Formula 1 Odds, Picks & Predictions for Baku: 3 Best Bets for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images. Pictured: Formula 1 driver George Russell
A week after being given team orders, Sergio Perez took advantage of a mistake from Charles Leclerc’s pit team to claim the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix.
That moved Perez, who arrives in Azerbaijan as the defending champion, into third place for the driver’s world championship only 15 points behind his teammate Max Verstappen.
As for our Monaco bets, it was another 2-1 output. The Leclerc error rendered our Ferrari double-podium bet a loser.
However, Esteban Ocon came through in his matchup over Kevin Magnussen while Valtteri Bottas recorded yet another points finish to cash that ticket for us.
Those results move our record this season to 12-9 (+3.65 units) as we turn our attention to this week’s grand prix in Baku.
Formula 1 Betting Picks for Baku
*Odds as of Thursday night
Lewis Hamilton Top-6 Finish & George Russell Top-6 Finish (+110 at FanDuel)
The Silver Arrows were never going to be in contention at Monaco, but the Baku street circuit should suit them much more.
Unquestionably, the two best races for Mercedes this year came in the opener at Bahrain and down under in Melbourne, two tracks that somewhat correlate to Baku. At the former, Hamilton recorded a P3 finish with Russell grabbing P4 with the duo flipping spots at the latter.
To date this season, Russell has established himself as a remarkably consistent driver. He’s yet to finish worse than P5 through seven races and owns two podium finishes.
He’s also qualified more reliably of late — in its last five qualifying sessions, Russell has finished P6 or better in three, including at Albert Park.
That would (presumably) leave the onus on Hamilton to cash this ticket. Although he’s proven somewhat unreliable this season as a whole, recent results leave me encouraged — the Brit has finished inside the top six in two of his last three races.
Further, he’s qualified P6 or better in two of the last three races and, despite a P15 finish in Baku last season, has a decent overall record. Although it’s an entirely different car this year, Hamilton has qualified P2 or better in four straight appearances in Azerbaijan.
Add in the fact you’re getting this market in plus-money – I’d have it priced closer to a pick’em – and I believe there’s value to be had with this prop.
Sebastian Vettel (-115 at BetMGM) over Daniel Ricciardo
Save for a P6 finish at his home grand prix in Australia, Ricciardo has been an absolute mess this year.
Since that finish – the only occasion in which he’s finished a race inside the points this year – he’s proceeded to post zero finishes better than P12 and three finishes of P13 or worse.
Plus, although Ricciardo is a former winner in Baku with Red Bull (2017), the results haven’t been kind of late. He’s recorded two DNF’s across his last three starts in Azerbaijan with a solitary points finish (P9) to round out the trio of performances.
As for his head-to-head opponent Vettel, the lead Aston Martin driver has been trending upward of late. In his last four races, the four-time world champion has gone P10-P11-DNF-P8.
Additionally, he has bested Ricciardo’s result in three of the last four races.
And unlike Ricciardo, Vettel actually has done well to earn results in Azerbaijan. Last season, he posted a P2 finish with Aston Martin on the heels of three consecutive finishes of P4 or better while with Ferrari.
Additionally, just in last season’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel recorded the fourth-fastest lap after a disappointing P11 qualifying output.
For all those reasons, I’d rate Vettel closer to -125 in a matchup with Ricciardo and am happy to bet him at a pick‘em price.
Mick Schumacher (+100 at BetMGM) over Lance Stroll
Stroll should be a -140 favorite against absolutely nobody, so I believe there’s decent value with Schumacher in the Haas.
Although Stroll has recorded two P12 finishes at Bahrain and Australia, both have proven incredibly lucky. In Bahrain, Stroll began the race in P19 post-qualifying.
At Albert Park, he failed to even qualify after crashing into the wall during a hot lap.
Plus, in his most recent start at Baku with Aston Martin, Stroll recorded a DNF on the heels of retiring during qualifying.
On the flipside, Schumacher has posted some decent results on correlated tracks. He bested Stroll in Bahrain by posting a P11 finish before finishing a spot behind the Canadian in Australia.
However, Schumacher has out-qualified the secondary Aston Martin on both occasions and recorded faster laps at both circuits.
The latter fact should give Schumacher an advantage on the lengthy main straight in Baku and (hopefully) allow him to keep a lead over Stroll in the tight corners.
Add in that Schumacher posted his best finish of the season last season at this exact track (P13) and I believe you could see him come through at a nice underdog price.