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Into The Unknown – Baku City F1 Preview

The Formula 1 championship heads into unknown territory for the Grand Prix of Europe in Azerbaijan. Baku City will host its inaugural F1 race this weekend with a street circuit like no other. Not only does it boast tight and twisty bits but it also has high speed corners and two relatively long straights. And I don’t mean Monaco long, I mean Canada long, which makes for an even greater spectacle as cars with a low downforce or cars with less drag will both have their advantages and disadvantages during the race. It all makes for another exciting race with plenty of overtaking opportunities.

I asked if Lewis Hamilton was back and he answered me in the best possible way, with a race victory. Now I know that Ferrari pretty much handed the defending champion the race win on a silver platter but he still had to maintain his cool and track position. Hamilton’s second race win of the season has now closed the gap at the top of the standings to a mere 9 points as championship leader Nico Rosberg could only muster a seventh and a fifth in Monaco and Montreal respectively. Does this mark the beginning of the end for the rest of the field? I think so because now that Hamilton has got that jump back in his step he is going to be a very difficult man to beat.

Red Bull were first to give Mercedes the win in Monaco after their pit stop blunder. In Montreal it was the turn of Ferrari to make the mistake after they decided to jump onto a two stop strategy even though Sebastian Vettel had track position. If you’re going to make the Mercedes pass you, make them do it on the track, not in the pits. In the end it was the wrong strategy by a long shot which handed Hamilton the race win.

The race in Baku City is going to be terribly hard to call because all of the drivers have only driven around the track on their team simulators. The track is still pretty ‘green’ and will take time to rubber in across the race weekend. Keep a look out though for the hard charging Ferraris as their upgraded turbo continues to deliver some positive results. Red Bull are also looking to get back into the game after a slightly lacklustre weekend last time out in Canada. Unfortunately with the track in Azerbaijan boasting a couple of long straights, the Red Bull boys might be a little short on horsepower but hopefully they can make it all back in the tight a twisty parts of the race course.

I was spot on with my winner in Canada and I recon Lewis will make it three in a row this weekend. Watch out for the flying Ferraris and Red Bulls to battle it out for the remaining spots on the podium.

  1. Lewis Hamilton 2. Sebastian Vettel 3. Daniel Ricciardo

Enjoy the race and if you’re taking a bet, the best of luck to you. You can also catch me on Twitter @ChrisFletch46 for questions, comments and all sorts of banter.

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