With four wins in the first seven races in the Formula 1 season, Max Verstappen is this week’s PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix by 65 points over Charles Leclerc. Verstappen’s is listed at +120, down from his opening line of +140.
Last week was the first time in 2022 Verstappen was running at the end of a race and did not win it after starting fourth on the tight Monaco Grand Prix circuit and finishing third. He finished one position ahead of Leclerc and extended his Driver’s Points lead to nine as the two finished within one position of one another in Monte Carlo.
For all his success elsewhere, Azerbaijan has not been kind to Verstappen with no podiums and just one top-five to his credit. Three of his other four results were outside the top 15.
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 this week for Verstappen is $1.20 for the race. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.
Azerbaijan has been slightly better for Leclerc. While he also does not have a podium finish on that circuit, his worst result was sixth in his first attempt in 2018. Last year he earned his second consecutive pole on the heels of Monte Carlo and finished fourth in the race. This week Leclerc is listed a +185 for the outright win.
Ranked third is last week’s Monaco GP winner, Sergio Perez at +625. In addition to last week’s victory, Perez is the defending winner of the 2021 Azerbaijan GP after starting the race sixth. In five starts on this track, Perez has three podium finishes.
Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr. is ranked fourth with a line of +850. Sainz was the runner-up last week and he pressed Perez hard in the closing laps before crossing under the checkers 1.15 seconds back. Sainz enters this race with a four-race, top-10 streak in Azerbaijan. His best finish of fifth came in 2018.
With a line of +2500, George Russell rounds out the top five this week, landing him ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. Russell was fifth last week in Monaco, but a gearbox issue kept him from finishing the 2021 race in Baku. In his only other start on this track, he finished two laps off the pace in 15th.
Hamilton sits just outside the top five with a line of +3000. So far in 2022, Hamilton has scored only one podium finish, which came in the season opener in Bahrain. Hamilton is the 2018 winner of this race and he finished second the following season. In 2021, he was 15th – the first time in five races that he failed to crack the top five.
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