F1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2024: Predictions, odds, betting tips and best bets for opening race

Formula One is back with a bang this weekend, as the 2024 season gets underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix. Fans all over the world are getting ready for the biggest year of F1 on record, with 24 individual races spread across the globe between March and December.

With Bahrain first up on Saturday, March 2, many are anticipating a continuation of the Red Bull dominance we’ve seen over the course of the last three campaigns, all of which have been won by the team’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen.

Verstappen won 19 of the 22 races on offer last year, and as such is the heavy favourite to make it four World Drivers’ Championship titles in a row, but with more races than ever before and several contenders ready for the fight, season 2024 looks set to be one of the best yet.

Ahead of the action getting underway, The Sporting News dives through all the odds, in order to showcase the best bets and tips you’ll need ahead of the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix. 

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 odds to win

In news that will surprise very few people reading this piece, Max Verstappen is hotly tipped and the overwhelming favourite to begin his title defence with a win in Bahrain, just as he did 12 months ago at the International Circuit in Sakhir.

2023’s opening race saw Verstappen romp home almost 12 seconds ahead of his closest challenger — Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez — and BetMGM‘s -286 moneyline lean suggests that backing the Dutchman for success in Sakhir is one of the safest bets you’ll make this year.

However, Verstappen won’t be without his challengers though, with 2023 runner-up Perez tied at a +1200 moneyline alongside seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. Separating the pair from Verstappen is Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who at 8/1 is the second-favourite and will want to redeem his performance in last year’s race, when he withdrew with engine trouble 39 laps into the circuit.

Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race last year, but is running well behind the favourites on a +1600 moneyline lean, with fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Mercedes’ George Russell either side of him in BetMGM‘s pecking order ahead of the 2024 season opener.

Odds via BetMGM (USA), correct as of February 28. 

Driver US (BetMGM)
Max Verstappen -286
Charles Leclerc +800
Sergio Perez +1200
Lewis Hamilton +1200
George Russell

+1400

Carlos Sainz +1600
Fernando Alonso +2500
Lando Norris +2800
Oscar Piastri +5000
Lance Stroll +15000
Yuki Tsunoda +25000
Daniel Ricciardo +25000
Alexander Albon +40000
Pierre Gasly +75000
Esteban Ocon +75000
Valtteri Bottas +75000
Logan Sargeant +75000
Guanyu Zhou +75000
Nico Hulkenberg +100000
Kevin Magnussen +100000

MORE: Predictions and best bets for the 2024 Formula One season

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2024: Best bet

  • Pick: Lewis Hamilton to secure a podium finish
  • Moneyline lean: +165 (DraftKings)

While Red Bull are justifiably expected to be the strongest team both in Bahrain and the season as a whole in their quest for a third-straight Constructors’ Championship title, Verstappen and Perez can only fill two of the podium spots, thus leaving the running wide open to seal a top-three finish.

In his final season at Mercedes before leaving for Ferrari in 2025, we think that Lewis Hamilton will be going all out to secure a record-breaking eighth World Drivers’ Championship title — and a seventh with Mercedes — but it certainly won’t be easy having not won a single race in each of the past two seasons.

Toppling the might of Red Bull at the moment may be too tall an order for Hamilton’s Mercedes unit, however DraftKings‘ moneyline lean of +165 is still more than worth a punt given his history, ability and success behind the wheel of that very same car.

Bahrain Grand Prix 2024: Prop bet

  • Pick: Lando Norris to win 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix
  • Moneyline lean: +1200 (DraftKings)

It’ll be one hell of a task to topple Verstappen so early on, and the defending champion’s moneyline lean of -250 reflects that, but the off-season strides made by McLaren’s Lando Norris leaves him as third-favourite to top the podium in Sakhir this weekend.

Next-highest backed to win the season’s opening race behind the Red Bull pairing of Verstappen and Perez, the time is now for Norris to justify his ascension up the list of favourites to win the 2024 title, and success in Bahrain would be the perfect way for the young Brit to establish his credentials.

Norris has finished runner-up seven times in his career, and if there is an opportunity to top Red Bull in the early stages while they work out any slight teething problems, he has to fancy his chances in the season opener.

Bahrain Grand Prix 2024: Flier bet

  • Pick: Max Verstappen to win by 10+ seconds, drive the fastest lap, and Red Bull to have the fastest pit stop
  • Moneyline lean: +700 (BetMGM)

The fact that BetMGM are even offering these odds shows just how dominant Verstappen and his Red Bull team have been over the past three seasons, and with further early-season success heavily backed by the bookmakers, you’d fancy him to do so in style.

Although Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu recorded the fastest lap of last year’s race despite finishing 16th of the 17 drivers to finish, Verstappen still strolled to the chequered flag by over 10 seconds, and could well record an even faster lap time than Zhou’s 1:33.996 this time around.

Red Bull’s back-to-back Constructors’ Championships have been no fluke either, providing Verstappen and Sergio Perez with the perfect platform for success, which paid dividends last year as the pair won an astonishing 21 of the 22 races on offer. Therefore, if any team can be confident of making the fastest, most efficient pitstop, it’s the one who know exactly what it takes to produce world-beaters.

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