Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Win Simulations: Can the Field Topple Red Bull Again?

Jim Sannes
Jim Sannes@JimSannes
Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Win Simulations: Can the Field Topple Red Bull Again?

Now that we've seen a team beat Red Bull on raw pace in 2024, it's time to be greedy.

Can we see it again on Sunday in Imola?

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix is the first European race of the year, and it means upgrades for a handful of teams. Red Bull is on that upgrade list, too, so it's not suddenly anybody's race. However, aspects are a lot brighter than they have been the past 24 months.

Upgrades always introduce extra potential for modeling errors, especially when it's almost the entire field. That's an important factor to keep in mind when looking at betting odds prior to practice.

But here's how my sims see things playing out with the info we have now.

Top 6
Max Verstappen69.7%88.0%88.2%88.2%
Lando Norris8.3%53.9%84.9%87.0%
Charles Leclerc6.3%43.1%81.9%86.2%
Sergio Perez6.3%44.2%82.7%87.1%
Carlos Sainz5.5%39.1%80.4%86.5%
Oscar Piastri2.1%15.4%58.4%84.8%
Lewis Hamilton0.8%5.5%33.1%77.7%
View Full Table

Even with Lando Norris showing massive pace in his Miami win, Max Verstappen is still the heavy favorite. That's true in betting markets, too, where Verstappen is -400 to win in FanDuel Sportsbook's F1 betting odds. But that's still down from where he's been.

Ideally, I'd love a Red Bull versus the field market or one that offers either Ferrari or McLaren to win. This way, I could bet on a non-Red Bull win without having to pick the specific driver with Norris, Charles Leclerc, and Carlos Sainz all holding win odds of 5.5% or higher in the sims.

If those markets get posted, the sims would have fair odds for a non-Red Bull win at +317. Odds for it to be either Ferrari or McLaren would be +350.

With the markets where they're at, though, I think the best route is buying into Sainz, specifically. He's +3000 to win (3.2% implied) and +270 for a podium (27.0%), down from 5.5% and 39.1%, respectively, by my numbers.

Sainz has lagged behind Leclerc in recent weeks, and he's definitely not the quicker of the two drivers. But the market reflects that gap, and Sainz has proven he's capable of beating Leclerc in a given weekend.

You'll want to tread lightly if you do invest there as, again, there's lots of uncertainty this weekend. With that said, that's my preferred route for betting this race pre-practice.

There's not much value lower on the grid other than in the two Kick Sauber drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, to finish in the points at +1100 and +1300, respectively.

It seems like they've resolved their past pit stop issues, which have been their biggest issue this season. The pace has been at least competitive, which is why the model shows value.

I'm a bit hesitant here, personally, given the teams they'll be fighting for points are all likely to bring upgrades while Sauber has been forced to focus on the wheel issues. Thus, they're worth monitoring this weekend, but I don't want to go beyond that as of right now.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.