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F1 Picks; Max Verstappen favored to win first Sprint of 2023 F1 season
Updated April 27, 2023
This weekend not only sees the fourth Grand Prix of the season but also the first of six F1 Sprint events that will take place across the 2023 season. Who will be the winner? Let’s take a look at our F1 Azerbaijan GP Sprint picks.
What; F1 Azerbaijan GP Sprint
Where; Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan
When; Saturday, April 29th, 2023
Time; 9.30 am, ET
Distance; 100 KM
As well as being favorite to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Max Verstappen is also favorite to win the first F1 Sprint race of the season. And with eight World Championship points on offer for the winner, it’s not an event to be taken lightly.
What is the F1 Sprint?
Never ones to be completely clear with their plans, the F1 Commission and World Motor Sport Council only ratified the new sprint format last Tuesday. And in their announcement, they stated that the Sprint will now be a stand-alone event on the Saturday of a Grand Prix weekend.
Previously, Friday was used for qualifying for the Sprint race on Saturday; the result of the Sprint then made up the grid for the Grand Prix race on Sunday.
For the 2023 season, the format is changing. Now, qualifying for the actual Grand Prix will take place on Friday. Then on Saturday, there is a Sprint Shootout to determine the order of the grid for the actual Sprint race, which will then take place later in the day.
The Sprint Shootout is made up of three shortened knock-out sessions that will determine the grid for the actual Sprint race. The Sprint race then takes place later in the day on Saturday.
There are a total of 36 points available to the top eight finishers. The winner of the Sprint receives eight points, with second place collecting seven. The amounts then decrease by one point all the way down to the driver who finishes eighth (who receives one point).
Azerbaijan Sprint Winner Betting
The Baku City street circuit being used to host this weekend’s 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix will also be the setting for the first F1 Sprint race of the season. Red Bull again dominates the betting ahead of the race, with Max Verstappen the favorite and his teammate, Sergio Perez, next.
The Sprint betting slightly differs from that of the actual Grand Prix. In the betting to win Sunday’s Grand Prix, Max Verstappen is -250 to win the race, while to win the Sprint, Verstappen is even shorter at -300.
Sergio Perez also has differing odds in both races. To win the Grand Prix, he is +450. To win the Sprint, Perez is +350. The third in the market to win this race is Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard is +1200 to win the Grand Prix. But slightly shorter at +1000 to win the Sprint.
Finally, Lewis Hamilton is +1600 to win both the Grand Prix and the same odds to win the shorter Sprint race. More betting odds for the Sprint race can be found below on our Formula 1 betting odds table. These odds are taken from the best Las Vegas sportsbooks for F1 betting.
There are eight points available to the winner of this Saturday’s Sprint race. And with 36 points in total on offer, this promises to be a competitive race. This, in essence, is the whole idea behind the Sprint. It’s designed to liven up the two days before the actual Grand Prix, and with World Championship points on offer, it’s hard to see it not working.
It’s interesting that in the shorter format, the Las Vegas odds on Verstappen are shorter for him to win the Sprint than they are for him to win the actual Grand Prix.
This is because pit stops and tactics will play less of a part in this race. So if you can lead off from the front, the chances are it’s your race to lose. This makes getting into Pole Position even more important.
In the betting to win the Sprint Shootout, Verstappen is -200, which is almost making him backable. Winning the Shootout gives the driver Pole Position in the Sprint, and we think this makes Verstappen worth a bet.
For our pick to win the actual Sprint, the chances are it will be Verstappen. Are we to back him at -300? Well, we’re not sure he’s great value. He should win it, but if you think that’s too short, maybe take a punt on his teammate Sergio Perez at +350 or even Fernando Alonso at +1000.
With the actual Grand Prix drawing ever closer, the best Vegas betting sites have started to price up more markets. There are some interesting bets in the driver head-to-head, such as Lewis Hamilton at -140 to beat George Russell and also on Hamilton at -165 to outperform Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
At the moment, Ferrari is having an absolute stinker of a season. And yes, Mercedes is hardly pulling up any trees themselves. But they are doing better than Ferrari.
We think Hamilton will beat both Russell and Leclerc, but in fairness to Russell, he has shown he can compete with Hamilton on his day. But as for Leclerc and his Ferrari, we think that the Ferrari can’t be trusted – making Hamilton a great pick at -165 to beat Leclerc at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Lewis HamitonTo finish higher than Charles Leclerc
Dean has a strong affinity for the English Premier League and cricket, but his extensive understanding of sports allows him to discuss a wide range of athletic topics. Previously, Dean has explored the world to attend events such as the FIFA World Cup and Ashes cricket matches, but currently, he prefers to enjoy sports from the coziness of his home.