- Max Verstappen tops the odds to win this weekend’s 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
- Verstappen holds a narrow lead over Charles Leclerc and teammate Sergio Perez in the F1 Drivers Standings
- Read on for all the Azerbaijan Grand Prix odds and trends ahead of Sunday morning’s running at Baku City Circuit
After enduring a brutal disappointment two weeks ago in his home race in Monaco, Charles Leclerc looks to rebound on a track where he has enjoyed past success. This Sunday, Leclerc returns to action at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as an attractive +205 second-favorite.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday’s running of the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix at 7:00am ET at Baku City Circuit.
Odds to Win 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
|Driver||Odds to Win||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Six||Odds to Finish Top 10|
Odds taken at DraftKings Sportsbook on June 8, 2022.
Leclerc has struggled since storming to victory in two of the first two races of the season. The 24-year-old Monte Carlo native appeared poised for his third win of the campaign in Monaco, but was forced to settle for fourth place due to misguided team orders.
Now lagging nine points back of Max Verstappen in the F1 Drivers Standings, Leclerc also trails the defending F1 champion in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix odds, where he leads the way as a strong -105 favorite. Verstappen is coming off a third-place performance in Monaco, ending a three-race win streak.
The 24-year-old could face additional unexpected competition from his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who is coming off his first victory of the year in Monaco, and returns to Azerbaijan as defending champion. “Checo’s’ steady performance has lifted him to a strong +550 bet to tally back-to-back wins for the first time in his F1 career.
Snakebitten Leclerc Looking for Change in Fortunes
If it weren’t for bad luck, Charles Leclerc would have no luck at all lately. The 24-year-old Ferrari driver opened the season with a breakthrough performance, with his wins in Bahrain and Australia lifting him to the top of the standings. Leclerc has been a force in qualifying so far this season, claiming the pole position in five of seven races to date. And considering his past success in Baku, where he started on the pole last year and set a lap record in 2019 that still stands today, expecting him to hit the track for this weekend’s race as the betting favorite was far from a stretch.
Only 1️⃣5️⃣ points separate our top 3 in the championship….
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 9, 2022
However, Leclerc has been beset by bad luck and bad decisions over the past four races. A spinout in Imola doomed him to sixth place, and technical problems ended his day early in Barcelona last month. However, it was misguided team orders to pit early that ultimately cost Leclerc the win in Monte Carlo, prompting an emotional response from the long-time Ferrari driver.
Sainz made a better strategy call than the Ferrari strategists while driving around a wet Monaco track. Sainz is starting to fill Seb’s many roles in the team nicely.#MonacoGP 🇮🇩 #F1 #wtf1 pic.twitter.com/c9WXDYfhLm
— Valtteri Bowties 🎀 (@tireswithani) May 29, 2022
Considering Carlos Sainz Jr. came up just short of the lead after challenging team orders and forgoing an early pit stop in Monte Carlo, it is safe to say that the issue has been addressed by the Italian automaker. And considering Ferrari is reportedly planning to make engine upgrades prior to Sunday’s race in Baku, where they were likely to struggle to keep pace with Red Bull, it is tough to overlook the value that Leclerc offers to win the race, and Sainz offers as a +115 bet to reach the podium.
Red Bull Rivalry Brewing?
Unhappy with team orders that forced him to hand the lead to Verstappen in Spain, Sergio Perez responded with a spectacular performance in Monte Carlo. However, for Checo to duplicate that success this time around, he will likely need his teammate’s historical struggles in Baku to continue.
Sergio Perez getting emotional listening to the Mexican national anthem in Monaco 🥺🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/7Tjhipwg8U
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) May 29, 2022
Verstappen’s tire failure in last year’s edition of this race opened the door for Perez to take home the checkered flag, and marked the third time four appearances that the champion has failed to finish in Baku. Despite that caveat, Perez remains a solid -140 value bet to once again reach the podium.
Max Verstappen is still searching for a podium finish in Baku…🇦🇿
Can he change that this weekend? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/aMwD6SH4WJ
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) June 7, 2022
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Recent Winners
|Year||Driver||Margin of Victory||Pole Position||Fastest Lap|
|2021||Sergio Perez – Red Bull Racing||1.385 sec||Charles Leclerc – Ferrari||Max Verstappen – Red Bull Racing|
|2020||Race Cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|2019||Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes||1.524 sec||Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes||Charles Leclerc – Ferrari|
|2018||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||2.460 sec||Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari||Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes|
|2017||Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull Racing||3.904 sec||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari|
Mercedes Likely Facing Another Long Day
The prospects are not so rosy for the Mercedes team of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. The duo have yet to earn a win this year. And with Baku City Circuit featuring two lengthy straights measuring a combined 3.1 kilometers in length, the Silver Arrows are likely to see their struggles to keep pace with Red Bull and Ferrari to continue.
George Russell finishes top 5 for the 7th consecutive race:
He’s also the only driver to score points in every race this season 👏 pic.twitter.com/OLQXEtDMJp
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) May 29, 2022
But with Russell emerging as the only driver to finish top five in each of the seven races to date, the talented Englishman is a solid -330 bet to finish top six, but offers little value as a +300 wager to reach the podium for the third time this season.
The Picks: Charles Leclerc win (+205); Carlos Sainz Jr. podium finish (+115)