2023 Bahrain Grand Prix Odds: Verstappen Favored as Three-Peat Mission Begins

Max Verstappen is at the top of the Formula 1 universe as he seeks his third straight F1 Drivers' Championship. The road begins at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where the Red Bull superstar enters a -250 betting favorite.

Last Updated: Mar 4, 2023 12:26 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Max Verstappen Red Bull Formula 1
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Formula 1 and all of the drama that comes with it is finally back, with the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix here.

It wasn't a surprise to see defending F1 Drivers' Champion winner Max Verstappen atop the odds board to start the week, and now he is as short as -250 after qualifying on pole on Saturday.

We break it all down in our Bahrain Grand Prix betting preview below, including outright odds and favorites. For more, be sure to check out our Bahrain Grand Prix picks.

Bahrain Grand Prix odds

Driver Odds to win Bahrain GP
Max Verstappen -250
Charles Leclerc +550
Sergio Perez +550
Carlos Sainz +1,600
Fernando Alonso +2,000
George Russell +3,300
Lewis Hamilton +4,000
Lance Stroll +10,000
Nico Hulkenberg +25,000
Valtteri Bottas +50,000
Guanyu Zhou +50,000
Esteban Ocon +50,000
Lando Norris +50,000
Pierre Gasly +50,000
Kevin Magnussen +75,000
Alex Albon +100,000
Logan Sargeant +100,000
Yuki Tsunoda +100,000
Oscar Piastri +200,000
Nyck de Vries +200,000

Odds courtesy of bet365 as of March 4, 2023. 

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Bahrain Grand Prix favorites

Max Verstappen (-250)

After opening as a -120 race favorite, Max Verstappen qualified on pole on Saturday to move to -250. With his teammate Sergio Perez alongside him on the front row, Verstappen's well positioned to begin 2023 with a win. 

Charles Leclerc (+550)

Charles Leclerc looked to have a chance at challenging Verstappen for pole but curiously ended his Q3 early. He would ultimately be edged out by Sergio Perez to start third. 

Sergio Perez (+550)

Once again, Red Bull's dominance showed in Sergio Perez's pace and ultimately, his qualifying position. Perez safely took a front-row spot on Saturday and came within two-tenths of pole.  

Bahrain Grand Prix opening odds reaction

Max Verstappen to win outright (-120)

After routinely opening at -175 or shorter during the final stretch of the 2022 season, Max Verstappen has opened the first race of '23 at -120. Not only is that as good of odds as we'll get on him this weekend, but in all likelihood, it's the best odds we'll get on him ahead of a Grand Prix for a while. 

In looking at both the dominance of Red Bull and Verstappen last year and the time it took trailing teams to catch up in the early years of the previous regulations, there's a good reason to believe this season will start a lot like last year's finished. 

Until Mercedes and Ferrari bring in their first batch of upgrades, after the first few races, we will see Verstappen open as a sizable favorite as he was frequently last season. 

Lean: Bet now before Friday's practices (Best odds: -120 at bet365)

Alpine - Both cars points finish (+250)

These odds are inexplicable to me. Last year, in a typical weekend, Alpine would be anywhere from -120 to -250 to have both cars finish in the points, and that was as the team grappled with reliability issues. Even still, the French outfit finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship and had a double points finish in 11 races.

The outlook for Alpine is even more promising than its successful '22. A negligible difference in drivers, with Pierre Gasly in for Fernando Alonso, is buoyed by improved reliability and the apparent failure of rival McLaren to meet development goals.

Compared to Alpine's two expected competitors, McLaren and Aston Martin, it's starting from a place of strength. These odds are simply a result of testing, in which Alpine's lap times — entirely inconsequential figures — were impacted by its decision to focus on long runs and the reliability data that came with it.  

Lean: Bet now before Friday's practices (Best odds: +250 at bet365)

Aston Martin - Both cars points finish (-120)

Speaking of wild overreactions to testing! Aston Martin ruled the weekend during testing in Bahrain, with Fernando Alonso never in need of a reason to talk himself up. In fairness to the team, there's reason to believe in improvement: Alonso's a better driver than Sebastian Vettel was last year, the team has a ton of financial resources, and it has Mercedes power.

Yet, for Aston Martin to be -120 to have both cars finish in the Top 10 is wild. This is a team that finished seventh in the Constructors' last season and had a double points finish just three times — while having both cars finish outside the Top 10 seven times.

Oh, and, one of its drivers, Lance Stroll, didn't participate in testing and may not be in the seat this weekend after a wrist injury. In his place, reserve driver Felipe Drugovich, would make his F1 debut.

So, not only does the Aston Martin hype have to immediately pay off but Drugovich has to score points in his Formula 1 debut, after three years in F2 and not actually getting a seat in F1 this season, or Stroll has to deliver in his first time driving this year's car. 

Lean: Stay away entirely

Bahrain Grand Prix starting grid

Position Driver (Team)
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
5. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
6. George Russell (Mercedes)
7. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
8. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
10. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
11. Lando Norris (McLaren)
12. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
13. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
14. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
15. Alex Albon (Williams)
16. Logan Sargeant (Williams)
17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
18. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
19. Nyck de Vries (AlphaTauri)
20. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

Understanding F1 betting odds

The most popular way to bet on Formula 1 odds is by simply picking the winner of a particular race. Other popular F1 betting options include which car/constructor will win and whether or not a particular race car driver will end up on the podium with a Top-3 finish.

F1 race odds usually look like this:

  • Sergio Perez +1,400

This means that on a $100 bet, you'll stand to profit $1,400 if Perez wins that particular race. If one driver is especially dominant, you might see a minus sign (-) ahead of that driver's odds like this: 

  • Max Verstappen -120

This means that you would need to bet $120 to win $100 on Verstappen winning the race.

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