- Breaking Down the Emili Romagna Grand Prix: Odds and Predictions after Qualifying, Explaining Spring Races
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Breaking Down the Emili Romagna Grand Prix: Odds and Predictions after Qualifying, Explaining Spring Races
The fourth race of the 2022 Formula One season will kick off this Sunday, April 24th, at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy. The race will take off at 3:00 pm local time, which translates to 9:00 am EST. Normally, by now, all we’d have to go off of is the practice times for each driver. However, since Imola marks the first (of three) sprint races this season, we got all three Qualifying Sessions done on Friday. If you are new to F1 or simply need a sprint race refresher, don’t fret–here you go:
What is A Sprint Race and How Do They Work?
Sprint races were first implemented during last year's season, and are back by popular demand. If you’re a fan of the normal qualifying process, don’t worry–there are only going to be three sprint races this year. But whether you’re a fan of them or not, there’s no denying that sprint races give fans the one thing they love the most–more racing.
The idea behind the sprint race is pretty simple. Instead of qualifying taking place on Saturday, there will be a 100km “sprint” race held between the entire field of drivers, the pole for which will be decided during Friday’s qualifying session.
So, the fastest qualifying lap during Q3 will start in P1 for the sprint race, and so on and so forth. The 30-minute sprint race isn’t just for fun, though–there are some serious points on the line. The winner of the Sprint Race not only receives the honor of starting P1 in Sunday’s race, but they also receive 8 points. The second-place sprint race finisher receives seven points, third place receives six, and so on and so forth.
The entire race starting order will be determined by how the sprint race finishes, so Friday’s qualifying only determines how the sprint race will start. However, it still lends us information as to who we can expect to have a successful race day, and who we can place our race day bets on.
Where Can You Bet On Formula One?
You can bet on Formula One on almost every sportsbook out on the market. If you’re unsure as to what sportsbooks are available in your state, you can check out our list of the best sportsbooks on the market, as well as where they are available.
One of my favorite sportsbooks is BetMGM, which is available in these following states:
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So, now that qualifying is out of the way, we know how sprint races work, AND we know where to bet on Formula One, it’s time to get into my best bets for this weekend's race.
Emilia Romagna Qualifying Breakdown and Talking Points
The Imola qualifying session was plagued with rain, red flags, and more rain–but the greatest thing about F1 is that every driver is dealt the same hand. Max Verstappen ended up taking pole position for Red Bull in the nail-biting qualifying session, and Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris will join him at the top to round out the top 3.
It was a half-and-half day for Haas, with Mick Schumacher failing to reach Q3, but teammate Kevin Magnussen finished fourth overall coming into Saturday's sprint. But speaking of failing to make Q3, both Mercedes drivers failed to make Q3 for the first time since 2012. George Russell finished 11th overall, and Lewis Hamilton finished 13th overall, with his fastest time between both Q1 and Q2 being a 1:20:470.
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was able to hit purple during section one of a Q3 lap but hit the white line going into a turn during section two, causing him to pull off of the track and ruin his lap. Alonso ended up with the fifth-fastest time in a rain-plagued Q3, but was not the only one to fall victim to the skid coming into turn 10/11. That turn seemed to be a problem for many during Friday’s qualifying session, with a handful of drivers paying the price for slipping over onto that white line.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was having a qualifying to remember, recording the third-fastest time on the entire day during Q2. However, Sainz lost control of his rear tires in section two and crashed into the tire wall, barring him from participating in Q3. Sainz will now start 10th in Saturday’s sprint race.
All in all, here’s what the starting order for this weekends sprint race will look like:
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull
- Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
- Lando Norris, McLaren
- Kevin Magnussen, Haas
- Fernando Alonso, Alpine
- Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
- Sergio Perez, Red Bull
- Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
- Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
- Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
- George Russell, Mercedes
- Mick Shumacher, Haas
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
- Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo
- Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
- Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
- Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
- Nicholas Latifi, Williams
- Esteban Ocon, Alpine
- Alexander Albon, Williams
Emili Romagna Grand Prix Predictions
Race Winner: Max Verstappen (+140)
With two DNFs already on the season, Verstappen is already in a position where he needs the most points possible in every race if he wants to repeat as F1 champion. Verstappen looked great in Qualifying on Friday, especially in Q2 where he out-qualified everyone by a large margin (closes was Sainz by .2 seconds, but look at what eventually happened to him). Verstappen is one of the best drivers in the field when it comes to maintaining their position, so I feel like he should be able to collect the 8 sprint race points with ease.
Then, going into race day, barring any car malfunctions, he should have no problem coming out on top, as he did here at Imola just last year.
Sleeper Pick: Daniel Ricciardo (+6500)
Everyone knows I like to be a little cheeky from time to time. Ricciardo has seen success at Imola in the last two years, even picking up a podium finish in 2021. McLaren has proven their ability to keep up with the pack so far this year, and I expect a good day for both McLaren Drivers on Sunday.