Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during free practice for Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix, at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack, in Imola, Italy, Saturday, Oct.31, 2020. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Pool)
- For the second time in as many races, Max Verstappen leads the way as the betting favorite, leading the way atop the odds to win this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
- The winner in last month’s Bahrain Grand Prix, and in the inaugural edition of this event last fall, Lewis Hamilton closely trails Verstappen in the odds
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday morning’s running on the 20201 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
For the second time in as many races this season, Max Verstappen will be the man to beat, as the Red Bull Racing star prepares for Sunday, April 18th’s race of the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as a +130 favorite. Verstappen failed to pay out as betting chalk in this season’s opening race in Bahrain late last month, finishing second to Lewis Hamilton.
The reigning Formula 1 champion took home the checkered flag at this event last season. However, Hamilton looks to Sunday morning’s race on the Imola Circuit at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari trailing Verstappen as a strong +150 second favorite.
Here’s a look at all the odds, and drivers to watch, going into Round 2 of the 2021 Formula 1 season.
Odds to Win 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
|Driver||Odds to Win at DraftKings||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Six||Odds to Finish Top 10|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+10000||+1400||+200||-186|
Odds as of April 15
Waiting for Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen has been widely expected to enjoy a breakthrough this season, and present Lewis Hamilton with a challenge to his dominance of the F1 circuit. That being said, Verstappen is still second to Hamilton in the F1 Drivers Championship odds.
But with his new Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez being forced to start from the pit lane at last month’s season opener in Bahrain, Verstappen found himself back in a familiar situation, outnumbered in a battle with Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Forced to settle for a second-place finish after starting on the pole at Bahrain, Verstappen has maintained the confidence of oddsmakers as the scene shifts to Imola. The 23-year-old was well-positioned to outpace the Mercedes duo before tire failure forced him out of last year’s race, which Hamilton went on to win.
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Perez Key to Verstappen’s Breakthrough
The Dutchman’s chances of success this weekend will likely hinge on how much support he gets from Perez. “Checo” turned in an impressive performance in his Red Bull debut in Bahrain, rebounding to record a fifth-place finish. However, a strong qualifying run from the talented Mexican will be key to the team’s success this weekend.
Perez also rebounded from a shaky qualifying session at this event last November. Checo powered to a sixth-place finish after starting 11th on the grid and is worthy of consideration as a +140 bet to reach the podium this time around. However, sports bettors can be forgiven for continuing to wait for Checo to prove himself behind the wheel of Red Bull’s Honda before backing the 31-year-old and hopping on the Verstappen bandwagon.
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Recent Winners
|Year||Driver||Margin of Victory||Pole Position||Fastest Lap|
|2020||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||5.783 sec||Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes|
Ricciardo Aims to Build on Past Success at Imola
While Mercedes and Red Bull are once again expected to lead the way, intriguing options exist further down the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix odds. Daniel Ricciardo benefitted greatly from the chaos on the track at this event last November.
Daniel Ricciardo: I’m looking forward to getting back in the car after a positive start in Bahrain. We secured a good result in that first race, and it felt amazing to make my debut for the team.
— Junaid #JB17 (@JunaidSamodien_) April 13, 2021
With two of the top four drivers on the starting grid failing to finish, including Pierre Gasly, Ricciardo powered to his second podium finish of the season. The 31-year-old Australian maintained pace his McLaren debut in Bahrain, claiming seventh place, and is worthy of consideration as a -143 value bet to crack the top six this weekend.
Tsunoda on the Rise as Gasly Struggles to Finish
Gasly’s strong qualifying performance last fall in Imola has contributed to his climb to a +3300 wager to earn the win on Sunday. However, reaching the finish line has become a challenge for the AlphaTauri driver. Gasly was forced to retire with three laps left in Bahrain and has failed to finish in three of his past nine outings. That qualifies him for consideration as a lucrative +2200 bet to be the first driver to retire in Sunday’s race.
Big up to Yuki Tsunoda! 🥳🙌
Scored points on debut & pulled some stunning moves on former F1 champions 🎌 #F1 #BahrainGP pic.twitter.com/7ugrShT3Q9
— Formula 2 Insider (@Formula2Insider) March 28, 2021
Speaking of strong debuts, Gasly’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda will be aiming to build on his after finishing in the points in his first-ever F1 start last month in Bahrain. The 20-year-old rising star overcame a middling performance in qualifying to finish ninth. And with an improved position on the starting grid this time around, he is an attractive +125 dark horse to finish top six.
The Picks: Lewis Hamilton to win (+150); Pierre Gasly first to retire (+2200)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.