2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Predictions & Race Preview
The eighth race of the Formula 1 2022 season will be held on the streets of Baku in Azerbaijan. This will be the fifth edition, and no driver has won twice so far, although Mercedes and Red Bull have won two races each as constructors.
Unlike some other street tracks like Monaco or Singapore, the race in Azerbaijan is always interesting. The main straight is the longest in the Formula 1 calendar with over 2 kilometers where drivers drive at full throttle and where we can always see a huge number of overtaking and great driving moves.
A large number of drivers have always praised this track because it offers everything that one track should have. Very long main straight, a few more straights where you can overtake, but also some very demanding turns.
The course length is 6,003 kilometers and the scheduled distance is 51 laps. Baku is the third-longest track in the calendar, just behind Spa-Francorchamps and Jeddah. This circuit has 20 turns and two DRS zones. Logically, one is on the main straight, and the other starts after the second corner.
Ride onboard with Kimi Raikkonen for a lap of the Baku Grand Prix Circuit in Azerbaijan! Who will take victory at the high speed street circuit? More Formula 1 content here: https://t.co/ccys7u0HKx#Formula1 #Baku #AzerbaijanGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/abfyUGaKxX
— Motorsport.tv (@MotorsportTV_UK) June 3, 2021
Scars from Monaco
After six races in the Formula 1 championship, it seemed that Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc would be the only two contenders for the world title, but Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz fought back on the legendary track in Monaco.
Perez finished second three times this season, and was particularly unhappy after the race in Barcelona where via team radio he was not happy with the team’s decision in favor of Verstappen. In Monaco, the Mexican driver was better in qualifying than his teammate and eventually came away with the first win in 2022.
On the other hand, Sainz had a lot of unfortunate circumstances in the first few races of the 2022 season, and in Monaco, he had a huge chance to win for the first time in his career. While his competitors went with the strategy of switching from full wet to intermediate tires, he waited and then switched to slick and that should have brought him victory, but he got stuck in traffic in the exit lap and Perez took advantage of that, so Sainz finished second.
The biggest loser of the weekend was Leclerc. After first place in Saturday qualifying, it seemed he would finally win at home in Monaco, but unlike Sainz who had different ideas from his team, Leclerc followed Ferrari’s strategy and it cost him dearly as he eventually ended up at a modest fourth place behind Verstappen.
It hurts a lot. That’s it.
Thanks for your continuous support ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WsXZNyoRzN
— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) May 29, 2022
A key weekend for Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez
This will be a crucial weekend for Perez and Sainz. In recent years, Valtteri Botas was considered Lewis Hamilton’s waterboy because he did not have a Mercedes permission to race against him and was labeled as the second driver.
Perez rebelled in Barcelona and then showed in Monaco that he can beat Verstappen. Now, he is only 15 points behind him in the championship. Christian Horner pointed out that the Mexican driver has the full support of Red Bull in the title fight, while Sainz came to Ferrari to become the world champion. He had more points than Leclerc last year and he must not allow himself to stay far behind, because then Leclerc would surely be marked as the number one driver.
As for the rest of the grid, the situation is unchanged. Mercedes doesn’t have enough power to win races, while Alpine and McLaren did not achieve the desired results. Daniel Ricciardo will have to make a good series of races because according to media reports, he could very easily be axed from the team even though he has a contract with McLaren for 2023.
Mick Schumacher is also under pressure. Due to bad results, his place in Haas is in danger, so he will have to show in the next few races that he deserves to be part of Formula 1, otherwise, it will be the end for him.
Winning the Monaco Grand Prix is a dream for any driver and to celebrate my first victory there with this announcement that I will continue with @redbullracing until 2024 is just the icing on the cake. #NeverGiveUp pic.twitter.com/dWL9MYVIhk
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) May 31, 2022
Pick: Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc will be placed between 1st and 3rd position in race – YES
Only once in the first seven races the two leading drivers in Formula 1 championship were together on the podium. It is time to increase that number to three.
Ferrari and Red Bull had few races that did not end due to car problems and if that is not the case now, as well as if Verstappen and Leclerc avoid incidents, it is to be expected that both will be in the top3 without any problems.
Advices & Tips
Pick: Daniel Ricciardo in top10 in race – YES
Daniel Ricciardo is under tremendous pressure. He came to McLaren last year with the desire to become a world champion, and his adventure in this team turned into a nightmare.
In two years, Ricciardo was unable to find a connection with the car and it is increasingly rumored that he will be axed at the end of the season. He still has time to improve the situation, but he will have to do that in the next few races. He won Grand Prix in Azerbaijan back in 2017 and he enjoys this track.
Pick: Valtteri Bottas in top6 in race – NO
Valtteri Bottas has a great season at Alfa Romeo, but his car is only sixth or seven in speed, which means that every placement in the top 10 and collecting points is a success.
Bottas finished in top 10 six times this season, and maybe he would have done it all seven times but he had to retire a car in Saudi Arabia. However, good run must stop somewhere, and in any case, the placement in the top 6 is unrealistic for him.
Does Daniel Ricciardo have a McLaren future? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/fwMUAGRXkY
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) June 6, 2022
First free practice: 13:00-14:00
Second free practice: 16:00-17:00
Third free practice: 13:00-14:00
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