Formula 1 Socar Azerbaijan Grand Prix Race Preview and Best Bet

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Formula 1 Socar Azerbaijan Grand Prix Race Preview and Best Bet
Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas drives during the qualifying session. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)

Max Verstappen sits top of the world championship after his race victory last time out on the streets of Monaco. We now head to Baku which has favoured Mercedes in recent years and to say its been unkind to Verstappen would be a slight understatement.

Formula 1 Azerbaijan GP

Sunday, June 6th, 2021 – 8:00 AM EST at Baku City Circuit

Race Preview

We went 1-1 last time out in the Monaco GP as Sebastian Vettel cashed at +100 on the best betting sites, but we lost out classified drivers bet to ultimately break evens, which wasn’t bad considering the way the race went overall.

Disaster struck from the get-go for pole sitter Charles Leclerc as he has to pull out of the race with “car damage”. If you missed qualifying, what happened was Leclerc has taken pole position but ultimately crashed, which meant a red flag and end of qualifying. Although there were slight jabs saying he crashed on purpose to secure pole, sportsbooks would suggest crashing on purpose isn’t ideal for anyone, including the mechanics. It proved to be so as they weren’t able to fix the car for the race.

Winner Red Bull’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates . (Photo by GONZALO FUENTES / POOL / AFP)

Overall Max Verstappen took the race victory, with a surprise second and third as Carlos Sainz managed to put his Ferrari on the podium for the first time this season. Lando Norris secured his second podium of the season and his fourth top five finish in just five races, he is really starting to turn heads with these performances.

Where are the Mercedes you ask? Well let’s start with Bottas, he went in for a tire change and ultimately had to pull out of the race with a wheel nut, he never even made it out of the pit stop. Lewis Hamilton started in seventh and finished seventh, it wasn’t a good race for Hamilton, and we did say in our Monaco preview that his record on that track is below par.

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Unbelievably this leaves Max Verstappen top of the world championship standing for the first time in his career. I’m almost sure 80% of people would have said he has lead the championship at least once in his F1 career beforehand. There are now just four points separating Verstappen and Hamilton, who will have the edge in Baku? Verstappen’s best finish on the streets of Baku was fourth in 2019, he failed to finish the race in both 2018 and 2017. Hamilton’s luck here hasn’t been the best either as he crashed in Q3 in 2016 and was involved in a crash in 2017, although his last two races here have seen him finish on the podium with one race win to his name.

Circuit Info and Characteristics

Baku is the fastest street circuit on the F1 calendar, based in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan. The track has a very long straight at a length of 1.36 miles long. The fastest ever lap record here was set by Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari at 1.43.009 seconds. It’s one of the most interesting tracks the F1 drivers will race on because the teams have to perfect the balance of the car, they need to be fast to get around the many tight corners, but also have a lot of top speed down the long straight.

Formula 1 tires in the paddock at the Baku City Circuit,. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)

The drivers struggle to keep their brakes and tires up to temperature whilst driving down the long straight, which has resulted in many breaks locking up from drivers in recent years. Take into consideration for your betting odds, that mechanically it’s a very hard track to get the car right for and the ultimate test for race engineers and also driver feedback. This means that car set-up involves a compromise between having good top speed and enough aero downforce to tackle the slow 90 degree turns.

Previous Monaco Race Winners

  • 2019-Valterri Bottas (Mercedes)
  • 2018-Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  • 2017-Daniel Riccardo (Red Bull)
  • 2016-Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

Favorite Prop Pick

With both Hamilton and Verstappen set to be in their own personal battle, and we do feel neither will take a big enough lead to afford to pit late in the race to try and achieve the fastest lap of the race. For this reason, we advise 0.5 a unit on Perez and Bottas to set the fastest laps of the race, as they could potentially be used to try and snatch it off either Hamilton or Verstappen. Of course, this might not work out the way we would like so to stick to 0.5 unit stake max. All the top sportsbooks would need is one of the two drivers to set the fastest lap to be up money.

Mercedes’ Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas drives during the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)

Free Formula1 Pick:

Perez Fastest Lap at +500 on best online sportsbooks.

Bottas Fastest Lap at +400 with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Bottas Fastest Lap(+400)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.

Official Best Bet

Mercedes have been strong on sport betting sites in recent years and they are expected to be strong again on Sunday, even Verstappen has come out and said he isn’t expecting to win on Sunday, of course, he will try but he knows the Mercedes should have a slight advantage.

Of course, if you think Mercedes win then you could take Hamilton at +120 to win the race but we do like the value on either Mercedes to win the race at -120, Bottas won this very race last time we raced here, and he does seem to be quick in Baku, with a 1st and 2nd place finish to his name, his 14th place finish really wasn’t his fault as he suffered a puncture.

Free Formula 1 Pick: Team of Winning Driver Mercedes at -120 with the best online sportsbooks