We are three races down in the 2019 Formula One Grand Prix 2019 season. Last Sunday, we saw Lewis Hamilton lead another 1-2 finish by Mercedes in Shanghai. The next stop is in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was held for the first time in 2017 at the Baku City circuit, a street city circuit in the capital city of Azerbaijan. The race that was held in the same circuit in 2016 was called the European Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo won in 2017 while Lewis Hamilton took the race last year.
This year’s race will be held from April 26-28, 2019. Here is the race schedule for the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix:
|Friday, April 26||Practice 1||13:00-14:30|
|Friday, April 26||Practice 2||17:00-18:30|
|Saturday, April 27||Practice 3||14:00-15:00|
|Saturday, April 27||Qualifying||17:00-18:00|
|Sunday April 28||F1 Race||Startgrid 16:10 (51 laps or 120 minutes)|
Now here are the current odds to win the 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Odds taken from bet365 as of 4/15/19:
On the heels of his second consecutive Grand Prix win in Shanghai this past week, Lewis Hamilton is once again the man to beat in Azerbaijan. The Briton showed his brilliance once again, making a swift getaway from teammate Valtteri Bottas who suffered a wheelspin on his start-line paint. It was the only move that mattered in the race as Hamilton took the lead up the inside in turn one and never relinquished it until the flag.
The win was also Hamilton’s 75th in 232 starts and for Mercedes, it was their third consecutive 1-2 finish in three races so far this season. This dominance has never been seen since the all-conquering Williams team of 1992. Hamilton now leads Bottas by six points in the Drivers’ standings but the defending champion is now 31 points ahead of chief rival and Ferrari lead driver Sebastian Vettel.
Below is the latest Drivers Standings, with points from the 2019 Shanghai Grand Prix included:
|1||Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)||68|
|2||Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)||62|
|3||Max Verstappen (Red Bull)||39|
|4||Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)||37|
|5||Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)||36|
|6||Pierre Gasly (Red Bull)||13|
|7||Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)||12|
|8||Lando Norris (McLaren)||8|
|9||Kevin Magnussen (Haas)||8|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)||6|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)||6|
|12||Sergio Perez (Racing Point)||5|
|13||Alex Albon (Toro Rosso)||3|
|14||Lance Stroll (Racing Point)||2|
|15||Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)||1|
|16||Antonio Giovanazzi (Alfa Romeo)||0|
|17||Romain Grosjean (Haas)||0|
|18||Carlos Sainz Jnr (McLaren)||0|
|19||George Russell (Williams)||0|
|20||Robert Kubica (Williams)||0|
After finishing 5th in the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix despite taking pole position, Lewis Hamilton had the second fastest time in qualification behind Sebastian Vettel at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Hamilton won the race with the help of good fortune.
Hamilton took the lead with two laps to go after teammate Valtteri Bottas blew his tire from a debris and ended his charge. Ferrari’s Vettel’s overambitious lunge reduced him to fourth place while the two Red Bull cars surprisingly collided. All those plus his uncanny race smarts gave Hamilton his “luckiest” win. But given his dominance in the second half of the 2018 season and Mercedes’ dominant start to 2019, luck will be the last reason why Hamilton is favorite in this race.
If you take Lewis Hamilton out of the equation, Valtteri Bottas is having a great start to the season. He won the first race of the year at the Australian Grand Prix while also recording the fastest lap and point. In the second race of the season in Bahrain, he finished second to Hamilton and in China last week, he took the pole and finished second to Hamilton again. Imagine where Bottas would be without Hamilton. At +300, Bottas has good value but for so long as Hamilton is in the race, he’s probably just as good as second place.
Sebastian Vettel is pegged at the same price as Hamilton but really, Ferrari struggles are compounding. In China, the team gave orders for Charles Leclerc to let Vettel pass and give the German the opportunity to chase Hamilton but that didn’t work as Vettel came in third, 13 seconds behind Hamilton while Leclerc came in fifth.
Vettel has finished in 4th place the last two races in Azerbaijan despite taking the fastest lap in 2017 and the pole position in 2018. The German is pegged at +300 along with teammate Charles Leclerc but right now, there are more questions than answers surrounding team Ferrari.
We haven’t seen the kind of dominance that the Silver Arrows have displayed right now since Williams did it in 1992. Hamilton has won the last two races and it’s not just that he’s winning now. Remember how he dominated the second half of last year’s season so this has been going on for some time now. Save for losing to Bottas in Australia, Hamilton has been brilliant to start 2019. As we said in our guide to F1 betting, the favorites are almost always the ones who win the race. No question Hamilton is the man to beat and the clear favorite here. And no question too, I’d take him over Vettel at the same price.
This isn’t the time to panic yet for Scuderia Ferrari who think they still have the best car in the competition. But unless they unlock its power and they can learn how to manage it, Mercedes is just going to run away with the races this year. Leclerc was obviously disappointed with Ferrari’s decision to let Vettel pass him in the 11th lap in Shanghai and it’s these instances that add to Ferrari’s woes. Unless something big happens, I don’t expect the results to be any different. Hamilton wins, Bottas or Vettel finishes second while Leclerc will be shaking his head again. Prediction: Lewis Hamilton