After a lengthy break following the conclusion of the 2022 season, F1 finally returns in 2023 with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5.
With several drivers moving teams during the off-season and with three rookies making their full-season debuts on the grid, the upcoming Formula One season should prove action-packed throughout.
Just like last season, proceedings for the 2023 season will begin in Bahrain where Max Verstappen has been made the heavy favourite to carry on his stunning, winning form that saw him crowned world champion again last year.
Ahead of the action getting underway, The Sporting News dives through all of the odds to give you the best bets and tips for the upcoming 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.
MORE: F1 2023 season predictions, odds, betting tips and best bets for new Formula One campaign
F1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2023 odds to win
As expected given his domination of the 2022 season, Max Verstappen has been made the heavy favourite to win the opening race of the year.
The bookmakers expect him to romp home to a first win of the new campaign in Bahrain, a likely outcome given the reliability of his Red Bull car, though as it’s the opening race, anything could theoretically happen.
As such, backing Leclerc at +350 (with BetMGM) could prove wise especially as the Ferrari driver won this race last season thanks to Verstappen’s DNF.
Elsewhere, value could be had with Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and George Russell whilst Aston Martin veteran Fernando Alonso is been widely touted by pundits as a potential danger this season with his new team.
Odds via BetMGM (USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), SkyBet (UK), and Neds (Australia). Odds correct as of February 28.
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F1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2023: Best bet
- Pick: Max Verstappen to win the Bahrain Grand Prix
- Odds: -118 (BetMGM)
After breaking the record for most wins recorded in a single Formula One season with 15 in 2022, it’s difficult to see how anyone will be able to stop Max Verstappen in the opening race of this year.
The Dutch driver remains in the form of his career at present and if preseason testing is anything to go by, Red Bull remain the strongest team on the grid across all areas.
Granted, preseason testing can throw up some interesting results but with the quickest pace of any team last season, Red Bull added some impressive reliability to their skill set in which Verstappen only DNFed twice and only suffered a handful of problems after the summer break.
As such, we shouldn’t see a repeat of the problems that forced him to retire during the Bahrain Grand Prix last season.
Bahrain Grand Prix 2023: Prop bet
- Pick: Both Mercedes drivers to finish in the points
- Odds: 1/2 (SkyBet)
Mercedes struggled slightly in preseason testing last weekend with George Russell suffering a car failure on day two in Bahrain but we still expect the German team to record points with both of their cars during the opening race in 2023.
Despite all their early problems in 2022, the team returned after the summer break with a far more competitive car that saw the two drivers combine for six podium finishes across the final eight races of the year – including Russell’s first win in F1 in Brazil.
The two drivers also finished in the points 39 times in 44 attempts throughout 2022, recording double points finishes for Mercedes in 17 of the 22 races on the calendar, including the opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Bahrain Grand Prix 2023: Flier bet
- Pick: Leclerc & Verstappen Podium, Perez & Sainz Top 6 Finish, Hamilton & Norris Points Finish
- Odds: 11/2 (SkyBet)
There’s plenty of selections going on here but with SkyBet, the above ‘RequestABet’ looks great value for money for the upcoming Bahrain Grand Prix.
If we dissect this bet a little; Max Verstappen feels almost guaranteed for a podium finish given his electric form across 2022 whilst Charles Leclerc won this race last season. Their teammates Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz should push them all the way around this track that favours the quicker cars and as such, top six finishes for both seem likely.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will be out to make a quick start in 2023 around a track he regularly enjoys success at. He’s previously won five Bahrain Grand Prix — the joint-most of any driver — so a points finish this weekend will be the least of his aims.
The sticking point for this bet comes with Lando Norris finishing in the top ten as McLaren looked slow during preseason testing. Granted, the British team could have been ‘sandbagging’ their direct opposition last weekend, but some F1 pundits have them as one of the slower teams this season across their predictions.
If anyone can defy the odds though, it’s Norris. He picked up points in 18 of last season’s 22 races on the calendar, even despite his slower McLaren car, however one of his non-points finishes came in Bahrain.