Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023 predictions and race preview
Our predictions and race preview ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix is back for 2023 as the Formula 1 season finally prepares for a sustained run of races.
Before the lights go out in Baku, there will have been just three races since the first week of March. Azerbaijan is paired with Miami in a double header that should light a fire under the season.
Max Verstappen leads the way in the fledgling championship battle, but what could this weekend have in store for the grid?
RadioTimes.com brings you our predictions and storylines to watch ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
More like this
Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023 preview
1. Max Verstappen's chance to build momentum
As mentioned, the season has been sluggish so far. Five races in six upcoming weekends gives Verstappen plenty of time and opportunity to build a near-unassailable lead.
It's only April, we're only three races in, but Verstappen may be sitting just shy of 200 points in just over a month's time. The season could rapidly veer his way in the blink of an eye.
2. Time for Mercedes to show their true colours
The gloom around Mercedes at the start of the season is, in light of their high standards, understandable. They are in the paddock to win, not to settle for second best. Results have been sketchy, but we're yet to see the true Mercedes in 2023.
Lewis Hamilton finished second in a chaotic race Down Under and lies fourth in the driver standings after three outings. However, it remains to be seen whether Mercedes can consistently fight for podiums in clean races. Will we discover more clues here?
3. High stakes sprint race
The sprint race format returns this weekend and the stakes feel particularly high given the merciless nature of the Baku street circuit.
The walls will you eat you alive if you give them a chance, so will drivers feel confident enough to plant their foot down, full throttle, and will any particularly bold movers seize their chance to get ahead?
Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023 prediction
It feels impossible to predict anything but a confident Max Verstappen victory under clean circumstances, but Baku has a habit of generating messy situations. Any number of corners could cause problems for any number of cars.
If Verstappen is caught up in any kind of drama, this could be one for Perez to snatch. Again, this is essentially a prediction that we are more likely to see an incident here than on other circuits. If it's a clear day, Verstappen will stroll it.
RadioTimes.com Azerbaijan GP predicted winner: Sergio Perez