Azerbaijan GP Preview & Odds – F1 Betting
We have an Azerbaijan GP preview for you along with all the betting odds ahead of this weekend’s latest round of Formula 1 action.
Formula 1 returns after an unscheduled four-week break after the cancellation of the Chinese GP due to the country’s continued Covid-19 restrictions. With that comes the first sprint weekend of the season.
How To Watch The Azerbaijan GP?
Watch the Sprint at 2.30 pm next Saturday with the Grand Prix from noon Sunday live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event.
Max Verstappen holds a 15-point lead in the Driver’s Championship after the first three races of the season with Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton rounding out the top-4. Red Bull also holds a 58-point lead over Aston Martin in the constructors’ championship, with Mercedes third and Ferrari fourth.
The 2023 story so far… 📖✨
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 22, 2023
This is the first of 2023’s six-spring weekend and the first time Saturday’s shorter race has been contested on a street circuit. The decision to hold this sprint weekend early has proven contentious with Red Bull principal Christian Horner decrying the costs it will mean but also saying from a fan’s view it could create one of the most exciting sprints of the year.
F1 Sprint dates in 2023
April 29 | Azerbaijan GP
July 1 | Austrian GP
July 29 | Belgian GP
October 7 | Qatar GP
October 21 | US GP
November 4 | Sao Paulo GP
Three races, three pole positions, three wins, two 1-2s – Red Bull has been in a league of their own so far in 2023. The Red Bull dominance has been clear this season as shown with the first non-Red Bull car coming home over 38 seconds and 20 seconds behind the winners in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
In Australia, Verstappen finished easily ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes before the late red flags in Australia wiped out his advantage.
As the Chinese GP was cancelled it gave rival teams four weeks to work on upgrades to close the gap between themselves and Red Bull. Unlike the summer break where FI is mandated to shut down their garages for fourteen consecutive days this time, they were free to work as usual.
Red Bull is seeking a third consecutive win in Azerbaijan and will justifiably be favourites to do so, but could anyone else upset the apple cart? Here are the top contenders in Baku
Azerbaijan GP Preview
MAX VERSTAPPEN – Azerbaijan GP Favourite @ 2/5
The Red Bull driver is the red-hot favourite going into this race following his first-place finish at the Australian Grand Prix four weeks ago coming +0.179 ahead of second-placed Lewis Hamilton. This victory ensured that Verstappen had a 15-point lead from Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez as they headed into the break.
During the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Verstappen started the race in third position behind Sergio Perez in second and Charles Leclerc in first. Verstappen was able to overcome the deficit to finish +20.823 ahead of Perez and finish in the first place and on the podium in Baku for the first time.
As the build-up to the next race hottens up Max Verstappen has been among the biggest critics of the news-print format: “I am not a fan of it at all. When we do all that kind of stuff, the weekend becomes very intense, and we already do a lot of races”.
Verstappen added he would consider leaving the sport if changes continued “I hope there won’t be too many changes, otherwise I won’t be around for too long”.
SERGIO PEREZ – 4/1
After a disappointing performance in the Australian GP where he finished in fifth place +3.320 behind his teammate and race-winner Verstappen a return to the street circuit which Perez often favours is probably a boost to his Driver’s Championship aspirations.
Perez is already 15 points behind his teammate but four of his five victories in F1 have come on street circuits, including in Saudi Arabia this year.
Perez won in Baku in 2021 and has three podium finishes at the event to his name with those coming in 2022, 2018 and 2016. There is no room for error at the weekend for Perez but he may find solace in his form on the street along with his teammate’s complaining comments during the week.
Fernando Alonso – 10/1
The oldest F1 Driver on the grind at 41 years of age. The 2005 and 2006 Drivers Championship winner is still competing at the very top of the F1 Table. Away from the track rumours have spiralled recently of Fernando Alonso dating a certain Taylor Swift but don’t let that fool you. On the track, Alonso is still a threat finishing on the podium in third place in the first three races of the season
At the event last year Alonso finished in seventh place but remarkably set a record for the longest F1 career in the pinnacle of the sport. The event in June of last year marked 21 years, 90 days, and eight days since his debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. He is still going strong one year on from that event.
Lewis Hamilton – 14/1
While not the force he once was on the F1 Track he is still a more than capable driver and on his day he will not be far from the podium. Hamilton placed fifth in his opening two races and had his best finish yet at the Australian GP coming second behind Verstappen.
In last year’s edition of the race Hamilton came in fourth place which ended his 54-race scoring streak also ended dating back to Austria in 2018.
Hamilton in the build-up has expressed the opposite opinion to Verstappen, “I do think we constantly need to be evolving and assessing what we’re doing. I quite like the Friday of a Sprint weekend so far and I’d love to have more qualifying because that’s always super fun”. Genuine comment or mind games? Who knows…
Charles Leclerc – 25/1
The fifth favourite for the weekend’s race in Baku is Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who has had a turbulent start to the season but remains one of the most talented drivers on the grid. In the Bahrain Grand Prix, he did not finish after being forced to retire from the race on lap 40 with a technical problem on his car while running in the top three.
His luck would improve slightly at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix where he finished seventh.
His most recent outing in Australia was no good either when Leclerc spun into the gravel at turn three following contact with Lance Stroll, resulting in his retirement from the race for the second of his three races this season. He retired at this event last year too..
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