Miami Grand Prix Win Simulations: The Battle for Second Place

Jim Sannes
Jim Sannes@JimSannes
Miami Grand Prix Win Simulations: The Battle for Second Place

The further we get into 2024, the clearer it becomes that this is still Max Verstappen's world. We've got a larger sample now, and that sample points right at Verstappen as the runaway favorite week in, week out yet again.

But the battle for second? That's actually pretty interesting.

Verstappen's teammate, Sergio Perez, is in the driver's seat there, having finished runner-up in three of five races so far.

The competition behind him is stiff, though. Ferrari has the lone non-Red Bull win this year, and Lando Norris bested Perez two weeks ago in Shanghai.

So, who's got the leg up coming into this week's race in Miami? Here's what my simulations are saying prior to practice and qualifying.

Top 6
Max Verstappen74.0%87.2%87.3%87.3%
Sergio Perez8.8%58.7%84.5%86.1%
Carlos Sainz5.4%41.6%80.6%86.4%
Charles Leclerc4.4%39.1%79.5%86.0%
Lando Norris4.1%37.7%79.3%86.1%
Oscar Piastri1.5%14.2%55.5%84.8%
Lewis Hamilton0.7%9.0%43.9%82.2%
View Full Table

Based on the sims, there's a bit of value in both Perez (+1400) and Carlos Sainz (+2200) to win in FanDuel Sportsbook's F1 betting odds. Between the two, I'd lean more toward Sainz as it's hard to get the memory of Verstappen dusting Perez in Miami last year despite starting seventh out of my head. But I think Sainz to podium is the better bet.

There, Sainz is +175 at FanDuel, 36.4% implied versus 41.6% in the model. Crucially, it's also below Charles Leclerc's podium odds of 39.1%, so even if you believe the model has Leclerc and Sainz in the wrong order, Sainz would still be a value.

Ferrari has its first big upgrade package planned for this weekend, which could be a pro or a con. An upgrade is never a bad thing but rolling it out during a sprint weekend with less practice time makes you a bit uneasy.

Sainz's form overall this year has been brilliant. He has three podiums in four races, including the win in Australia. He came back to earth a bit in Shanghai, and Leclerc was clearly superior there, but the broader sample says this is a driver we can believe in.

The podium bet doesn't require Sainz to top Verstappen or even Perez for that matter. But there's at least a non-zero chance he could do that, so getting Sainz at this number is enticing enough to draw me in.

The other team to monitor is Alpine. They gave Esteban Ocon an upgraded floor in Shanghai, and he used it to finish 11th. Pierre Gasly will have that upgrade now, too, and they have race-level data on it. The value on Ocon to score points at +470 is thin, but I'd be willing to consider it if that were to lengthen at some point between now and the first free practice.

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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.