F1 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix preview and best bets: Max Verstappen can bounce back

Max Verstappen drives for Red Bull Racing
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Matt Selz


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We’re nearing the end of the 2022 F1 season with just 2 rounds left. Round 21 is today in Brazil in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. While Max Verstappen has already won the drivers’ title, there are still key battles happening in the standings for both drivers and constructors. Some of those battles were helped with Saturday’s 24-lap Sprint race, but with an interesting grid set for Sunday, more battles will happen on the grand layout that is Interlagos.

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Sao Paulo Grand Prix betting strategy

The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, more commonly known as Interlagos, is a beauty a of a circuit with 15 corners and a ton of elevation change. In fact, there’s really only one flat part of the track between Turns 3 and 4. Even the start-finish straight is uphill and then downhill into Turn 1. However, that being said, there is a ton of overtaking that happens here. The Sprint race on Saturday showed that off perfectly so expect to see drivers moving up through the grid all
day on Sunday over the course of the 74 laps. This isn’t a track where the pole sitter always wins and driver throughout the first half of the grid have the ability to win. We also see a lot of close passes made and that might mean that cars retire early due to damage on the cars or winding up in the gravel surrounding some of the corners.

Outright Winners for F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

Odds posted from DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Max Verstappen (+130)

The main reason that it appears that Max Verstappen was overtaken in the Sprint race, after starting P2, was due to the choice of putting medium compound tires on the car compared to the softs. If Red Bull had gone with softs for the Sprint he’d likely be on pole for the Grand Prix. Even with the medium he was able to hold on to P3 for the start and this is a track he’s run very well at in the past. If we consider that he’s going for his 15th win of the season, it’s a miracle we’re getting plus-odds on him.

George Russell  (+285)

George Russell had a lot of pace in the Sprint race on Saturday and successfully ran down Verstappen. Not only did he pass him, he got quite a bit of a gap on Verstappen once he was out front. The Mercedes have had this track circled for a while as one they should run well at and that’s coming to fruition. They’ve had speed all weekend. Now, we could go with Lewis Hamilton at +170 to nab his first win of the year starting P2 after Carlos Sainz got a grid penalty despite finishing P2 in the Sprint. However, it appears that Russell has a tad more pace and so we’ll take the better return with the younger British Mercedes driver.

Longshot: Carlos Sainz (+4000)

Here’s the long shot of the weekend. Ferrari has been being dunked on all year and even this weekend with strategy screw-ups in qualifying. However, we can’t ignore the speed that Carlos Sainz showed in the Sprint. He finished P2 with the new engine in the car and was able to close in on Russell toward the end. He’ll start P7 for the race, but we saw Hamilton race from P8 to P3 in the Sprint — over just 24 laps — so moving up is easy if you have the pace that Sainz appears to. If Ferrari can not screw up pit strategy, they have a car that can help secure second in the Constructors Championship from a charging Mercedes.

Best Prop Bets for F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

Mick Schumacher top-10 finish (+200)

Mick Schumacher’s Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen was on the pole for the Sprint race on Saturday, the first time an American constructor landed a P1 in qualifying since 1975. Qualifying didn’t go as well for Schumacher as he rolled off P20. However, he moved up to P12 by the Sprint’s end and clearly has the pace to make it into the top 10 and join his teammate, who’s starting P8. We could go with K-Mag at -120 but if they have equal pace let’s take the plus-money return.

Sergio Perez (+275) over Max Verstappen

The Red Bulls are starting next to each other in the grid and have had similar pace throughout the weekend. The reason we’re leaning on Checo is simply for the standings play. Perez is within striking distance of locking down a 2nd-place finish in the drivers’ championship — giving Red Bull a P1 and P2 in the standings. They made a mistake not giving Perez the position ahead of Verstappen in the Sprint on Saturday but that shouldn’t happen on Sunday with the chance to boost Checo.

Haas double top-10 finish (+400)

We mentioned above that we like Schumacher to have the pace to go from P12 to inside the top 10. We also mentioned that Magnussen has the pace to stay there throughout the race. The strategy at Haas has been good enough to hold positions throughout races this year and if the pace holds, this should be a very good weekend for Haas, which is looking to close out 2022 strongly.

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