The Force is with India in Azerbaijan

Lewis Hamilton was a facile winner of the Canadian Grand Prix and is consequently rated an even-money poke for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku. There’s no doubting Hamilton was impressive in Montreal and, notably, he set the fastest lap of the race while in a commanding lead on tyres which were over 30 laps old.

But with principle rival, Sebastian Vettel, forced into taking an early pit-stop (dropping him to 18th and leading him to take two stops during the race) following a first corner incident which destroyed his front wing, there is no real way of truly assessing the merit of Hamilton’s Canadian victory.

So we declare Hamilton is too short in the betting for another race victory this week. The unique Azerbaijan layout, which is a street circuit featuring a 2.2km straight where cars will reach a top-speed in excess of 360km-per-hour, was not to Hamilton’s liking last year and he finished fifth in the race (almost a minute behind) after qualifying tenth.

Sunday 25th June - 2.00pm OddsWon/LostBet
Azerbaijan Grand Prix    
Tips Sergio Perez to finish on the podium    Best Bet @ 10 / 1  
Esteban Ocon to finish in the top-six @ 10 / 11  
Both Ferrari cars NOT to finish @ 7 / 2  

Of course the cars were slower then and new regulations has seen both Ferrari and Force India improve in 2017. However, as Sergio Perez’ Force India was exceptional here last year, we are selecting it, above others, as the focus of this weekend’s bets.

Perez qualified second here last season but he started seventh due to a grid penalty. However, he still passed four rivals to finish the race in third. Fifth in Canada a fortnight ago and fourth in Spain in mid-May, the Baku circuit is likely to bring even better out his car and that could see him visit the podium (10/1 with Sky Bet). It’s certainly worth a punt at a massive price.

Ocon Again

Meanwhile his team-mate, Esteban Ocon, drove a stormer to finish sixth in Canada. Given some better decision making by his pit-wall he could have arguably finished on the podium.

The 20-year-old French driver has completed all of his 16 Formula 1 starts and has claimed six ‘points finishes’ from the seven completed races in 2017. We really like the 10/11 (William Hill) that’s available about him finishing in the top-6 for the third time in four starts.

Ferrari Down At 7/2

A Safety Car appearances here is rated 1/4 (no value there) as this is a very tricky switch-back layout with narrow sections and a 90 degree left-handed opening bend. That also accounts for under 15.5 finishers rating an odds-on chance.

Therein, some speculative interest in one or both of the Ferrari’s not completing the race at 7/2 looks very attractive (Bet 365). Raikkonen’s Ferrari has failed to finish four times in each of the last two full seasons and he has endured just one DNF in 2017 so far. Vettel has a better finishing rate but he showed in Canada that he is prepared to take potentially race ending risks.

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Odds

Posted: Wednesday, 21st June 2017
Author: Roy Brindley

Archive - Previous 5 Motor-racing Articles

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