This has been a wild 2018 Formula One season. Through three races, Mercedes has yet to win. Now, we head to the second ever Azerbaijan Grand Prix (8 a.m. ET/ESPN 2) this weekend, which could create even more unknowns for Sunday’s race. Last year, we saw a wild race. The podium was Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll.
Will this year’s race be even crazier?
Sebastian Vettel (+250)
It’s been a heck of a season so far for Vettel. If not for contact with Max Verstappen late in the race at China, Vettel would likely have had a top five finish in all three races in 2018. He won the first two events and has won three of the last five F1 races. He started fourth and finished there in Baku last year. His No. 5 Ferrari is even better in 2018. What’s weird is the pace hasn’t been there yet this weekend. He was only 10th and 11th respectively in practice on Friday.
For the race though, he qualified on the pole.
Lewis Hamilton (+125)
You have to have him on here, but I don’t feel good about his chances to win yet. Hamilton, hasn’t won since last October and only has three podiums in his last six F1 starts. His finishes are getting worse as the season has gone on. He went from second (Australia) to third (Bahrain) to fourth (China). He finished fifth last year in this very race. Trends say he has a fifth place run coming this weekend. He was around there in practice too, coming home fourth and fifth respectively in on Friday.
He starts second.
Valtteri Bottas (+900)
He finished second in this race last year. He finished second in the last two races on the season. He has five top two finishes in his last six starts in F1 competition, dating back to last year. What’s that say? He’s going to finish in the top two on Sunday. He was first and fourth respectively in practice on Friday.
He rolls off third.
Max Verstappen (+900)
He’s due for a win. He’s had run ins with the top two drivers in the series in just three races this year. He got into Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel already. But, his aggression is going to land him a win soon. Maybe this weekend? Verstappen, has eight top six finishes in his last nine races. He was fifth at China. Red Bull won this race last year. This could be his shot. He was sixth and third respectively in practice. He even qualified fifth.
Daniel Ricciardo (+900)
He shocked everyone in the last race by winning in China. Now, he has the momentum back on his side. Also counter in that he’s the defending race winner in Baku too. He’s had two top four finishes in three starts in 2018. While this season started off as a disaster, it’s turned 180 since his win. That’s why you can’t overlook Ricciardo on Sunday. He was in the top two in each of the two practice sessions on Friday. In qualifying, he earned the fourth starting spot.