After a lengthy break, Formula 1 action resumes this weekend. For the first time this season, Europe takes centre stage, as the Azerbaijan Grand Prix takes place on the streets of Baku. The big question coming into the weekend will be whether any team has been able to close the gap on the dominant Red Bull since the Australian Grand Prix at the start of April.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Odds
There are no prizes for guessing the favourite outright winner at BetXchange, as Max Verstappen is the clear 7/20 market leader after landing victories in two of the three opening races. Sergio Perez has become somewhat of a street specialist over recent seasons, and he is second favourite at 4/10.
A resurgent Fernando Alonso is currently available at 10/1, while Lewis Hamilton will be looking to build on his second in Australia at 12/1. Charles Leclerc is a 28/1 chance, with George Russell and Carlos Sainz available at 33/1 and 40/1, respectively.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix will take place on the Baku City Circuit, which has housed the race since 2017. The circuit is 6.003km in length, and 51 laps will be completed to make up the 306.049km race distance.
There are two DRS Detection zones available for overtaking, with the first located between the first two corners, and the second coming down the home straight. In total, drivers will have 20 corners to navigate across the three sectors.
Interestingly, there have been no repeat winners in the history of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. In five editions of the race, there have been five separate winners. The most recent of those was Max Verstappen, who claimed a second straight win in the race for Red Bull following Sergio Perez’s success in 2021. Red Bull is also the most successful team in the race, having also landed success in 2017 with Daniel Ricciardo. Lewis Hamilton landed the win in 2018, while former teammate Valtteri Bottas claimed success in 2019.
It promises to be an exciting weekend of racing in Azerbaijan, with the track also hosting the first of the new-look Sprint Weekends. Qualifying for the Grand Prix takes place on Friday, with Sprint Qualifying taking place in the morning session on Saturday, before the Sprint Race is staged on Saturday afternoon.
All teams will be looking to cut into the Red Bull advantage, as the reigning Constructors’ champions have won all three races this season. Verstappen landed a second win of the season in Australia last time out, which was marred with controversy, as it was the first race to see three red flags brandished. However, the Dutchman won maximum points under the red flag.
Lewis Hamilton appeared more competitive Down Under, as he was able to capture the team’s first podium finish of the season. However, there were more issues for Ferrari, as Charles Leclerc failed to finish a race for the second time in three starts. Carlos Sainz also finished outside of the points after a penalty. Aston Martin once again looked very competitive, with Fernando Alonso claiming third-spot on the podium for the third straight race.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Prediction
The Red Bull advantage over the opening two races of the season has been incredible, and it looks hard to overlook that dominance being maintained this weekend. But, we will be taking a value-angle with our selection, as we could see street specialist Sergio Perez becoming the first two-time winner of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. We could also see Alonso once against finishing on the podium.