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Formula 1 Returns to Slippery Istanbul Park

If the events at year’s Turkish Grand Prix are any indication, Formula 1 fans are in for a treat Sunday. Voted the best race of the 2020 season, the Turkish Grand Prix returns for the 16th round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season, where Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will continue their fierce battle for the title.

Admittedly, last year’s Turkish Grand Prix was entertaining, but it was not a proper race, largely thanks to the organizers, who failed to provide an appropriate driving surface. Having resurfaced the track shortly before the race, the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix looked more like a sliding show rather than an F1 race.

Turkish Grand Prix

However, we can expect better conditions this time out – if FIA is to be trusted with their claims that the track has been power-washed to improve grip. Still, the weather does not look great, with light rain expected.

Regardless of the questionable conditions, the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix promises an exciting race for fans and bettors who will have plenty of solid online gambling options to explore and take advantage of.

Question Marks All-Around

There are a lot of questions that need answering ahead of the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix. For example, how will the track behave, will it be better than last year, how will the rain affect the race, and will softer tires make any difference?

While we can try and speculate, most of the main questions will remain unanswered until Sunday. We must also take into account the possible grid penalties for drivers who will take new power units.

“Carlos Sainz will take a completely new power unit fitted with the new hybrid system,” announced Ferrari.

“Therefore, he will start from the back of the grid.”

Sainz has already confirmed the power unit change, while Lewis Hamilton is likely the next to do so, after Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc, and Max Verstappen all decided to freshen their cars in Russia. The general rule for teams is to swap out their power units ahead of tracks where they don’t expect to do well – however, neither Mercedes nor we know whether the Turkish track suits them since last year’s race can hardly be considered a form guide.

The Usual Is Expected

If you don’t know what’s going to happen, the safest bet is to expect the usual – in this case, a battle between Red Bull and Mercedes. Given how dominant Verstappen and Hamilton have been throughout the year, it’s only fair to anticipate another tight battle between the F1 World Championship frontrunners, and the Formula One betting odds for this weekend would confirm that.

Still, it’s wise to explore other options, namely amongst the drivers who have done well recently. McLaren won in Italy, and Lando Norris should have won the Russian Grand Prix but got denied the glory by unfortunate weather conditions.

Regardless, we imagine McLaren to continue their excellent form and look to make some noise next weekend. Talking about outsiders who can impress, Ferrari have done well of late, particularly Sainz, who has placed third on Sochi Autodrom.

It marked Sainz’ third podium, while his teammate, Leclerc, has only one. We expect great things from the Prancing Horses by the end of the season, but the Turkish Grand Prix track layout might not be as favorable for them, and they likely know that – considering Sainz is making a change to his power unit.


Betting on either Hamilton or Verstappen would make a lot of sense, but we will steer clear of backing any of the favorites due to all the question marks above the Turkish track. Instead, it might be worth checking out the McLaren drivers, but the offered betting odds aren’t appealing enough for us to recommend a bet online on either Norris or Daniel Ricciardo.

We have to dig a bit deeper for our 2021 Turkish Grand Prix prediction, way down to Alpha Tauri driver and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso. Obviously, a lot can change throughout the years, but Alonso has done well in Turkey during his golden days.

The 40-year-old has four podiums in Turkey and has finished inside the top-six in three of his last four races (eighth in Italy). Alonso is showing great form, and while he has never won in Turkey, the Spanish driver has seven starts on Istanbul Park, which is more than most of the grid.

We don’t expect Alonso to win, but another top-six finish is likely on the cards. Priced at XXX to finish inside the top six, Alonso is an excellent bet for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.

Pick: Fernando Alonso top six finish (+130)