Venue: Circuit Paul Ricard
Max Verstappen had to be marked down as an unlucky loser in Azerbaijan but is tipped to gain quick compensation in our French Grand Prix predictions.
The flying Dutchman was on course to follow up his Monaco success with another win in Baku until a tyre failure robbed him of victory with five laps remaining.
That crash allowed team-mate Sergio Perez to take over the lead and pick up his maiden triumph for Red Bull.
The 23-year-old said: “To retire from the lead of the race so close to the finish is pretty frustrating.
“I didn’t feel anything strange with the car and then suddenly the left rear went and I was in the wall quite hard.
“It’s not a nice place to crash and we don’t know the exact cause yet, I’m sure it will be fully investigated.
“Up until that point, it was a great day, the car felt perfect and I was comfortable in the lead, so it felt like it would be an easy 1-2.”
Perez has been making steady progress during his debut season for Red Bull and can be backed at 8/1 to double up at Circuit Paul Ricard.
The Mexican admitted: “I feel very sorry for Max because he deserved the win and a 1-2 for the team would have been very enjoyable.”
He added: “We are working flat out and giving our best every week, it’s only race six and there’s more to come from me.”
How the Azerbaijan Grand Prix finished
1 Perez (Red Bull), 2 Vettel (Aston Martin), 3 Gasly (Alphatauri), 4 Leclerc (Ferrari), 5 Norris (McLaren), 6 Alonso (Alpine Renault), 7 Tsunoda (Alphatauri), 8 Sainz (Ferrari), 9 Ricciardo (McLaren), 10 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 11 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 12 Bottas (Mercedes), 13 Schumacher (Haas), 14 Mazepin (Haas), 15 Hamilton (Mercedes), 16 Latifi (Williams), DNF Russell (Williams), Verstappen (Red Bull), Stroll (Aston Martin), Ocon (Alpine Renault)
Lewis Hamilton battled hard to be in contention for a podium finish in Baku until a restart error put him back down the field.
The previously all-conquering team do have some serious questions to answer, though, with Valtteri Bottas also out of the points in Azerbaijan and 12/1 to bounce back.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “There are a lot of things that are not running as smoothly as they have done in the past few years.
“Operationally, we are not at our A-game and we haven’t found the sweet spot of the car through qualifying and the race.
“There’s just so much that we need to improve in order to make sure that we are actually able to compete for this championship.
“You cannot continue losing points, like we’ve done in Monaco and here. It is just not acceptable for all of us.
“Everybody has to pick themselves up and I will do this and then we just need to get in motion to rectify the gaps that we have.”
Charles Leclerc has claimed pole position for Ferrari at each of the last two races, without being able to capitalise, but he may feature as a 28/1 lively longshot in some French Grand Prix betting tips.
Past French Grand Prix winners
2019 Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas, Leclerc
2018 Hamilton (Mercedes), Verstappen, Raikkonen
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