Formula 1: Against The Odds

Dirty Money

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Like any self-respecting F1 blogger, I couldn’t let this week go by without passing comment on the current F1 Espionage scandal . However, rather than try and second-guess the FIA and any findings or punishments that they choose to meat-out, I thought I would take a look at how the market is reacting.

Spread betting

SportingIndex has suspended betting on both their Driver and Constructor’s indices. I suppose this is the easiest way of them not getting caught out by any breaking news, but it is not very interesting.  McLaren’s sell price on the Constructors index had previously eased 5 points from its high point after Indianapolis, although I suspect that at least some of that was due to Ferrari’s performance at Silverstone.

Fixed Odds

Despite the lack of on track action, the past week has seen the majority of bookmakers shorten up Ferrari and push out McLaren in the Constructors market. Whether this is a consensus that action will be taken against the team from Woking, or weight of money forcing their hand, I can only speculate.  In the Drivers market, money seems to have dried up for Lewis Hamilton with SportingOdds offering him at the longest price seen anywhere since before the Canadian GP.


The story being told on Betfair is clear, with McLaren’s price in the Constructors market consistently on the drift since news of Coughlan’s actions broke. Even after the market corrected itself following last weekend’s race, the offered price has increased by a further 25%. Betfair’s own Price/Volume Over Time graphs for McLaren and Ferrari illustrate this perfectly. Again this is reflected in the Drivers market – with Alonso and Hamilton drifting.


There is no doubt that the events of the last few weeks are impacting the betting market. However, how much is down to nervousness and uncertainty as opposed to an actual belief that an outcome-affecting decision will be made is unclear.  Generally I find the exchanges good barometers as so many factors go into the betting public deciding what price is available at any given time. Deciding at what point McLaren have drifted sufficiently so that there is value to be had by backing them – is a different question completely.


Written by f1punter

July 15, 2007 at 8:46 pm

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