Who won the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix on? Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
FIVE KEY FACTORS
After the winter testing promise, Ferrari’s lack of form has left many people baffled. In China, hopes were pinned on their straight-line speed advantage, only to be beaten by Mercedes’ better aero-downforce in the corners. With Baku boasting one of the longest straights on the calendar, can Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc bounce back?
Sebastian Vettel continues having an unconvincing start to the season, despite getting preferential treatment from Ferrari with controversial team orders. The German continues to lock-up and make mistakes and did not exactly pull away after Charles Leclerc was ordered to let him pass in China. Vettel needs a stronger performance in Baku.
After his stunning victory in Melbourne, Valtteri Bottas has been good, but Lewis Hamilton has bettered him throughout the last two races. The Finn needs to start putting the pressure back on his team-mate, otherwise Mercedes will start prioritising Hamilton again for the championship.
In the midfield, Haas and Alfa Romeo, with the Ferrari power, should be battling Renault for best-of-the-rest. Kimi Räikkönen is having a great start to the season, and with Baku tending to be dramatic, seeing the Flying Finn back on the podium is within the realms of possibility.
Sadly, Williams remain nowhere near points and is a real worry for the great British team. How far they have fallen is shocking. Expect another dreadful weekend.
Baku really should suit the Ferrari, with long straights and very low speed corners. They look the team to beat, but then most commentators said the same heading into China. For the good of the sport, we need to see Ferrari winning races, as Mercedes are already running away with it.
The downforce advantage of Mercedes should be significantly reduced in Baku, therefore, the prediction is for Charles Leclerc to win, but as with China, it is very possible Lewis Hamilton, in a slower car, somehow manages to pull off another unlikely win or that Ferrari continues to throw it away.