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Ferrari is Playing Catch-Up Following a Poor Start to the F1 Season

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The 2023 Formula 1 campaign was the most anticipated season in a generation. When Lewis Hamilton finally released his vice-like grip on the sport, it left a void for the other drivers to fill. There were plenty of contenders to the Englishman's crown, and it looked like anyone's guess who might come to the fore. Fans had every right to be excited.

The competitiveness and unpredictability attracted major online bookmakers' attention. After years of dismissing F1 as predictable with little gambling value, things changed on the trading floors. There's a buzz of excitement with bookies offering great odds, unique markets, and exciting promotions. Formula 1 betting has attracted millions of new followers over the last 12 months, which will likely continue.

Ferrari featured heavily in bets placed during pre-season, with fans joining professional gamblers in backing 'The Prancing Horse' to bag the F1 Constructors Championship. With exciting pilots Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc in the cockpit, fans thought nothing could go wrong. The title was theirs to throw away. But how wrong they turned out to be.

Poor results

Despite pre-season optimism, it has been a woeful start for Ferrari and its drivers. The results have been alarmingly poor, and you'll find evidence of this in the latest F1 drivers and constructors championship standings.

Following the fifth Grand Prix of the season from the Miami International Autodrome, Ferrari remained without a win and was also off the pace in the constructor's table. Just 78 points on the board left the Prancing Horse languishing in fourth behind leaders Red Bull on 224 points, Aston Martin on 102, and Mercedes and their 96 points tally.

So far, Sainz Jr has been the better of the two Ferrari fliers, with 44 points leaving him in fifth place, miles off the pace set by current front-runner Max Verstappen. Carlos is two places higher in the pecking order than teammate Charles Leclerc who rests on 34 points. Neither man should challenge for the title, but F1 fans know there's nothing guaranteed in this game.

Verstappen has enjoyed a fantastic start to the season and leads the title race ahead of nearest rival and Red Bull stablemate Sergio Perez of Mexico. Completing the podium places is Fernando Alonso, who is using his experience to get the best from his Aston Martin ride.

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What's gone wrong?

Now we know Ferrari's season has the potential to unravel at any moment; let's look at the reasons. What's gone wrong with the most famous constructor on the planet, and is it a sign of things to come? Why can't the world-famous name land a glove on a Red Bull team packing wings?

Leclerk shed some light on the matter, telling reporters in a recent interview with the global press that he's battling hard to control and get a tune from his under-performing car. Pulling no punches, Charles continued with the admission he's currently operating a car he doesn't understand.

It may be teething problems in the first few chapters of an enthralling season. Not according to Leclerc, who said his team is far from competing with Red Bul. The glory days of Ferrari in F1 are becoming a distant memory.

Red Bull charge ahead

Why has Red Bull been so dominant this year? A few reasons for the team's sprint to the front of the pack include having two skilled drivers on the books. Many followers consider Verstappen to be the future of F1, filling the void left by Hamilton. There's a genuine contender in Perez, and we could see a one-two finish from Red Bull.

It's already a good bet with the first five Grand Prix victories shared between Max with three wins and Sergio boasting a double. The pair was level at two wins each until Max edged ahead following a success in Miami. The Dutchman won the race ahead of Perez, with Fernando Alonso in third.

What the bookies think

Online betting traders have had their say, and although bookies aren't always correct, they're rarely wrong. And there are no surprises in the outright betting, with Verstappen the pre-race favorite to win each Grand Prix. He's also ahead of his rivals in the driver's championship betting. If the odds are correct, Max will continue to tighten his hold over F1.