Max Verstappen is PointsBet favorite for 2022 French Grand Prix with plus odds for first time in four rounds

PointsBet 2022 French odds
Peter J Fox / Getty Images

Winless in his last two starts, Max Verstappen remains the PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard, but he no longer shows a minus line for the first time in four rounds.

This is the first time this season that Verstappen has failed to win back-to-back races with Carlos Sainz, Jr. taking the checkers in the British GP and Charles Leclerc winning the Austrian GP. Verstappen finished second in that race, giving him eight podiums in 11 races. His opening line this week is +125 to win the race and +120 to win the pole.

One way to view American Odds is to move the decimal point two positions to the left. That will let a bettor know what they will make on a $1 bet, so the return on investment this week for Verstappen is $1.25 for the race. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Last week’s winner, Leclerc is ranked second with a line of +160. Leclerc has three starts at this week’s venue with a best of third in 2019. His most recent performance there ended one lap off the pace in 16th. This season has been much more productive for the Ferrari driver with three wins and two second-place finishes.

A distant third is Lewis Hamilton with a line of +775. Given the struggles faced by Mercedes this season, this marks a turning point. Hamilton earned just his fourth podium of the year in last week’s Austrian GP, but three of those came in the last three races and he was fourth in the round preceding this streak. Hamilton is still seeking his first win of 2022.

No other driver is listed below 10/1.

Rounding out the top five are George Russell and Sergio Perez with lines of +1400 each.

Hamilton’s teammate Russell is also winless, but he has not struggled as consistently. In 11 rounds, he has 10 top-five finishes with three podiums to his credit. The most recent of these came in the Azerbaijan GP in Round 8. Russell has only two starts at Paul Ricard with a best finish of 12th.

Perez has only one win this season, but he has been the runner-up on five occasions. His most recent near miss came in the Bristish GP two rounds ago. Perez has two DNFs in the last six rounds, but the remainder of those finishes were second or better.

Sainz is ranked sixth. He has three starts on this track with a pair of top-10s top his credit in 2018 and 2019. Last year, he narrowly missed that mark with an 11th-place finish. Sainz’s win at Silverstone two rounds ago was his sixth podium finish in seven races this year in which he was running at the end.


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IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”