Formula One 2018 season betting preview, predictions and tips

By: Marius Hrebenciuc

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There are only seven weeks until the 2018 Formula One season kicks off in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix. The season starts in March in Melbourne and will end in November in Abu Dhabi. There will be over 21 Grand Prix held in different countries and the drivers and teams are also scheduled to compete for the World Drivers’ Champion and World Constructors’ Champion titles. We have covered several F1 Grand Prix in 2017 and we will do the same this year, with the first one being in Melbourne. Feel free to check out our Australian Grand Prix betting preview, tips and odds here.

Formula One looked kind of similar in 2017 to the previous three seasons, as Mercedes have won the fourth championship in a row while Lewis Hamilton won his third in the last four years. However, it must be said that some of the drivers out-performed the equipment at their disposal while others did very little for the front-running teams.

Who were the best F1 drivers in 2017?

Here are the stats and achievements of the best Formula One drivers of 2017:

5. Daniel Ricciardo

2017 Performances: Azerbaijan Grand Prix title

                                  Nine podiums and just one fastest lap

                                  Finished 5th in the Championship standings

4. Max Verstappen

2017 Performances: Malaysia and Mexico Grand Prix titles

                                  Four podiums and one fastest lap

                                  Finished 6th in the Championship standings

3. Valtteri Bottas

2017 Performances: Russia, Austria and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix titles

                                  13 Podiums and two fastest laps.

                                  Finished 3rd in the Championship standings

2. Sebastian Vettel

2017 Performances: Australia, Bahrain, Monaco, Hungary and Brazil Grand Prix titles

                                  13 Podiums and five fastest laps

                                  Finished 2nd in the Championship standings

1.  Lewis Hamilton

2017 Performances: China, Spain, Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Japan and USA Grand prix titles

                                   13 Podiums and seven fastest laps

                                   Finished 1st in the Championship standings

F1 2018 partnership news

Despite Lewis Hamilton’s dominance over the past few years, the new season is announcing to be an entertaining one. First of all, McLaren has reached an agreement with Honda to be released from their partnership and switch to Renault motors. This means that with new Renault engines, the McLaren teams can fight for the championship now. In addition, I think that Ferrari have already learned their lesson after they saw their title hopes turn to dust following the Asian races towards the end of the year. Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari was the Championship leader for the first six months of the previous season, but Hamilton managed to win five of six races after the mid-year break to grab the title. Finally, Sauber renewed their partnership with Ferrari, upgrading to current-specification power units after having used older-model power units last year.

New regulations for the new FIA 2018 season

Formula One enters in the first proper year of its post-Bernie Ecclestone era. US giant Liberty Media bought F1’s commercial rights a year ago and the new chairman Chase Carey, already expressed his desire to make the sport more attractive and fit for the modern world.

Technical regulations

The FIA World Motor Sport Council made a couple of changes regarding the power unit grid penalties. This means that the maximum number of places a driver will be moved back on the grid is 15. However, if a driver incurs a greater number of penalty places than this they will be sent to the back of the starting grid. Furthermore, changes have been made regarding the procedure for starting or resuming a race behind the Safety Car. Technical changes to the cars for 2018 will include more detailed specifications for oil and restrictions on using oil as fuel. In addition, there have been revisions to the positions of onboard cameras and wing mirrors due to the introduction of Halo. Halo is a wishbone-shaped frame mounted above and around the driver’s head and anchored to the monocoque forward of the cockpit. Finally,  FIA banned the use of shark fins - a carbon fibre extension to the engine cowling aimed at directing airflow over the rear wing. They have also banned the use of ‘T-Wins’, which is a horizontal secondary wing mounted forward of and above the rear wing.

Sporting regulations

The race stewards now have the power to issue penalties for improper race starts even if a driver’s start doesn’t trigger the automated detection system. In addition, FIA introduced bigger restrictions regarding the racing licenses issued to drivers taking part in free practice sessions. The candidate drivers will now need to complete a minimum of Formula 2 races or earn 25 super license points over a three-year period. The number of pre-season test days was reduced to seven, while the mid-season test held in Bahrain last year will be moved to Barcelona. Finally, the schedule of a Grand Prix weekend will change, with the start time of most European races pushed back by one hour for a bigger television audience.

Other changes

Tyre supplier Pirelli will provide teams with two new tyre compounds this year, while each of the last year’s compounds is scheduled to be made softer. This year, Pirelli is able to supply compounds with two steps of difference between them: the ultrasoft, supersoft and medium tyres. Furthermore, Pirelli will be also required to manufacture an addition tyre compound that is not intended for competition. This third tyre compound will be used only in demonstration events to prevent teams from using demonstration events as informal and illegal testing.

The newest change is the discontinue of the promotional models or ‘grid girls’ and the reason was changing social attitudes and the decision by other sports to phase out the use of models.

Formula One 2018 Calendar

There are some changes regarding the calendar as well as the French Grand Prix is scheduled to return to the calendar for the first time since 2008. The race will take place in June, while the Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be brought forward to April to accommodate the change. Furthermore, the German Grand Prix is set to return to the championship as well after a one-year absence. The Russian Grand Prix was moved from April to September in order to replace the Malaysian Grand Prix, which was part of the championship from 1999 to 2017.

Round Grand Prix Circuit Date
1 Australian Grand Prix Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne 25 March
2 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir 8 April
3 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai 15 April
4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku City Circuit, Baku 29 April
5 Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona 13 May
6 Monaco Grand Prix Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo 27 May
7 Canadian Grand Prix Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal 10 June
8 French Grand Prix Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet 24 June
9 Austrian Grand Prix Red Bull Ring, Spielberg 1 July
10 British Grand Prix Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone 8 July
11 German Grand Prix Hockenheimring, Hockenheim 22 July
12 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring, Budapest 29 July
13 Belgian Grand Prix Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot 26 August
14 Italian Grand Prix Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza 2 September
15 Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore 16 September
16 Russian Grand Prix Sochi Autodrom, Sochi 30 September
17 Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka 7 October
18 United States Grand Prix Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas 21 October
19 Mexican Grand Prix Autodrome Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City 28 October
20 Brazilian Grand Prix Autodrome Jose Carlos Pace, Sao Paolo 11 November
21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi 25 November


Formula One 2018 season betting predictions and tips

Some of the bookies have already released the outright winner odds for both Drivers Championship and Constructor Championship. As expected, Lewis Hamilton is the bookies’ favourite to defend his title as he is priced at odds 11/10 with William Hill while Mercedes are favourites at odds 4/6 for the Constructor Championship section. Fernando Alonso is tied at odds 14/1 with Valtteri Bottas and this is mainly because of McLaren’s switch to Renault power after three torrid years with Honda. Alonso definitely had an important role in putting McLaren and Renault together and if everything works out, McLaren should be able to perform much better in 2018 than last year. Red Bull, on the other hand, retain their talented drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen for the 2018 season, with the latter definitely being able to challenge World Champion Lewis Hamilton. Red Bull has recently entered into a partnership with Aston Martin and they have more than enough to beat Ferrari this season. Finally, Ferrari released some threats that they will leave the Formula One circuit last year, but obviously was only about advertising. Ferrari will definitely be looking for the top spot this year once again, after they were the circuit leaders for the first six months of the previous season. The big question is if they have enough to compete with Mercedes this year, as Mercedes’ reliability is mightily impressive.

In conclusion, we expect a 5th World Champions trophy for Lewis Hamilton and another Constructor Championship title for Mercedes. For the second position, Ferrari will battle against Red Bull, and we think that Ricciardo and Verstappen have more than enough to put Red Bull in the second spot.

Drivers Championship 2018 outright winner prediction: Lewis Hamilton at odds 11/10 with William Hill

F1 Constructors Championship 2018 outright winner tips: Mercedes at odds 4/6 with William Hill

About Marius Hrebenciuc

Content editor with good knowledge on football and tennis. Actually, a tennis addict who can watch games 24/7