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JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 leads the field at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

The Biggest Shock Results in Formula 1

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 09: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 leads the field at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 09, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Formula 1 racing, the pinnacle of motor racing, is a high-octane sport. The fastest cars on the planet navigate challenging street and track circuits over a grueling season where the unexpected is always possible.

Max Verstappen has been a force to reckon with in recent years, clinching victory in numerous races, and is named as the favorite for almost every race with the F1 betting odds.

That doesn’t mean it’s always a forgone conclusion, so let’s take a look at the most notable upsets from over the years.

Gasly wins at Monza

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2020 was a weird year, with the COVID-19 pandemic hampering F1 just as much as it did any other sporting event. While Lewis Hamilton took the pole position from the qualifying session, the British driver didn’t make it onto the podium as he slipped down the rankings.

The man who left Italy with the spoils of victory was Pierre Gasly, driving in the AlphaTauri, a car manufactured as a splinter cell from the Red Bull team. Before the race started, the French driver was around 200/1 to win as one of the least fancied racers; anyone who backed him would have had a sweet payday.

Williams Won a Race…Over a Decade Ago

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Anyone who has come into the sport since the Drive to Survive influx will see Williams as a team that makes up the numbers. Their most significant contribution to the podium was when Nicolas Latifi crashed in the final race of the 2021 season, forcing that safety car.

Since then, the team has not looked like troubling the top three spots as they often dwell at the bottom of the pack.

This luck has been consistent since 2012 when they were considered a poor team. However, on the Barcelona circuit, the Williams team found themselves in a great spot with their Venezuelan driver, Pastor Maldonado, who was neck and neck with Spanish favorite Fernando Alonso.

The Williams pit team bravely decided to pit their man first, ultimately leading to a successful undercut. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were expected to win, but this South American trumped them despite having pre-race odds of 100/1.

Ocon Wins for Alpine

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Ahead of the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s race at the Hungaroring would be fruitful, as he had secured pole position from the qualifying session. His F1 title-chasing adversary, Max Verstappen, was also fancied to do well, but the race unfolded very differently.

Red flags and rain delays played a massive part, as this race was a strategic battle; the team that played the best hand was Alpine.

Hamilton dramatically lost his lead as he was the only racer to emerge from a restart with wet condition tires, while the rest of the field had switched to dry settings.  As such, he dropped down the field before pitting after four laps to change to slicks.

However, this Mercedes car was still speedy (unlike the contemporary one) and allowed Lewis to remain in contention for winning the race. Alpine worked as a team, and Fernando Alonso knew his teammate Esteban Ocon could win the race. Alonso did his best to hold up the British driver for the best part of 12 laps.

After which, the damage had already been done, and Ocon finished two seconds ahead of Hamilton to win the race.

For context, Ocon started the race in eighth place on the grid and as a rank outsider to win, with odds as high as 300/1. While the French team was by no means the slowest throughout the season, they were not expected to win races!

Therefore, the betting sites would have been somewhat angry when they had to pay out to the bettors who had selected Ocon more in hope than expectation.

The 2021 Climax

Editor's Desk: Wolff still dwelling on Abu Dhabi 2021...

The 2021 F1 season will probably be the most intense and exciting F1 campaign ever. Both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton gathered victories as they consistently competed for the trophy. The final race in Abu Dhabi would have seen some bonkers live in-play betting odds as the race devolved into anarchy after a safety car was deployed at the end.

Verstappen was behind numerous lapped cars due to his pitting just after the safety car was announced. He must have cleared them before even considering overtaking Hamilton and winning the championship.

The FIA made the strange decision to force the lapped cars to get out of Max’s way so he had a better chance of racing Lewis. During this time, there would have been a few betting sites offering live high odds on the Dutch racer to win as he was behind, but then it would have paid out handsomely as he could clear the Mercedes driver on the better tire with relative ease.