- 2023 Qatar Grand Prix – Round 18
- Lusail International Circuit, Doha, Qatar
- Sunday, October 8th, 2023
- 1 pm ET
- 57 laps
- 308.611 km
History is set to be made at the Lusail International Circuit this weekend with Max Verstappen almost certain to clinch his third successive title at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix. Verstappen (-450) is the favorite to win the race, and here we tell you if he is worth backing at those odds in our latest Formula 1 betting picks.
Verstappen is set to clinch his third successive world title
Max Verstappen is so far ahead in the 2023 Drivers Championship that he only needs three points from the remainder of the season to be crowned World Champion for the third successive year.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 24, 2023
His 13th win of the season in Japan saw him move to 400 points in the Drivers Championship, opening up a 177-point gap to his nearest rival, Sergio Perez. The win at Suzuka also confirmed Red Bull as the 2023 Constructors Championship winner.
So what does Verstappen need to do this weekend to be crowned the 2023 Drivers Championship winner? The short answer is that he needs to score three points. Sergio Perez is the only man left who can mathematically catch Verstappen. There are 180 points left to win this season, and Verstappen leads Perez by 177.
Max Verstappen could take the rest of the season off and still be crowned champion, as there is little to no chance that Perez would be able to win every remaining Grand Prix. The reality is that the championship has been decided for some time.
This weekend will merely be the mathematical confirmation of what’s already been known for weeks.
Verstappen can clinch the title in Saturday’s Sprint Race
In Qatar, there is a Sprint Race on Saturday. The sixth-placed driver in the Sprint receives three points. That would be enough to clinch the championship for Verstappen.
Even if the Dutchman misses out on the top six, Perez needs to finish in the top three to keep the championship alive until Sunday.
If Verstappen does clinch the title in the Sprint Race, he will make history by becoming the first driver to do so.
Betting to win the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix
The best Formula 1 betting sites make Max Verstappen -450 to win the race. We’re not making him one of our betting picks this weekend as he may have other things on his mind. He is likely to be crowned World Champion at the Sprint on Saturday, and he may not be 100% on his game on Sunday if that is the case.
Behind Verstappen in the betting is Sergio Perez (+1200), Lando Norris (+1200), Oscar Piastri (+1600), Lewis Hamilton (+2500), and George Russell (+2500). The two Ferraris are both +2800.
What cars are best suited to the Lusail Circuit?
Having been -300 in Japan, Verstappen is back at -450 to win in Qatar. It’s official. Singapore was just a blip for Red Bull. Verstappen finished 19.387 seconds ahead of second-placed Lando Norris at Suzuka, and this was on a track that suited the McLaren cars.
Does this make the McLaren cars a good bet for a podium finish this weekend? We’re not so sure. We’ve seen inconsistency from the teams behind Red Bull all season. However, McLaren are the most consistent performer after Red Bull in the second half of the season.
But the McLarens are very short in the betting for a podium place. And we believe those odds may be based on their performance in the last race.
This weekend’s circuit has some fast corners, similar to Suzuka. But there are also some long straights where straight-line speed will be a factor. Ferrari is one of the fastest cars in a straight line, and the circuit in Doha has a main straight over 1km long.
The long straights and high-speed corners make it difficult to choose between McLaren and Ferarri. So instead we are looking at the head-to-head matchups for our F1 betting picks.
Our Qatar Grand Prix Picks
One bet that caught our eye is Charles Leclerc to beat George Russell. Leclerc is -130 and we think that makes for a good value betting pick.
We also like the look of the McLarens and the Ferraris in Saturday’s Sprint. The shorter format gives them a better chance to defeat the Red Bulls. A lot depends on Pole Position, and if Verstappen gets that, all bets are off. But we feel backing his rivals in the shorter format offers better value.
Will Max Verstappen also have one eye on the Drivers Championship and give his rivals a chance in the shorter race? We hope so. And for those reasons, we are backing Lando Norris (+1200) and Charles Leclerc (+2200) to win the Sprint.
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