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Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Hamilton to bounce back in Baku

Date: 06/06/2021

Venue: Baku City Circuit

Lewis Hamilton endured a miserable weekend in Monaco but is expected to bounce straight back in our Azerbaijan Grand Prix predictions.

The seven-time world champion has shown time and time again that he is at his most dangerous when wounded and losing the title lead will have hurt badly.

Mercedes should be far more suited by the set-up in Baku, where they have claimed victory in the last two renewals.

So, we’re lumping on Hamilton to continue that trend at 6/5 from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix odds.

After a poor qualifying position and then tactical errors on race day left Hamilton to trail home seventh in Monaco, he issued a rallying cry.

“It was not a great weekend,” said the Briton, now four points behind easy winner Max Verstappen. “There is a lot we could have done better in terms of our preparation.

“We had some good conversations through the weekend but it is not good enough from all of us and we don’t take it lightly.

“But there is no point getting depressed about it. We have to look at the data and find out why we are in this position.

“Naturally, we all want answers within the team and I know everyone will be working flat-out so this weekend doesn’t happen again.

“We have showed time and time again that we can bounce back, so I am not too emotional at present.”

Team-mate Valtteri Bottas was robbed of second place last time out when a wheel nut got stuck on a pit stop and he is 8/1 to gain compensation here.

The flying Finn did lead home Hamilton for a Mercedes one-two when F1 last visited Baku in 2019.

How the Monaco Grand Prix finished

1 Verstappen (Red Bull), 2 Sainz (Ferrari), 3 Norris (McLaren), 4 Perez (Red Bull), 5 Vettel (Aston Martin), 6 Gasly (Alphatauri), 7 Hamilton (Mercedes), 8 Stroll (Aston Martin), 9 Ocon (Alpine Renault), 10 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 11 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 12 Ricciardo (McLaren), 13 Alonso (Alpine Renault), 14 Russell (Williams), 15 Latifi (Williams), 16 Tsunoda (Alphatauri), 17 Mazepin (Haas), 18 Schumacher (Haas), DNF Bottas (Mercedes), Leclerc (Ferrari)

Verstappen did us a favour when cruising to a comfortable triumph after being given a confident vote in our Monaco Grand Prix preview and is 13/10 to follow up.

After being handed pole position by the defection of Charles Leclerc, the Red Bull ace cut across Bottas on the run to the first turn and was never seriously troubled thereafter.

“I think pace wise, we were always in control because every time someone tried to push me in terms of lap time, we were able to respond and increase the gap,” said Verstappen.

The Dutchman accepts it will be tough to stay out in front in the title race, though.

He added: “I’ve never been on the podium in Monaco and then the first time it’s a win, so it’s a bit of redemption for the other races I’ve had here.

“Looking ahead to Baku, Mercedes I think are still the ones to beat, they are very quick on the normal tracks.”

Red Bull number two Sergio Perez can be backed at 10/1 following a solid fourth last time out.

Ferrari duo Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who was second in Monaco, are 28/1 and 40/1 respectively, while McLaren’s Lando Norris is 25/1 to build on a podium finish in the principality.

Past Azerbaijan Grand Prix winners

2019 Bottas (Mercedes), Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari)
2018 Hamilton (Mercedes), Raikkonen (Ferrari), Perez (Force India)
2017 Ricciardo (Red Bull), Bottas (Mercedes), Stroll (Williams)

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