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F1 Race Preview: Azerbaijan Grand Prix

F1 Race Preview: Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Red Bull have once again secured a 1-2 and Max Verstappen won his first Australian GP. Can anyone stop Red Bull? Will Charles Leclerc finish the race?

Read on to inform your predictions ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with expert insight from Pinnacle.

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2023 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

When: 30 April, 2023

Where: Baku City Circuit, Azerbaijan

Laps: 51

Distance: 306.049 km

The new F1 Sprint format debuted back in 2021 as a new and exciting way to set the grid for Sunday’s race. However, the new rules this year have turned the Sprint into a standalone race that has no bearing on Sunday’s Grand Prix at all.

The Sprint is still a 100km dash raced on Saturday, and points awarded will remain the same – eight for the winner, seven for second, and so on down the line. On Sunday, the actual Grand Prix consists of 51 punishing laps with tight corners relieved only by a long main straight.

We learned – or rather, we continued to see that Max Verstappen looks near unbeatable.

Besides racing legend Sir Lewis Hamilton and this season’s biggest surprise Fernando Alonso nipping at the Dutchman’s heels, Verstappen led the remainder of the field by more than three seconds.

Verstappen even led Hamilton by 10 seconds at one stage. It was only an uncharacteristic slip up and some late red flags that reduced the distance in the end.

Aston Martin continue to impress with Alonso notching his third podium finish, but they’re still almost 60 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship.

Ferrari are still a disaster, and Charles Leclerc’s race ended in the opening minutes following contact with Lance Stroll at Turn 3.

Can anyone stop Red Bull?

After three rounds, the story this season is all about the sheer dominance of Red Bull - three pole positions, three GP victories, and they’ve even gone 1-2 on the podium twice now.

Ferrari were once thought of as chief competition, but they have struggled to get a consistent vehicle on the tracks, and their best driver has only finished a single race.

Aston Martin, however, are set to upgrade the AMR23 car, which will include a new rear wing. Even a small improvement in performance could see Fernando Alonso become a serious challenger to step up onto the highest step of the podium.

Azerbaijan: Who will win?

Predictably, Pinnacle’s great odds point to another Max Verstappen victory with the championship leader priced at 1.469*.

However, the Field is good value at 2.560*, considering the consistency of Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez. They’ve been close to Verstappen every step of the way.

Backing Sergio Pérez at 5.500* would not be a throwaway bet either. Baku has a notorious reputation – as do street tracks in general – for having very few overtaking opportunities.

Verstappen has not fared well there either - both he and Daniel Ricciardo wiped each other out in Red Bull cars back in 2018, and Verstappen suffered a tire blowout in 2021 – Baku is far from the champ’s favourite track.

It’s tough to even consider another driver topping the podium, and recent form says Verstappen should win. However, backing the Field against Verstappen could be a smart move. Considering the unpredictability of Baku, anyone might topple the championship leader.

Are you ready for the drama and extreme speed of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix? Sign up to Pinnacle and enhance your experience with Pinnacle's fantastic F1 odds for each race.

*Odds subject to change


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