Azerbaijan Grand Prix predictions, odds & betting tips
Azerbaijan Grand Prix predictions, F1

Azerbaijan Grand Prix predictions, odds & betting tips

Date: 30/04/2023

Venue: Baku City Circuit

Max Verstappen is sitting pretty at the top of the Formula One Drivers’ standings after his dominant win in Australia made it two victories from the first three races of the 2023 season.

The Dutchman, bidding to win a third successive world championship, is blazing a trail in his supreme Red Bull car and leads team-mate Sergio Perez by 15 points so is hard to oppose in Azerbaijan Grand Prix predictions.

Verstappen arrives in Baku as the 1/2 favourite to stand atop the podium again. He won the race last season, with Perez victorious in his debut Red Bull season in 2021.

A stronger showing from Mercedes Down Under – where Lewis Hamilton finished second and George Russell briefly led before retiring due to an engine problem – means the Silver Arrows arguably come in as the stiffest competition for the championship leaders. Russell finished third in this race last season.

Hamilton was pleased to have upgraded on his fifth places at the opening rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“I did not expect to be second so I am super grateful for it,” said the Mercedes driver, who is 12/1 in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix odds.

“We have to keep pushing. We can close that gap to Red Bull. It is going to be tough, but not impossible.”

Perez is 9/2 for a second win of the season, with Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Russell priced at 16/1.

Ferrari’s miserable season continued in Melbourne. The Scuderia, who were the main challengers to Red Bull last season, are already 96 points adrift of the leading team – with Charles Leclerc’s first-lap retirement in Australia meaning he now has just six points from the first three races.

How the Australian Grand Prix finished

1 Verstappen (Red Bull), 2 Hamilton (Mercedes), 3 Alonso (Aston Martin), 4 Stroll (Aston Martin), 5 Perez (Red Bull), 6 Norris (McLaren), 7 Hulkenberg (Haas), 8 Piastri (McLaren), 9 Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), 10 Tsunoda (Alphatauri), 11 Bottas (Alfa Romeo), 12 Sainz (Ferrari), DNF Russell (Mercedes), Leclerc (Ferrari), Albon (Williams), Gasly (Alpine), Ocon (Alpine), Magnussen (Haas), De Vries (Alphatauri), Sargeant (Williams)

The unusual four-week gap between Australia and Azerbaijan will give some teams a chance to re-evaluate their position and Ferrari are among the teams bringing significant upgrades to Baku in a bid to get their season back on track but Leclerc is 14/1 for victory.

McLaren have also been planning a big upgrade for the street circuit race, boosted by a double points finish in Melbourne, and both Ferrari and McLaren to achieve a double points finish is an interesting option for this race.

There will be another element to the battle in Baku with the first sprint of the season to determine Sunday’s grid.

It will be the first time a sprint has been held on the streets of Baku – a decision which has caused dismay among the Red Bull camp.

Team principal Christian Horner said: “The reality is it’s absolutely ludicrous to be doing the first sprint race of the year in a street race like Azerbaijan.

“I think from a spectacle point of view, from a fan point of view, it’s probably going to be one of the most exciting sprint races of the year. From a cost cap perspective, all you can do is trash your car and it costs a lot of money around there.”

Verstappen went further, threatening to quit the sport if the sport’s bosses press ahead with plans to expand the number of sprint events – which have been increased to six this year.

“I hope there won’t be too many changes, otherwise I won’t be around for too long,” Verstappen said.

The Dutchman won two of the three sprints last season – with Russell winning the other – and is clearly the favourite to win again.

Aston Martin struggled to replicate their pace of the first two rounds in Australia but will hope to be battling at the front again, with the hugely-experienced Fernando Alonso a smart pick to cash in if the sprint causes the chaos Horner fears.

Alonso is 10/1 to win the race and could be the value pick for Azerbaijan Grand Prix predictions, while team-mate Lance Stroll is an even bigger price at 66/1.

Past Azerbaijan GP winners

2022 Verstappen (Red Bull), Perez (Red Bull), Russell (Mercedes)
2021 Perez (Red Bull), Vettel (Aston Martin), Gasly (Alphatauri)
2020 Not held
2019 Bottas (Mercedes), Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari)
2018 Hamilton (Mercedes), Raikkonen (Ferrari), Perez (Force India)

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