Azerbaijan Grand Prix: 2018 Odds
Three races in to the new Formula One season and we’re still waiting for defending champion Lewis Hamilton to deliver a victory. While the Englishman lags behind the in the Drivers’ Standings, Team Mercedes are also yet to get off the mark but will it all change this weekend as we head to Azerbaijan for the fourth Grand Prix of 2018?
Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull won in China last time out while two early victories for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel put the German at the top of the Drivers’ Championship with a nine point lead over Hamilton who, despite not taking the chequered flag, has finished no worse than fourth so far this season.
Ahead of The Pack
Hamilton remains favourite to win in Azerbaijan this weekend and the best odds on Mercedes’ number one driver currently stand at 5/4 with Ladbrokes and SportingBet. Vettel’s early season form sees him firmly set as second favourite at a top price of 5/2 with William Hill and then we move out to our most recent winner, Ricciardo, at a best of 9/1 with Sun Bets.
Moving through the field, Valtteri Bottas can be claimed at best odds of 10/1 with William Hill while Max Verstappen is available at that same top price of 10/1 with 188Bet. As we know, neither man has won so far this season but Bottas has recorded two consecutive second placed finishes after a disappointing eighth in Australia.
Much is expected of Verstappen but the young Dutchman continues to court controversy with his driving and going into Azerbaijan, the Red Bull man is down in eighth place in the Drivers’ Championship.
Behind Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen is quoted at 16/1 with Sky Bet and Coral to win in Azerbaijan and then we move into three figures. Carlos Sainz heads the list of drivers who are given little chance this weekend with his odds of 300/1 with 888Sport and then we continue to move down until we reach the rank outsiders, Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson at 3000/1 with Betway.
By all means take a closer look at their credentials but it’s been some time since we’ve seen a major shock in Formula One so we’ll head straight on and look at some more betting options for Azerbaijan and beyond.
He may be without a win after three races but a fourth place and two podium finishes mean that Lewis Hamilton remains favourite in the outright Drivers’ Championship with most bookmakers but this market has finally seen a significant move.
While some outlets have Hamilton as odds on, in some places there are joint favourites now with Sebastian Vettel joining the defending champion at the top of the market. Currently, the best odds on the Mercedes driver stand at 11/10 with Ladbrokes while Vettel is available at that same top price of 11/10 with William Hill.
Behind the top two, Valtteri Bottas is on offer at a best of 25/1 with Betway and Sun Bets while Daniel Ricciardo’s impressive display in China sees him slot in at a top price of 40/1 with Betway. Max Verstappen is also at best odds of 40/1 with BetFred but clearly the bookies now see this as a battle between two drivers.
Little has changed in the Constructors’ Championship however with Mercedes maintaining their position as clear odds on favourites at a best of 4/7 with Coral and Sun Bets. Ferrari follow at a top price of 13/8 with Betway and then the numbers move out to 14/1 and Red Bull who are available with 188Bet at that figure.
Azerbaijan Side Bets
Coming back to this week’s Grand Prix and as always we have a very busy set of side markets for the race in Azerbaijan. The pole position betting is arguably the most popular of these and here we have Lewis Hamilton at the top with best odds of 5/4 with SportingBet. Vettel follows at 7/4 with William Hill and 10Bet while Bottas is the third favourite at a top price of 6/1 with SportingBet.
So far this season, Vettel has taken pole twice while Hamilton opened the campaign in Australia at the head of the grid.
We’ll take our usual look at the fastest lap betting and once again it’s Hamilton leading the way at 5/2 with SportingBet, ahead of Vettel at 10/3 with William Hill. Other options here are Bottas at 5/1 with William Hill while Ricciardo and Verstappen are both listed at the same top price of 15/2 with Sun Bets.
Early season stats suggest we should be looking at the outsiders as Daniel Ricciardo has delivered profits twice so far in this market, either side of a Bottas fastest lap in Bahrain.
This is only the second edition of the Azerbaijan GP after the race was first added to the F1 calendar in 2017 so we don’t have much in the way of trends to guide our verdict. For reference, twelve months ago, Daniel Ricciardo won the race ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll after Lewis Hamilton had started on pole and Sebastian Vettel had recorded the fastest lap.
We tipped Hamilton for the win in China but we’re still waiting for the comeback and are not completely convinced about his ability to challenge in Azerbaijan this weekend. There is little in the way of trends and indicators but the Mercedes Number One driver to take Pole Position this weekend does, at least, offer some value at an odds against price.
If pushed for a winner, based on form alone it might be prudent to opt for Sebastian Vettel and maybe we are looking at a similar pattern to last season when the Mercedes drivers, and Lewis Hamilton in particular, waited until the second half of the campaign before mounting a serious challenge.
Best Bets for 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix:
- Sebastian Vettel to win at 5/2 with William Hill
- Lewis Hamilton to take Pole Position at 5/4 with SportingBet