Azerbaijan Grand Prix Betting Tips & Preview – Sunday 29th April 2018

The Formula 1 campaign has edged into Europe, with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix taking place this weekend. It’s just the second year of this event, and only the third ever F1 race to take place in the country (it was held as the European Grand Prix in 2016). However, there’s plenty on the line going into the fourth race of the season, with Lewis Hamilton still searching for a win.

Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas were the top two last time out, leaving the two world title contenders off the podium. Both will be aiming for a return to the top, although Hamilton has been slipping further down the final race standings each week. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel has managed to open up a nine point lead, and he should add to that as long as he can avoid the issues which hit him in China.

Top Tips

Sebastian Vettel to win @ 7/4

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is always a fascinating race and the street circuit of Baku should provide some real excitement. Hamilton was on pole 12 months ago but couldn’t cash in – can he get his title challenge back on track here this year?

RoundCountryCircuitRace Distance
4/21 Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit 306km / 51 Laps

Schedule

 DateStart TimeFinish TimeForecast ConditionsTV Coverage
Practice 1 Fri 27th April 10:00 11:30 Dry / 21° -
Practice 2 Fri 27th April 14:00 15:30 Dry / 21° -
Practice 3 Sat 28th April 11:00 12:30 Dry / 23° -
Qualifying Sat 28th April 14:00 15:00 Dry / 23° Sky F1
Race Sun 29th April 13:10 15:10 Dry / 21° Sky F1

Previous Race Results (2017)

Oddly enough, the top two in Azerbaijan last year were the top two last weekend, in the same order. Last year saw problems for both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, which left an opportunity open for Ricciardo. The way he managed to claw his way back from down the grid in order to win here is bound to have boosted his confidence ahead of a return to Baku.

PositionDriverCarGrid PositionPoints
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 10 25
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 2 18
3 Lance Stoll Williams 8 15
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 4 12
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1 10
6 Esteban Ocon Force India 7 8
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas 12 6
8 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 15 4
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren 19 2
10 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 14 1

Race News: Red Bull Hand Riccardo Deadline

Red Bull have told Chinese Grand Prix winner Ricciardo that he needs to decide his future by the summer break, as they begin casting eyes elsewhere. If the Australian was to switch teams, there would certainly be some demand at the top, with Ferrari being consistently linked. In return, Christian Horner said that Carlos Sainz would be the obvious choice for them to replace Ricciardo, although a contract renewal for their star is the top priority as things stand. However, it seems like the Aussie driver has reservations about Red Bull’s ability to challenge at the top.

Silver Arrows Talk Three-Way Race

Toto Wolff has claimed that he and Mercedes are relishing the challenge put to them by Red Bull and Ferrari, after they failed to win any of the opening three races. There’s certainly been a bit of a power shift, and now those two are each pushing the Silver Arrows. Wolff said we’re in line for one of the legendary F1 campaigns, but it remains to be seen if his side are slotting into the history books come the end of the season.

Analysis: Huge Weekend for Ferrari?

This is potentially a huge event for Ferrari, and we’ve already picked out Vettel as our tip to win in Azerbaijan. However, the rumours around the future of Ricciardo simply won’t go away. He could be a teammate and rival to Vettel next season according to reports, as Ferrari look to secure the man who just claimed victory in the Chinese Grand Prix last time out. He’d be a worthy addition to their roster, as he’s a capable challenger with a team like Ferrari behind him. Of course, the Australian will be out to impress for his current employers first, starting with the race in Azerbaijan this weekend.

We can see Ricciardo putting a few points on the board following his previous victory, especially as he returns to a track where he has already claimed a win. The debut Grand Prix in Azerbaijan saw Red Bull’s leading man take maximum points. While we don’t see him repeating that and claiming back to back victories, we do think he’ll follow up all the speculation with a podium finish. He’s 13/8 with Bet365 to make the top three, and we think that’s a good price for a driver in form with a point to prove.

However, we still think Vettel has the pace to beat anyone, and after Hamilton’s start we struggle to see anyone but the Ferrari man dominating this race. He took a hit in China which set him back, but two wins from three is a very solid start, and we are backing him to continue that with a victory this weekend.

Final Verdict

We think Vettel will show his quality and the pace of his Ferrari in a win here, which could even convince Ricciardo to join next season. We’re backing the Red Bull man to put in a strong display, so we’re tipping him to stand alongside Vettel on the podium here, with value to be found in both selections.

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