If the F1 Azerbaijan odds are accurate, we will be crowning another new champion for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Baku City Circuit has not had a repeat champion since it was first raced in 2016 (as part of the European Grand Prix). Sergio Perez won last year’s race and enters this one coming off a win in Monaco; however, the Formula 1 betting odds favor his teammate Max Verstappen with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc not too far behind.
2022 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Information
- Race: Azerbaijan Grand Prix
- Location: Baku City Circuit
- Day/Time: Sunday, 9:00 a.m. ET
- Television: ABC
Red Bull Could Have a Driver Controversy
Despite crashing out of the race last year, Max Verstappen is still favored to win the Baku City Circuit. Verstappen has won four of the seven races of the year thus far and is the favorite to win his second consecutive Formula One World Championship thanks to problems from Ferrari’s end. His biggest rival in Baku could be his own teammate, Sergio Perez.
Perez won last year’s race in a similar fashion to how he won Monaco this year, by being the benefactor of some unfortunate occurrences to those ahead of him. Verstappen crashed last year and Ferrari made a foolish mistake in Monaco thus leaving the door open for Red Bull’s second driver to finish on top.
Baku’s track has one of the more difficult turns, which champions such as Nico Rosberg has lamented. Any mistake on Verstappen or the race leader’s part could be over for them. Perez has generally been more on the “safer” side. Even at a distant +550 on the F1 Azerbaijan odds, he is worth a dart throw.
Leclerc and Ferrari Remain Snake Bitten
Charles Leclerc has what it takes to become the Formula One Champion, however, his last few races have ended in some form of travesty. If not for his vehicle in Spain or his team’s folly in Monaco, Leclerc could still be on top. But he did not even finish on the podium in his home country making it consecutive races he did not make the top-3.
“The first pit stop was the mistake that made us lose the lead and then the second one also, it was like this,” Leclerc explained when asked about ill-advised calls for him (and Carlos Sainz) to pit. “We will work from there and get better. For Ferrari to get back on top, its team will need to properly strategize, especially in a course like Baku.”
Leclerc should still enter Baku as the lead driver on the track. He has won pole position in five of the seven Grand Prix’ this year and at even odds, there may not be a better bet. The Monegasque driver has yet to win at Baku City but he has finished in the top-6 in all three of his attempts even when he was still with Sauber. Winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is a fantastic way to kick the monkeys off his and Ferrari’s backs.
The Baku City Burner
The Baku City Circuit is one of the more intriguing race courses in the F1 calendar. It is the third-longest circuit on the calendar with a 3.730 mile-per-lap length with 20 turns. The most notorious feature of the track is where Rosberg, a former F1 Champion, has admitted was a tough task for him.
“This is one of the highest speeds of the year, 217mph or something crazy like that,” Rosberg said in a video analysis he did of the track, which he won in its inaugural year in 2016. “Imagine something breaks on the car here. You’re at 217 mph four meters on the left there is just a wall and it’s facing you, so if something breaks here, it’s the end. This is one of the scariest places I’ve ever driven an F1 car.”
Rosberg is referring to part of the track, which allows drivers to hit incredibly high speeds in a narrow portion of the Baku City Circuit. Lance Stroll’s and Verstappen’s rear tires blew out thus prompting them to crash at different laps. Pirelli, the tire manufacturer both used, pointed out the “running condition of the tire.”
Either teams adjust to this aspect or God forbid, more crashes could occur as the F1 Azerbaijan odds are at 16-1 for every driver to finish the Grand Prix.Follow us on Twitter