent signal of what the balance of power might be for the upcoming season.
Here’s what the best F1 betting sites online offer when it comes to the Drivers’ Championship.
- Lewis Hamilton; +160
- Max Verstappen; +300
- George Russell; +550
- Charles Leclerc +850
- Carlos Sainz; +1600
- Lando Norris; +1600
- Daniel Ricciardo; +4000
All other drivers are priced at +6600 or higher, and I don’t think they have any chance of finishing at the top spot. That’s why I won’t include them here, but you can always give it a shot if you feel adventurous! I’d still focus on the favorites, though.
For the first time in a while, the price for the main contender is actually decent. Lewis Hamilton dominated the sport for a few years, but his streak was cut short last year. The odds for the Englishman are much higher compared to previous seasons.
You can get a juicy return for his main rival and defending champion Max Verstappen too. The Dutchman will be eager to defend his title. The big question is whether he will have the car to do it, but more on that later.
I’d add George Russell to the list of plausible champions because he will be driving a Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton. The boy could be the next big thing, and I’m intrigued to see how he performs in one of the best machines on the circuit.
The other guys above can be considered sleepers.
If their cars are much stronger than expected, they have a shot at the title. Let’s take a look at the F1 Constructors’ Championship betting odds next.
- Mercedes; -150
- Red Bull; +333
- Ferrari; +375
- McLaren; +1400
Once again, I’ve only focused on the teams that have genuine shot at the title. I’m not surprised by the odds offered for Mercedes, but is Ferrari really that close to Red Bull? The bookies think so, and the Italians always come back to challenge eventually.
And still, I think that Red Bull’s momentum should be enough to keep them ahead. It probably won’t be enough to catch the champs, but I share my thoughts below.
Major F1 2022 Rule Changes
Before we talk about the teams and the drivers, it’s pivotal to discuss the sport itself! Many believe that the F1 will be completely different in 2022 from what we saw in the past few years.
The Formula 1 rule changes for the new season are the main reason why. The teams will essentially use brand new cars, which opens the door to fresh contenders. We don’t really know how strong each constructor is, and that’s exciting!
Here are the biggest F1 rule changes for 2022 explained.
The Budget Cap Is Lower
The baseline budget cap of each team was $145 million last year, and it’s down to $140 million in 2022. In theory, that should make Formula One more competitive by reducing the resources the richer teams can invest.
While I don’t think this is a game-changer, it certainly limits the big names a bit.
They have to be more careful with their budgets, and that might have a positive impact on how close the teams are.
Power Units Are Now Frozen
The plan is for Formula 1 to move on to hybrid engines that use sustainable fuel by 2026. That’s why the current power units are frozen from 2022 on, and the teams won’t be improving them.
This rule is a bit murky because they are allowed modifications that improve safety, reliability, and cost-saving. The question here is whether some teams will try to bend the rules for gains. I’m inclined to say yes, but I expect FIA will be strict this time around.
New Tires and Tire Regulations
F1 cars will be on different tires for the 2022 campaign. The size changes from 13 to 18 inches, and there are a few new regulations too. It’s a huge change because each team will now have to adapt to a completely new set of tires.
Pirelli is still the sole supplier for all teams. The company has been mostly reliable, but I’m sure all Formula 1 fans remember some of the exceptions!
It’s interesting to see how each team manages with the new tires. The cars will most certainly be different as a result.
The good news is that one of the other F1 changes in 2022 is related to more preseason testing. That should allow all teams to make sure their machines are strong enough for the upcoming races.
Easier Overtaking Incoming?
I’ve left my favorite changes for last. One of the main goals of Formula 1 for 2022 is to encourage closer and more competitive racing. The main obstacle in the previous few years was the “dirty air” from the front cars.
It would result in a huge downforce loss for the contestants behind them. Naturally, that would affect the speed and overtaking opportunities. Many fans complained about the lack of action, and FIA took that seriously, by the looks of it.
According to F1 research, cars would previously lose 35% of their downforce when at a distance of three-car lengths or around 20 meters (65.6 feet) behind the car ahead of them. The number would grow to 47% when they moved to a one-car length or about 10 meters (32.8 feet).
You don’t have to be an engineer to understand how big of a disadvantage that is. It should be reduced to only 4% and 18% respectively in 2022, according to F1’s calculations, thanks to a few new rules.
There will be over-wheel winglets for the first time, and wheel covers return to Formula One. The former should redirect the wake coming from the front tires more efficiently. The covers allow an increase in downforce and will address the chaotic release of “dirty air.”
There are also major aerodynamic changes included. The front wing and the nose will be different this year, and the main goal is to increase downforce. If you add the new tires and a few smaller aerodynamic innovations, we should see more of the following!
If the plans work well, the new F1 should be a joy to watch for all motorsport fans.
Formula One 2022 Top Constructors Preview
It’s time to take a look at the strongest F1 2022 constructors and talk about their chances. Predicting what’s going to happen is a tough task, but that’s how it should be before any races have been completed!
The more uncertain the balance of power in Formula 1 is, the better for the fans. And yet, we know that some teams will likely excel. Let’s talk about them.
I had to check when was the last time Mercedes didn’t win the Constructors’ Championship because I genuinely didn’t remember. It was in 2013, so that’s eight in a row for the German giant. Another title is certainly on the cards in 2022.
Mercedes showed the best times in the first preseason test results in Barcelona. Everyone is determined to strike back after the dramatic finale last year, and I think George Russell will be a stronger partner for Lewis Hamilton than Valtteri Bottas was.
I expect consistent performance from both drivers, and they should have the best car on many occasions. And yet, the difference to the chasing pack should be smaller compared to last season.
That might be a reason to bet against Mercedes, but I’m not so sure. Let’s not forget that Red Bull was the only true contender last season, while other teams should join the fight for the top spots more often in 2022.
The points will be distributed more evenly, so Mercedes should be able to win the 2022 Constructor’s Championship with fewer points. If you add Russell’s impact, I’m quite happy to back the German organization once again.
Red Bull Racing
There’s little doubt that the previous campaign was an enormous success for Red Bull Racing. Max Verstappen won the Drivers’ Championship, and the team pushed Mercedes to the limit for the Constructors’ Championship.
I’m sure that Red Bull will want to go one step further in 2022, and you can find some arguments in their favor. For a start, they kept both of their leading drivers.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) March 8, 2022
Verstappen and Sergio Perez obviously like and support each other. They will continue working together well in the future, so that’s a positive.
On the downside, I’m not sure that Red Bull’s car will be the best often enough. At least a few other teams should be competitive, so that would make it much harder to consistently deliver podiums. Max should be able to do it, but I’m not so sure about Checo.
I think the main focus will be on the Drivers’ Championship after a certain point, so I don’t think Red Bull can beat Mercedes in the team rankings.
The early expectations and the latest F1 betting odds for 2022 suggest that Ferrari should challenge Red Bull for the second spot in the Constructors’ standings. I have my doubts about such a scenario.
The gap was big last year, and that’s the key here.
Catching up won’t be easy, even if the new Formula One rules can help. I believe that Red Bull and Mercedes should still have the upper hand for at least the first few months of the season.
The splits on the last day of the Barcelona preseason tests confirm my suspicions. I believe Ferrari is currently behind, and by the time the Italian side is close enough, the gap should be too sizeable.
Can Anyone Else Challenge?
Betting on the F1 2022 season will be wild because I expect a lot of teams to fight for podium finishes. McLaren’s strategy is to make the most of the new rules, as we clearly saw in the MCL36 reveal around a month ago.
The team should be close to the best, while the likes of Alpine, Aston Martin, and Williams will have their moments. I don’t think any of them are true title contenders, though, and the 2022 Formula 1 betting odds confirm that.
2022 F1 Drivers’ Championship Top Contenders
After sharing my F1 2022 predictions for each team, it’s only natural to talk about the drivers too. We just had one of the most savage battles for the individual championship last year.
All signs point at another wild ride in 2022 too. Let’s take a look at the top contenders for the F1 Drivers’ Championship.
One of the greatest F1 drivers ever suffered the biggest disappointment in his career at the end of last season. Lewis Hamilton was touching the title when a controversial decision in the last race opened the door for Max, and the young Dutchman made the most of the opportunity.
The British champion was so heartbroken that he almost left the sport. Lewis is back in 2022, though, and he wants revenge.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) February 19, 2022
Hamilton is among the most experienced and talented drivers in Formula 1. He’ll also have one of the best cars. I’d say that’s more than enough to make him the main favorite, and the F1 betting sites agree with me.
And yet, the biggest danger might come from within his own team. The young and hungry George Russell is a real threat. I don’t think that the younger Englishman is quite there yet when it comes to beating his more established teammate for the title.
Russell, however, should finish ahead of Hamilton way more often than Bottas did last year. That would eat some points and make Lewis’ job more difficult.
We all knew that Max Verstappen was going to win a championship eventually. The young Dutchman is destined to become an all-time great too, so I expect more success for him.
He certainly will be eager to continue building his legend in 2022. The biggest issue is that Red Bull is likely a step behind Mercedes right now, while the other teams have narrowed the gap.
Verstappen will often have to face competition from Ferrari, McLaren, and some of the other cars on the grid. The task ahead is hard, but that applies to Lewis Hamilton’s quest for the championship too.
I also believe that Max should be more mature this year.
He was involved in a few accidents last season that can change him for the better. The pressure is lower after the Dutch driver won his maiden title too.
In a way, Verstappen and Red Bull have nothing to prove. That’s an excellent position to be in, so I feel that Max will compete for the title once again.
The F1 gambling odds for 2022, all fans and all specialists believe that the title will go to Hamilton or Verstappen. It’s hard to argue with that, but I will leave the door open for George Russel as well.
The young driver showed a lot of promise in his early F1 days. He can be a menace in qualifying, and he even had a podium last year. Hamilton himself admitted that Russel is dangerous.
If the veteran struggles in the early races, who knows what might happen. Mercedes is the kind of team that wouldn’t get in Russell’s way if he shows potential to fight for the title. It’s an unlikely scenario, but not an impossible one.
The Rest of the Bunch
Can someone else realistically challenge for the F1 Drivers’ Championship in 2022? I’m going to have to say no. I expect a few wins for Charles Leclerc and some strong moments from McLaren, but that won’t be enough for a sustainable title run.
Former champs like Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso might surprise the big favorites every now and then too, but their cars are simply not competitive right now.
We’re most likely going to witness another battler between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, unless George Russell upsets the odds.
F1 2022 Season Predictions and Best Bets
If you have stayed with me through this long F1 betting preview for 2022, it’s time to share my predictions and best Formula 1 bets based on them.
Despite all the rule changes, I still expect a close fight between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing.
The German team should be ahead when it comes to the Constructors’ Championship, but I think that the gap between Hamilton and Max will be tight once again.
The reigning champ has the upper hand mentally and he could improve as a driver based on the experience from the previous campaign.
At the same time, the other teams should still be closer in 2022. They will have more podiums and even wins, especially Ferrari and McLaren.
With all of that in mind, here are my recommended bets.
- Max Verstappen to win the Drivers’ Champions – Getting a price of +300 for Max is just too good to skip.
- Charles Leclerc to beat Carlos Sainz (match betting) – I think that the Frenchman is the much better driver and he will comfortably beat his teammate over the course of the season. The odds of -160 are somewhat short, but they will only get worse when Leclerc finishes ahead of Sainz in a few races.
- Guanyu Zhou to beat Valtteri Bottas (match betting) – A lot of people will be surprised by this one, but hear me out. Bottas is on a downward trajectory as a whole, while rookie Zhou has a lot of potential. They will be in the same car, and the odds for the Chinese driver are set at +425. It’s a long shot, but it’s worth a try with a small wager.
If you like the last two F1 bets, you should check out what else BetOnline has to offer. The sportsbook features a bunch of match bets like that for the upcoming season.
Whatever you decide, I hope you like my betting guide for the 2022 Formula 1 season, and good luck!