Connect with us

2018 F1

2018 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix preview



As the flyaway season ends and Formula 1 heads back to Europe for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton is still firmly the favorite. Hamilton is currently listed at 11/8 to win at many sportsbooks, and a few books are even offering “Hamilton vs The Field” and “Mercedes vs The Field” odds. That’s about what you’d expect, given Hamilton’s dominance of Formula 1 since the start of the turbo era, but before you take any action I suggest visiting these sports betting sites to find the one offering the best price.

However, those bets on Hamilton and Mercedes to dominate might not be great value. For all his talents, Hamilton has yet to win a race in 2018, and Baku is home to exactly the kind of data-free, difficult-to-model street circuit that Mercedes has struggled with since building the “diva” W08. True to form, Hamilton and Mercedes have struggled to find pace this weekend, and even Hamilton admits that the Red Bull is “quite a bit ahead” of the Mercedes in terms of development.

Driving that Red Bull is Daniel Ricciardo, who recorded the fastest practice lap this week and won the inaugural race at Baku in 2017. There’s no reason for him to be listed at long 5/1 odds, as he is now. He clearly has a strong command of this track, and won last week in China. Both the drivers ahead of him on the odds sheet (Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel) are well behind him in practice pace.

After an era so dominated by Hamilton, the Mercedes, and with the only real challenge at the top end of the grid coming from Vettel in the Ferrari, it’s time to start considering the brash Australian as a genuine World Championship contender and more than a shoey-chugging jawline. If that’s a little too far for your tastes, then just think of him as the only top driver who knows the way around Baku’s streets.

It’s important for bettors to realize that this year has already given us something we’ve not seen in F1 for a while: three different manufacturers competing for race wins and Constructor’s Championship points. It’s easy to default to the Hamilton/Mercedes hegemony that started the turbo era, or maybe include Ferrari as an outside shot contender, but that simply isn’t the paradigm of Formula 1 in 2018. With Adrian Newey back in charge of development, and not having wasted months designing around a chassis-management system that was ultimately illegal, Red Bull is definitely in the conversation, if not quite back to their championship-winning ways.

It’s really hard to see why Vettel is so high on the odds sheet, now listed at 5/2. He’s struggling pretty openly with Baku and has admitted that it’s his driving that’s falling short, not the car. He was 10th and 11th in the two practice sessions, and has yet to find a rhythm.

If you’re a fan of the car Ferrari has built for 2018, and you probably should be, Kimi Raikkonen might be worth a look at 12/1. Raikkonen was second fastest in practice, so it seems like he’s got a better understanding of the track than Vettel. There are those who think Raikkonen’s winning days are behind him, but not included in that group is Ferrari, Kimi himself, and the bulk of the Formula 1 grid. The former world champion remains one of the fastest drivers on the grid, and it’s something of a miracle that his winless streak (which dates back to 2013) has gone this long.



Latest Results

Latest F1 News

2019 F132 mins ago

I need explanations, Leclerc furious after Ferrari mistake

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto already admits that, it was an ‘error of judgement’ that saw Charles Leclerc‘s terrible knockout...

2019 F11 hour ago

Binotto admits Alfa Romeo designer could return to Ferrari

Ferrari could recall its former chief designer from Alfa Romeo. Mid last year, it emerged that Simone Resta would move...

2019 F11 hour ago

Villeneuve comments ‘irritating’ – Williams

Claire Williams has admitted comments made recently by the team’s last world champion Jacques Villeneuve were “irritating”. Under her leadership,...

2019 F12 hours ago

This one’s for Niki – Hamilton

2019 Monaco Grand Prix pole marked 85th of the Lewis Hamilton and second of the season. The Brit was rapid...

2019 F117 hours ago

Hamilton seizes final-breath Monaco GP pole

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton beats his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to pole on final lap for Monaco Grand Prix. Red...

2019 F117 hours ago

Monaco GP Qualifying Results

Ferrari youngster Charles Leclerc shock Q1 shoot-out. Out of top TEN: Hulkenberg, Norris, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Giovinazzi, Leclerc, Perez, Stroll, Russell,...

2019 F12 days ago

Lauda wanted Mercedes to keep going – Wolff

An emotional Toto Wolff said in Monaco that Niki Lauda was enjoying Mercedes’ dominance in 2019. “The last time I...

2019 F12 days ago

Binotto excuses Leclerc’s mistakes

Mattia Binotto has excused Charles Leclerc for making mistakes at the start of his career at Ferrari. While heralded by...

2019 F12 days ago

Ferrari should soon switch focus to 2020 – Webber

Mark Webber thinks Ferrari should consider writing off the 2019 world championship after the next race in Canada. So far...

2019 F12 days ago

Lauda funeral set for Wednesday

The public can attend Niki Lauda’s funeral next Wednesday. German-language reports say it will take place at the gothic St...

Most Popular is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media