Week 7 of the 2022 Formula 1 Calendar heads to Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend takes place on June 10-12th, 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Qualifying starts at 11 a.m. EDT, while the Grand Prix starts at 7 a.m. EDT on Sunday, June 12th.

Since joining the calendar in 2017, the Streets of Baku have provided memorable races each time. Mercedes and Red Bull are the only two teams to win in Baku, winning 2 Grand Prix each.

Baku is a proper street track. One lap on the track covers 3.73 miles of Baku’s roads. There are long straight, almost 90-degree angle turns, and a bumpy surface. For a team like Mercedes with a problematic suspension, the bumpy nature of the surface is going to cause headaches, literally and figuratively speaking.

With new technical regulations and cars, the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix is likely to be action-packed. In this article, we’re going to give you a rundown of the track, the betting odds for qualifying and the Grand Prix, and a betting lock you won’t want to miss.

Memories from Baku

Both of these teams created spectacular and lasting moments over the past few years. Mercedes won the 2018 and 2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. For Mercedes fans, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel’s skirmish behind a safety car in 2019 will be as memorable as his win in 2018. For other fans, Hamilton’s now-infamous “brake magic” assisted lock-up on the race restart in 2021, costing him a likely win and a guaranteed podium.

For Red Bull, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo crashing into each other in 2018 is the imagery the team and fans alike won’t forget. “Drive to Survive” dramatic retelling of the events only solidifies this further. Verstappen added another iconic image in 2021, standing next to his car and kicking a punctured rear tire after it failed, while Verstappen was cruising to the win.

Ferrari Charles Leclerc is looking to add a pole position and a race win to his Azerbaijan memories in 2022. Leclerc and Baku are most commonly associated with Leclerc’s radio message declaring “I am stupid” after crashing at the castle (turn 8) in qualifying 2, in 2019. Obviously, the internet had its fun with that radio call.

Qualifying Odds

Ferrari and Red Bull lead the betting odds for qualifying with good reason: they are the top two teams, with the fastest cars, and have taken every pole position this season.

Leclerc enters the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as an 11/10 favorite to take pole position in qualifying on Saturday, at oddschecker.com. Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz is listed at 10/1.

Verstappen’s odds to take pole position is 5/4, while Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez is listed at 9/1.

Unless something catastrophic happens, one of these four will be on pole position for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Grand Prix Odds

Red Bull’s Verstappen is the betting favorite (+110) at vegasinsider.com to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. This should come as no surprise, as the Red Bull has looked to be the best race car is race trim, especially in the hands of the defending World Champion.

Ferrari’s Leclerc is a close second behind Verstappen, at +175, followed by Red Bull’s Perez (+550) and Ferrari’s Sainz (+900). Mercedes’ George Russell (+2200) and Lewis Hamilton (+2800) could be excellent picks Mercedes can address their underlying suspension issue and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is filled with chaos.

If chaos descends upon Baku on Sunday, there may be an opportunity for someone besides Ferrari and Red Bull to take the race win. Despite Mercedes being the third-fastest car in race trim, we’re going to look further down the odds to find a dark horse to emerge from the potential chaos.

McLaren’s Lando Norris is listed at +10000 to win the race. Norris is the type of driver who could capitalize on late-race chaos to provide a surprise race winner. Norris’ odds to win are very low with all four Red Bull and Ferrari’s on track. But if things get crazy on Sunday, Lando Norris could be the person to benefit from the chaos and land those who take a chance an excellent return.

Our Picks

We’re taking Leclerc to continue his electric performances in qualifying and take pole position. However, we are taking an underdog in the race. We’re going to pick Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to win his second straight Grand Prix. And if there are reliability issues for the front-runners or there is late-race chaos, Lando Norris is our ultimate underdog for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Lock You Can’t Miss

So, what’s this “betting lock” you can’t miss? The safety car. Yup, you read that right. Our “lock you can’t miss on” pick is to pick that there will be a safety car or a virtual safety car. If history can tell us anything about the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, it will tell us the race will be wild and there will be a safety car or two.

VegasInsider.com has the odds of a full safety car deployment at -600 for yes and +350 for no. As for a virtual safety car, the odds are closer: yes at -175 and no at +125. While our lock won’t net you a huge return, it will get you a win.