The 2016 Formula 1 season will feature the return of the European Grand Prix to be raced on June, Sunday 19th at the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan. Here are the auto racing betting odds for the event:
Daniel Ricciardo +1400
Kimi Raikkonen +2800
Lewis Hamilton EV
Max Verstappen +1600
Nico Rosberg +250
Sebastien Vettel +550
Brit Hamilton has been on a tear as of late, winning the Monaco Grand Prix and the Grand Prix du Canada back-to-back. And though those were his two first wins of the season, they have been enough to shorten the gap between himself and current standings leader and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to only 9 points – it didn’t hurt Hamilton either that the German has been in a slump after winning the first four races of the year. All things considered, Mercedes is the sports betting favorite for this Sunday’s race – whether Hamilton wins his third in a row, or Rosberg gets his mojo back.
The track architect Hermann Tilke-designed Baku City Circuit is allegedly the fastest street circuit of the season – cars are expected to hit up to 340 km/h –, and the nearly 2.2 kilometers acceleration section could have auto racing betting fans believing that Daniel Ricciardo and his upgraded engine are seating in the catbird seat. However, Tilke says that “there will be an extremely narrow uphill section at the old town wall that will reward pinpoint accuracy.” Additionally, the Baku circuit is more power-dependent than Monaco. And speaking of upgrades, Vettel has a new turbocharger and revised rear suspension. Even Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Ferrari is on the give the Silver Arrows a run for their money.
Even though current European Grand Prix champion Fernando Alonso is not among the sports betting favorites to win the race – and although he won the last Grand Prix of Europe in 2012 in Valencia – the McLaren-Honda driver does have an advantage over his competitors, in his capacity as Baku Ambassador, the Spaniard has been privy to a sneak preview of the track, which remains a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma for the remaining drivers. Most have not even been to Azerbaijan – which is not entirely within Europe, either. The circuit runs counterclockwise and has 20 corners, and is 7.6 meters wide – though it might more appropriate to say that it’s 7.6 meters narrow.
Fortunately, drivers will have two practices on Friday and one more on Saturday, plus the qualifying also on Saturday to become acquainted with the track – which will also give auto racing betting fans an idea of who will run better on this unknown course during the race proper.