There is a limited amount of course form on which to base one’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix bets because the Baku City Circuit has staged only one Formula One in its history.
The Baku City Circuit, which is a temporary street track, was the scene of the 2016 European Grand Prix, the form of which is not 100 per trustworthy. There were a stack of retirements from the second-tier races on the support card of last year’s European Grand Prix because the Baku City Circuit was not up to standard, with the track’s kerbs causing a lot of problems. Formula One officials made sufficient changes so that the European Grand Prix was relatively incident free – mechanical issues were behind each of the four failures – but one is not confident about the raw results to go to town betting using them.
Lewis Hamilton was dominant in the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago and, coupled with the fact that Mercedes was the dominant marque in the 2016 European Grand Prix, he is the driver to beat in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Hamilton made light work of his Canadian Grand Prix rivals, securing pole position by more than three-tenths of a second and cruising to a race victory by just shy of 20 seconds. Hamilton did not enjoy qualifying for last year’s European Grand Prix, clipping the barrier on the inside of turn 10 of the Baku City Circuit and breaking his front suspension. Hamilton fought from 10th place to fifth place in the 2016 European Grand Prix but no-one could get close to his Mercedes colleague, Nico Rosberg, who bossed the entire round.
With Mercedes and Ferrari favouring Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel respectively due to the closeness of the Formula One championship, betting on any individual race boils down to a choice between the Briton and the German. One thinks that the Baku City Circuit, which is the second longest on the Formula One calendar and includes a long straight on which cars exceed 370 kilometres per hour, favours Mercedes over Ferrari so Hamilton represents the Azerbaijan Grand Prix race value at odds of +100 with several bookmakers, including Betfair, Betfred and Paddy Power.
With regards to Azerbaijan Grand Prix exotics, one likes Sergio Perez to defeat his Force India teammate Esteban Ocon in Sunday’s race at odds of -222 with Bwin.
Perez was the surprise package of the 2016 European Grand Prix so, even though is not willing to go overboard about its qualifying and race results, one is not willing to ignore how well the Mexican performed 12 months ago. Perez posted the second fastest time in last year’s third and final European Grand Prix qualifying session but he copped a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change. Starting the 2016 European Grand Prix from seventh place on the Baku City Circuit grid did not kill Perez’s race, though, and he weaved his way through the pack to be the third driver to take the chequered flag behind just Rosberg and Vettel. It is fair to say that Perez loved the Baku City Circuit because he was much faster than his then Force India colleague, Nico Hulkenberg. Perez’s current Force India teammate, Ocon, is a Baku City Circuit virgin so it is advantage the Mexican who leads the Frenchman 6-1 this term.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix does not lend itself to big bets so dabble with Hamilton to win and Perez to beat Ocon and save your money for when Formula One returns to western Europe for the Austrian Grand Prix next month.
Lewis Hamilton to win the European Grand Prix
Sunday 25th June, 14:00 GMT
Perez to beat Ocon in the European Grand Prix
Sunday 25th June, 14:00 GMT