F1 is back for the fourth race of the 2023 season in Baku, Azerbaijan as Max Verstappen continues his bid to become a world champion for the third consecutive season in his Red Bull car.
The Dutch driver has had a fantastic start to the season winning two of the opening three races this season, and as a runner-up behind his teammate Sergio Perez in the other after starting 15th on the grid.
We’ll take a look ahead to the first race and see if we can provide you with some extra cash for the season with our best free F1 betting picks.
|F1: Azerbaijan Grand Prix|
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Below you’ll find a list of the drivers favored to win in Azerbaijan.
The Red Bull star claimed 19 podium finishes in the last 22 races, showing his true dominance on the track as the two-time world champion, and firmly establishing himself as the best driver in the world over the last two years.
Verstappen came into this season with a big target on his back after such a dominant 2022 season, but he responded to it with ease by taking pole position in the opening race at Bahrain and leading the Grand Prix the whole way to claim victory, before battling from 15th claim the runners-up spot in Saudi Arabia. He then cruised to victory in Australia last time out.
Last year in Baku Verstappen started in third on the grid behind Charles Leclerc and teammate Perez, but he battled hard and prospered to claim victory when Ferrari were forced to retire their car.
Nobody has ever won at Baku more than once, but Verstappen is firmly on course to do just that and he is our F1 betting pick for the Baku Grand Prix.
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Sergio Perez claimed two race wins over the season and finished third in the Drivers’ Championship for 2022, but showed his quality and talent whenever Verstappen and Red Bull needed him to step up.
This season he started well, claiming a runners-up place behind Verstappen in the opening race in Bahrain to secure a Red Bull 1-2 before swapping with his teammate to win in Saudi Arabia after leading the whole way. It wasn’t a great showing in Australia though, as he finished 5th.
Last year in Baku he claimed a runners-up spot behind Verstappen after initially starting in second and taking the lead on the first corner, but was a full 20 seconds behind the leader at the end of the race.
Right now the title race is between the two Red Bull cars, but Perez’s best chance is always if Verstappen has an issues or makes a big mistake. Another one-two shouldn’t be written off, but Perez coming first again is unlikely while Max is on the grid.
The former two-time world champion’s move to Aston Martin was seen as a way to make him competitive again in the title race, and he has had a solid start to this season.
Alonso started fifth in that race behind the Red Bull and Ferrari duos, showing his pace throughout qualifying and that carried over into the race where he kept up before eventually moving past both Ferrari’s late on and claim a podium finish. Then in Saudi Arabia he took another podium, although he dropped a place after earning a front-row spot in qualifying. Alonso then secured a third consecutive podium finish in Australia as he came third again.
Last year in Baku Alonso finished in 7th place, and he’s never won on this track, so it seems highly unlikely for him to get that first win this time around.
The Aston Martin car just can’t compete with Red Bull’s two demons and he’ll likely have to battle against some top contenders to get another podium finish.
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Arguably the greatest driver in the history of F1, the seven-time world champion is still one of the very best on the track despite the struggles of Mercedes in recent times.
Hamilton opened the season with a fifth-placed finish in Bahrain after struggling during qualifying, before another fifth-placed finish in Saudi Arabia behind the Red Bull’s, Fernando Alonso and his teammate George Russell. But in Australia he was competitive and performed extremely well to claim the runners-up spot and his first podium of the season.
Crazily he is yet to win a race since he last won the title, with last season being the first of his entire career in which he failed to finish first in any race, but the Mercedes car certainly seems faster this year, albeit with more competition.
Hamilton is one of just five drivers to have won in Baku, but as mentioned previously nobody has ever won twice on this track. For Mercedes to end their drought here would be historic and a huge surprise, but you can never rule out Hamilton.