TG Talk - How do you make Formula 1 a more compelling betting proposition?

TG Talk - How do you make Formula 1 a more compelling betting proposition?

Thursday, October 6, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Can F1 do some more tinkering to make it more popular with punters?

With Formula 1 being linked to a new owner, what changes would you like to see to the sport to make it a more compelling betting proposition?

Ed Nicholson, Head of UK Marketing Operations at Unibet: “I’m sure some of the big odds-on hitters think it is a compelling betting proposition already! The odds on shots have been regularly winning for three years now; only five different drivers have won a Grand Prix since the start of the 2014 season, and so far in 2016 all but two of the Grand Prix have been won by Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton.

But for most punters, the dominance of Rosberg and Hamilton has been a turn off – since 2014 they have won so many Grand Prix between them, and number of bets metrics has dropped.

As to what changes we at Unibet would like to see, the simple answer is anything that would make the result more unpredictable enabling bigger odds for a range of potential winners.

Ideas mooted at Unibet Towers include re-introducing refuelling, having tyres that allow drivers to push for the whole race, relaxing aerodynamic rules for overtaking and having more engine suppliers. And if we could have more official live statistics made available to us that would help live betting opportunities.

Mirio Mella, Customer Engagement Manager, Pinnacle: “The most obvious change that could make F1 more compelling for bettors is creating a more competitive field making races harder to predict (16 races so far have produced just four different winners). Uncertainty equals excitement, which is what bettors want. This shouldn’t go as far as homogenising the cars/teams – as this could risk alienating current fans – but perhaps adopting a similar approach to the WEC (World Endurance Championship).

F1 might also learn from the Tour de France and explore awarding points for a wider range of events beyond race wins. This could extend to qualifying position, fastest lap, fastest pit-stop, and fastest time on practice days. You can bet on these already but formalizing them competitively, as well as weaving them into the overall outcome, would allow bettors to diversify their interest.

With five races in the F1 season remaining Pinnacle has Nico Rosberg as the 1.555 favourite to retain his title.

Paul Petrie, Director at Formula 1 is way too regimented and predictable to make a compelling betting proposition at the moment. We can’t offer attractive odds on something that has very little variety in the result.

I’d like to see some changes that would mix it up a bit and make it a little more interesting. For a start I think banning team orders would be a good start and reduce the manipulation of results when it should be down to pure ability. Related to that we should scrap the Constructors Championship – or at least place less emphasis on it. The public don’t really care about it. They are all about the drivers.

What would be a true test of a driver would be if they were to remove qualifying and have drivers take turns at different places on the grid each race, but I’m sure there are commercial reasons for the several day qualifying build up which would make this impossible.

Alan Alger, PR at Betway: F1 has been overtaken by a number of sports in terms of turnover, as punters look elsewhere for more competitive contests. 48 of the last 56 races have been won by either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg. For that reason we have to be restrictive with prices.

The suggestions I would make have been well documented elsewhere. I’d use randomly drawn grid positions for each race. I know the sport’s governors don’t want to lose their major income from a day of qualifying at the track – but they could easily replace that with a ten lap shoot-out in a similar format which would add say 10/8/6/4/2 points to the championship or to be used as a tie-breaker in the final season table. That’s exciting enough for betting purposes and to put bums on seats for the Saturday.

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