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F1 Podium: Three Bets for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Nico Hulkenberg Renault Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

We had a strong outing in the Canadian Grand Prix, hitting all three picks in this column, so let’s keep that momentum going into Baku with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix up next on the Formula 1 calendar.

After hosting the European Grand Prix last season, Formula 1 switched things up to give Azerbaijan and the Baku City Circuit a proper Grand Prix in 2017. In last year’s event it was Nico Rosberg who cruised to the victory, more than 16 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and 25 seconds ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez.

Lewis Hamilton, second in the drivers standings with 129 points behind Vettel’s 141, had a rough weekend here last season, qualifying 10th after making contact with the barrier on turn 10. He was able to finish P5 on race day after suffering engine mode issues for the bulk of the race and not being able to rectify those problems in time for a podium.

He’ll look to crank out a stronger performance here and has won two of the past three races entering Azerbaijan, including a dominant weekend in Canada. As it stands (prior to practice), Hamilton sat as the -110 fave to win with Vettel just behind at +175.

There is plenty of value as it stands for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix so here are three wagers to consider – starting with the longer odds – that are currently available at online shop Bovada .

(Article and odds ahead of Friday’s practice sessions)

P1: Sergio Perez Top 3 Finish (+1000)

Bit of a long shot here, but considering just how well both Force India cars have driven this season and Checo’s excellent performance in Baku last season, the +1000 price is definitely worth a little wager.

Perez finished third here last season and has been one of the great stories of the early F1 campaign. He (and Force India teammate Esteban Ocon, for that matter) has finished in the top 10 in all but one race (Monaco) so far.

Perez finished fifth in Canada and was challenging for a podium for a good portion of the race but just could not catch Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull. Checo is fast and one of the highlights of the Baku circuit is that it has the longest flat-out section in the sport. As stated, a bit of a long shot here, but worth it in my opinion.

P2: Kimi Raikkonen Fastest Lap (+650)

Any time the Ice Man is offered at this sort of price for the fastest lap of a Grand Prix, it’s always worth a shot. The Finn has achieved fastest lap twice so far this season (Australia, Russia) and drove well enough here one year ago to finish fourth.

It was Nico Rosberg and his Mercedes that recorded the fastest lap at the European Grand Prix one year ago, clocking in at 1:46.485 (lap 48). As mentioned above, Baku features a flat-out that Kimi will love.

Only three drivers have recorded the fastest laps this season with Raikkonen, Hamilton (+125) and Perez (+2500). There is plenty of value in this prop and Raikkonen at this price is especially appealing.

P3: Nico Hulkenberg Top-10 finish (-120)

I was really tempted to take Romain Grosjean for the top 10 at the more appealing price of +175, but we cashed in with this pick at the Canadian Grand Prix last time and the way Hulkenberg is driving that Renault, it’s impossible not to advise this pick once again.

The German has finished in the top 10 in four of the previous five races with a retirement in Monaco serving as the only blemish during that stretch.

Furthermore, Hulkenberg drove his Force India to a ninth-place finish one year ago. The way he’s been driving lately, there’s no reason not to take this.

Again, all of these potential wagers could look very different come Sunday morning, but ahead of practice and qualifying, these all look like pretty damn good wagers to spice up what should be a thrilling weekend in Azerbaijan.

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Odds
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)-110
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)+175
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)+550
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)+1400
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)+5000
Max Verstappen (Red Bull)+5000
Sergio Perez (Force India)+15000
Esteban Ocon (Force India)+20000
Felipe Massa (Williams)+25000
Lance Stroll (Williams)+100000
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)+100000
Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso)+150000
Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)+150000
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)+150000
Romain Grosjean (Haas)+150000
Fernando Alonso (McLaren)+200000
Jolyon Palmer (Renault)+250000
Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)+300000
Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)+300000
Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)+300000

Odds as of June 22 at Bovada