Another short turnaround sees the action resume immediately, this time at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. The event in Canada has been cancelled the past two years due to the pandemic, with no doubt the drivers and fans are ecstatic to have the race back on the calendar.
With Ferrari seemingly steadfast in their approach to do everything in their power to ruin Charles Leclerc’s chances of taking the title, will we see another Red Bull victory this weekend? Or will Ferrari get their act together and keep Leclerc’s diminishing chances of the 2022 title within reach? Either way, it should be a cracking race.
Practice 1: Saturday 04:00 - 05:00
Practice 2: Saturday 07:00 - 08:00
Practice 3: Sunday 03:00 - 04:00
Qualifying: Sunday 06:00 - 07:00
Race: Monday 04:00 - 06:00
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Review
Speaking purely from a betting standpoint, what a race the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix proved to be! 6/6 and +21.27 units, I really hope everyone got on and captured some nice returns!
Getting to the on-track action, and it was once again Charles Leclerc dominating the first half of the race weekend, taking Pole Position from Sergio Perez, who seemed to be brimming with confidence after his last start win in Monaco. Perez was consistently quicker than teammate Verstappen throughout the weekend, and thoroughly deserved his front row spot.
Further down, Pierre Gasly and Seb Vettel were both quietly putting together solid weekends, with the Frenchman lining up an impressive 6th on the grid, whilst Vettel started 9th. Gasly’s teammate Tsunoda starting 8th outlined the inherent pace in the Alpha Tauri at this circuit.
Perez was the man to get away best, sneaking inside Leclerc to take the lead into the first corner. Perez used this to build a solid lead in the opening laps, creating a 3-4 second gap whilst Leclerc and Verstappen battled for 2nd.
The negatives continued for the Scuderia, with Carlos Sainz retiring on lap 9 with a hydraulic issue. This caused a VSC, which saw several drivers dive into the pits and bolt on new hard tyres. With 42 laps remaining, it was going to be touch and go for these drivers to make the chequered flag.
Leclerc was one of the drivers to pit, coming out in 3rd place, which turned into 1st place when the Red Bull drivers pitted on lap 16 (Perez) and 19 (Verstappen), leading by 13 seconds over Verstappen, who had passed Perez.
One lap later, and Leclerc was out. A spectacular engine failure which has surely put one or two nails into the coffin of his Championship challenge. From here, Verstappen cruised to victory from his teammate Perez. With a Red Bull 1-2 and double Ferrari retirement, the Constructors Championship is looking harder and harder to fathom for the Italian outfit.
We haven’t seen a Formula 1 race at this circuit for two years due to Covid, and as a result recent history is tough to quantify. Despite this, once again there are a couple of drivers who tend to perform extremely well at this circuit, and we will once again be looking to them to prop up our portfolio that will consist once again of the Championship protagonists.
Like Baku, Seb Vettel has a real affinity with the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, having won the race twice, as well as securing numerous podium finishes over the years. He has consistently dominated his teammate at the circuit, and a points finish is the absolute minimum he would be looking for from this weekend.
Despite being dominated by his teammate so far this season, Lewis Hamilton literally owns this circuit, having won here on 7 occasions, the equal most of any driver. Despite his apparent back issues, he has come out this week saying he will be racing this weekend, and I would not be surprised if he looks every bit as quick as George Russell, if not quicker. A podium is a real possibility.
Other drivers who tend to perform here compared to their teammates include Leclerc, Verstappen, Gasly and Alonso. With this circuit setting up similarly to that in Baku, I don’t see any reason as to why the same drivers won’t be battling it out for points this weekend.
The Canadian Grand Prix, being a street circuit, lends itself to some exciting racing, and with the long full throttle percentage could also see retirements as a factor in the result. It’s hard to bet on any team with a Ferrari engine this week, given the unreliability last week in Baku. Despite this, my portfolio will have some Ferrari, however this is based more so on the value of the bet.
As for my prediction, I see the weekend playing out very much like last weekend. Leclerc to take pole position, and Verstappen to use the Red Bull’s superior race pace to win the Grand Prix. Despite this, my bets will be more heavily weighted towards Ferrari, and this is based on how close these teams are in terms of pace, and the relative value of the bets.
Pierre Gasly Top 10 ($1.67) 3 Units
Pierre Gasly Winner W/O Big 6 ($6.00) 0.5 Units
Lewis Hamilton (Russel vs Hamilton) ($2.60) 1.5 Units
Seb Vettel Top 10 ($1.92) 2 Units
Aston Martin Double Top 10 ($7.00) 0.5 Units
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