Betting Sites Picking Max Verstappen to Win in Baku

Max Verstappen 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

  • Max Verstappen is the +110 betting favorite to win the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
  • Last year’s winner and Verstappen teammate Sergio Perez is listed at +600 odds.
  • Ferrai’s Charles Leclerc is Verstappen’s closest rival at +175 odds.

Defending F-1 world champion Max Verstappen has opened as the +110 betting favorite to win the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Baku race has seen different winners in each of the first four installments of the race. Verstappen has not won the race in four tries, as has his chief rival, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari who is currently listed at +175 odds to win the race.

Verstappen Was a DNF in Baku Last Year

Verstappen was a DNF in the last installment of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, in a race where Lewis Hamilton, his top rival last season, also did not finish in the top 10. But given Red Bull’s perceived advantage in the race track and Verstappen’s brilliance behind the wheel, it’s no surprise why he is the betting favorite to win this weekend.

The fact that the track at Baku is loaded with 90-degree corners and some of the longest straights in the schedule gives Red Bull the advantage. That’s because Red Bull’s cars are built with a high-drag, low-downforce set-up that makes it one of the quickest cars on straight lines while offering the least amount of tire degradation.

After a slow start where he did not finish two out of the first three races of the season, Verstappen has recovered. The defending world champion has placed on the podium in the last four races, winning three races during that stretch. He has reclaimed the lead in the Drivers’ standings and is now back as the odds-on-favorite to win a second consecutive world championship at -138 at Bet365 US.

Leclerc and Perez Top Practice in Baku

However, it was Leclerc and Sergio Perez who topped the practice sessions in Baku with Verstappen and Hamilton off the pace. The Ferrari ace, however, finished 0.248 seconds ahead of Perez to deliver the fastest time in practice. Leclerc started from pole position last year but ended up finishing fourth behind Perez, Sebastian Vettel, and Pierre Gasly.

Perez is, without doubt, the dark horse in the race and at +600 provides excellent betting value here. The Mexican won this race last year and a podium finishes in 2018 despite driving the much slower Force India car. This season, Checo has finished in the Top 5 in seven out of the last eight races of the championship.

Carlos Sainz is the only other driver with odds shorter than +1000 to win this weekend at +800. The Ferrari driver has four podium finishes this season and was second in the most recent race in Monaco. Mercedes’ two drivers are next on the odds board with George Russell listed at +2200 and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton at +2800.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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