Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen co-favorites at PointsBet for F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

PointsBet Azerbaijan F1
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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are the only two F1 winners through five weeks of racing and they are co-favored at PointsBet Sportsbook in early odds for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Both are listed at +135 to take the outright win.

Hamilton has three wins so far this season, in the Bahrain GP, the Portugal GP and Spanish GP.

Verstappen has two wins in the Romagna GP at Imola, Italy and the Grand Prix of Monaco.

One way to view American Odds is to move the decimal point two positions to the left. That will let a bettor know what they will make on a $1 bet, so the return on investment for this week Hamilton and Verstappen is $1.35. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Hamilton has one win in the Azerbaijan GP in 2018. He finished second in 2019.

This race was was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Verstappen’s last attempt in 2019 ended in a fourth-place finish.

At +115, Hamilton holds a slight edge over Verstappen’s +125 in odds to win the pole. Whoever wins the pole should see a deduction from their line, however, because the pole winner is listed at -143 to take the checkers.

Hamilton and Verstappen are also co-favored to set the fastest lap with +175 odds. In the most recent race, Hamilton had the fastest lap despite being mired in seventh most of the day after qualification was abruptly halted by a crash by Charles Leclerc.

Valtteri Bottas is ranked third this week at +800. He won the most recent Azerbaijan GP in 2019 after leading the field to green. If Bottas can beat his teammate Hamilton in a head-to-head matchup, that will be worth +270.

Sergio Perez is fourth with odds of +1000. Perez has four top-five finishes in four races this year with a best result of fourth earned twice in Portugal and Monaco.

Rounding out the top five is Lando Norris, who also has four top-fives this season. Norris has two podium finishes in Italy and Monaco.

No other driver is listed with lower than 50/1 odds.

Haas F1 is the team with the greatest odds of retiring first at +260. Nikita Mazepin drags these odds down at +400 to be the first driver to head to the garage and not return.

If there are no retirements, that is worth +1200

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For more betting coverage, check out NBC Sports Edge.

New Chip Ganassi driver Marcus Armstrong will team with boyhood idol Scott Dixon

Marcus Armstrong Scott Dixon
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Marcus Armstrong was a Scott Dixon fan his entire life, and when he was 8, the aspiring young racer asked his fellow New Zealander to autograph a helmet visor that he hung on his bedroom wall.

Next year, Armstrong will be Dixon’s teammate.

Armstrong was named Friday as the fourth IndyCar driver in the Chip Ganassi Racing lineup and will pilot the No. 11 next season on road and street courses.

A driver for the five oval races on the 17-race schedule will be named later.

The No. 11 is essentially the No. 48 that seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson drove the last two seasons, with Chip Ganassi making the change to run four cars numbered in sequential order. Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson drives the No. 8, six-time champion Dixon drives the No. 9, and 2020 IndyCar champion Alex Palou drives the No. 10.

So just who is the second Kiwi in the Ganassi lineup?

A 22-year-old who spent the past three seasons in Formula One feeder series F2, a Ferrari development driver in 2021, and former roommate of Callum Illot and former teammate of Christian Lundgaard – both of whom just completed their rookie IndyCar seasons.

“I’ve always been attracted to the IndyCar championship because it’s one of those championships that’s been really well televised in New Zealand since I was young, mainly because of Scott and his success,” Armstrong told The Associated Press. “As time progressed, as I got closer to F1 and single-seaters, the attraction to IndyCar grew just because of how competitive the championship is – I like to challenge myself and the level of competition in IndyCar is remarkably high.”

Armstrong, from Christchurch, New Zealand, was set to travel from his current home in London to Indianapolis this weekend to meet his new team. He won’t need an introduction to Dixon, the 42-year-old considered the best IndyCar driver of his generation and Armstrong’s unequivocal childhood hero.

Last season, Dixon earned his 53rd career victory to pass Mario Andretti for second on the all-time list. Dixon has driven for Ganassi in all but 23 of his 345 career starts.

“For a long time I’ve been a Scott Dixon fan. I don’t want to make him cringe with our age difference,” Armstrong told the AP.

Despite the two-decade age difference, Armstrong never considered someday racing with Dixon a fantasy.

He convinced his father after winning five national karting championships to allow him to leave New Zealand for Italy at age 14, where he moved by himself to pursue a racing career. Armstrong said as soon as he’d received parental permission, he’d never look back.

Armstrong was in Formula 4 two years after his move to Italy and won that title in his first season. He won four races and four poles in F3 in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, then collected four wins and eight podiums in three seasons of F2.

“Maybe it’s a strength, or maybe it’s a weakness, but I always thought I was capable of doing great in the sport,” Armstrong told the AP. “I think you probably have to succeed in the sport, you need to believe in yourself. I always pictured myself being in IndyCar.

“As Scott’s teammate? I can’t specifically say I saw that. It’s an extraordinary chain of events.”

Armstrong becomes just the latest driver to leave Europe, where F1 is the pinnacle but has only 20 seats each year. Alexander Rossi began the trend in 2016 when the American left F1 and won the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. He’s been followed by Ericsson, last season’s Indy 500 winner, Romain Grosjean, Illot, Lundgaard, and on Thursday three-time W Series champion and Williams F1 reserve driver Jamie Chadwick was announced as driver for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar’s second-tier development series.

Armstrong said he could have remained in F2 for a fourth season, but he’d been watching IndyCar for so long, and after conversations with Illot and Lundgaard, he decided to make the move to what he believes is the most balanced racing series in the world. He tested for Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring in October.

He doesn’t know if European racing is done for good, just that he wants to be in IndyCar right now.

“I don’t want to think too far into the future, I’m just grateful for this opportunity that is standing right in front of me,” Armstrong said. “I want to perform as well as I can in the near future and just consolidate myself in the fantastic chance that is IndyCar and just do my best.

“I’m not looking at F1 as a landing spot – I am looking at IndyCar, and that’s exactly why I am here.”