After a week off, Formula 1 returns to the U.S. for the Las Vegas Grand Prix. It’s the first time Formula 1 is racing in Las Vegas in 40 years and will include an all-new layout taking drivers around iconic spots of the city. Because this is the first edition of the race, teams won’t have a bank of data and information about the circuit. But the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix odds point to the usual story in 2023: Max Verstappen domination.
A quick reminder that the F1 schedule this weekend is different than usual. Everything is shifted up a day so the schedule breaks down like this:
- Thursday: Free practices 1 and 2
- Friday: Free practice 3, qualifying
- Saturday: Grand Prix race
Las Vegas Grand Prix Odds to Win
Max Verstappen (-425)
When in doubt, look for Verstappen to win in 2023. Las Vegas is a new track this season and betting on the surest thing this season is safe. Verstappen has won on street tracks this season with wins in Miami and Monaco. He’s one of the best in the field when it comes to acclimating to a track quickly. It’d be a huge surprise if he wasn’t fighting for a win again.
Lando Norris (+800)
Norris and McLaren are Red Bull’s most consistent challengers over the second half of the season. Norris himself has six second-place finishes this year. But the street track may not suit the McLaren as well as other cars. It’s been stronger at circuits with medium- to high-speed corners, like Japan, Qatar, and Austin. The Las Vegas Strip Circuit is more akin to Monza or Mexico City, places where McLaren wasn’t the second-fastest car.
Charles Leclerc (+1600)
Leclerc’s had a rough go lately. Disqualified from the podium in Austin after taking pole position, third in Mexico City from pole, and a DNF in Sao Paulo after a formation-lap crash into the wall. Luckily, F1 Las Vegas 2023 will likely suit the Ferrari package more than others. He’s had the edge on teammate Carlos Sainz for the last few races and could take advantage of that at the new race.
Lewis Hamilton (+1600)
Which Mercedes will it be in Las Vegas? The one that raced to podiums in Mexico City and Austin (though was ultimately disqualified in the latter) or the one that struggled to eighth in Sao Paulo? Hamilton and teammate George Russell had excellent pace in the last street race in Singapore. But given how many long straights there are in Las Vegas and how bad the Mercedes’ straight-line speed was last time out in Sao Paulo, a win is a tough ask.
F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Odds: Pole Position
Verstappen’s the favorite thanks to Red Bull’s dominant car this season. But he may struggle to bring tires up to temperature for a hot lap due to the temperatures expected this weekend. He’s the favorite but may struggle in qualifying.
Leclerc has two pole positions in the last three Formula 1 races and this circuit could play to Ferrari’s strengths. Long straights and mostly sharp or low-speed turns suit the package like it did in Monza and Mexico City. Look for him to be the biggest challenger to Verstappen for pole.
Leclerc’s had the edge on Sainz in qualifying recently but a week off could help change that. The Ferrari package will likely be rapid around Las Vegas. The betting odds calculator rightly has the two drivers near the top of the odds for pole position.
F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Odds: Podium Finish
Podium Favorites: Verstappen (-600), Norris (-200), Leclerc (+135)
This trio seems like a good choice for Saturday’s race. Verstappen’s finished on the podium in all but one race this year. Norris has the most poles outside of Verstappen over the last six races. Leclerc should be rapid around Las Vegas in the Ferrari. But there are other choices to consider.
Sainz’s racecraft has reached new heights in 2023. He’s consistently maximizing his opportunities and making the right calls strategy-wise. Saturday could be another one of those cases where Leclerc has the edge on single-lap pace but Sainz overcomes that in the race.
Sergio Perez (+160)
It’s been two months since Perez last stood on an F1 podium in Monza. That track is relatively similar to Las Vegas and Perez has typically raced better on street courses. His best weekend of the year came at the Baku Street Circuit in Azerbaijan. It’d be a big bounce-back for Perez to get on the podium again in Las Vegas and the odds show it’s not far away.
This weekend could be another rough one for Mercedes if they’re slower on the straights than other teams. Even if they keep up, other cars may like the layout more. This is a bet on Hamilton’s experience keeping him out of harm’s way in what could be a chaotic race.
F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Odds: Points Finish
Favorites for points: Verstappen (-900), Hamilton (-700), Sainz (-600), Leclerc (-600), Norris (-600), Perez (-600), Russell (-550), Fernando Alonso (-350), Oscar Piastri (-350), Alex Albon (-165), Lance Stroll (-120)
This group of 11 drivers makes sense to be leading the points finish odds. Albon’s often been a points-finish spoiler in 2023 and oddsmakers have caught on. Opening-lap contact is a concern at a new track and this could catch out a few drivers in this group. With that, there are others who could come through in their place.
Pierre Gasly (+150)
Of the two Alpine drivers, Gasly’s been less consistent but had higher highs in the last five races compared to teammate Esteban Ocon. He finished seventh last time out in Sao Paulo and sixth in Austin. The last street circuit race in Singapore saw him finish sixth. It’s not too long of a shot to see him sneak into the top 10.
Yuki Tsunoda (+240)
Tsunoda’s on a bit of a run lately with two top-10 finishes in the last three races. The Las Vegas Grand Prix will be unpredictable so banking on recent success can’t hurt.
Las Vegas Grand Prix Predictions
This weekend marks the first F1 race in Las Vegas since 1982 at the much-maligned Caesars Palace Grand Prix. The cars are much different now than then and will demand a lot from the new track.
It’s hard to bet against Verstappen for victory and we won’t here. Leclerc’s our pick for pole position and he’ll fall away in the race and see Sainz and Perez join Verstappen on the podium. Look for at least two of the points favorites to retire on Saturday and former teammates Gasly and Tsunoda to take points.
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