The fourth race of the new season, and against expectations Mercedes are yet to win a race

It now appears likely that Mercedes are not the sport’s fastest car. In qualifying in Bahrain they were beaten by Ferrari,but that is a Ferrari track so perhaps the Mercedes qualifying mode will once again have them at the head of the field at the start of Sunday’s race in Baku

However in all three races this season Ferrari and Vettel in particular have had the race pace, albeit that Red Bull won the last race on strategy when Ricciardo pitted for Fresh rubber behind the virtual safety car

Last season in Baku, in a race later in the season than it is this year, Red Bull won after Mercedes qualified on pole. A street circuit with one exceptionally long straight that allows for over-taking it leads to a fair fight between Mercedes horsepower and the more nimbel chassis of the Ferrari/Red-Bull and a close race is in prospect

Odds for the race are

Hamilton 11/10
Vettel 6/4
Bottas 6/1
Verstappen 10/1
Ricciardo 12/1
Raikkonen 16/1

At the prices there has to be value about Vettel over Hamilton, at Skybet and the Red Bulls over both with Verstappen at 10/1. They will need some race chaos for this to pay dividends but the nimbleness on team strategy bodes well if it does.