F1 is back for the second race of the 2023 season in Saudi Arabia, as Max Verstappen continues his bid to become a world champion for the third consecutive season in his Red Bull car.
The Dutch driver set the record for most race wins in a season last year, winning 15 of the 23 races on the calendar, and started the 2023 season with a dominant win in Bahrain to pick up where he left off last season.
We’ll take a look ahead to the first race and see if we can provide you with some extra cash for the season with our best free F1 betting picks.
|F1: Saudi Arabia GP|
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Below you’ll find a list of the drivers favored to win in Saudi Arabia.
There is no doubt that Verstappen has been the best Formula 1 driver in the world over the last 12 months. The Red Bull star claimed 17 podium finishes in the last 20 races, showing his true dominance on the track as the two-time world champion.
Verstappen came into this season with a big target on his back after such a dominant 2022 season, but he responded to it with ease by taking pole position in the opening race at Bahrain and leading the Grand Prix the whole way to claim victory.
Last year in Jeddah he started the race in fourth place behind both Ferrari’s and his teammate but he still managed to be successful, although it was Leclerc who notched up the fastest lap. He’ll need to be quick, but he’s already proven that he’s capable here and that his car is the best this season.
He’s got the best car, is the best driver, and has shown countless times that he can overcome adversity and it seems like an easy bet. He’s our F1 betting pick for the race.
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Sergio Perez was the team-mate of the world champion last year, and that’s about as far as his contribution went across the campaign.
He claimed two race wins over the season and finished third in the Drivers’ Championship, but showed his quality and talent whenever Verstappen and Red Bull needed him to step up.
This season he started well, claiming a runners-up place behind Verstappen in the opening race in Bahrain to secure a Red Bull 1-2.
Last year in Saudi Arabia a crash and pit stop saw him lose pole position and end up finishing in fourth place behind Verstappen and the two Ferrari’s, but he showed his pace in the opening of the race and will know that he is more than fast enough to effect the outcome of this race.
Red Bull have a brilliant chance to claim victory in Saudi Arabia once again but they will be prioritising Verstappen as usual. Perez is unlikely to get the victory because of that, but a podium finish wouldn’t be the worst bet.
2022 wasn’t a fun season for Ferrari and Leclerc despite the fact he started well with two wins and a runners-up position from the opening three races.
If the 25-year-old performs to the best of his ability and Ferrari picks the right strategy, he could certainly take the chequered flag if things fall his way, however last season saw some questionable decisions from both himself and the team and that must be rectified.
In Saudi Arabia last year Leclerc started the race in second and after taking the lead midway through the race, he couldn’t quite hold off Verstappen who’s speed on the straight was too much to handle.
It’s highly unlikely that he’ll be able to hold him off this year after the way the first race of the season went with the Red Bulls so much faster again, but he’ll be the man to take it if Red Bull find a way to mess it up.
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The former two-time world champion’s move to Aston Martin was seen as a way to make him competitive again in the title race, and he had a solid start in Bahrain last year.
Alonso started fifth in that race behind the Red Bull and Ferrari duos, showing his pace throughout qualifying and that carried over into the race where he kept up before eventually moving past both Ferrari’s late on and claim a podium finish.
Last year in Saudi Arabia while he was with Alpine-Renault a gear box failure meant he didn’t even get to finish the race, but he looks back to his best in this new car and Aston Martin are looking to make a real charge towards title contention.
Alonso has got plenty of experience in F1, but with only two races being held here he’s failed to complete the 50 laps either time. He’ll need a lot more to go for him to be successful here, but expect points as he continues to push to make this a three-way race for the championship.