The most glamorous occasion of the Formula One season, the Monaco Grand Prix is also set to be a vital one with the Championship fight already in full swing. Mercedes do not have the advantage that they did last season, but they have hit form since coming back to Europe.
Also, nobody could doubt their dominance in Spain, where Lewis Hamilton was near untouchable, taking pole with ease and then coming home a comfortable 20 seconds clear of Valtteri Bottas – Vettel ended up 40 seconds behind the Mercedes. Read on for F1 betting strategy tips for the world’s most prestigious auto race.
Vettel, 10/3 to win with Paddy Power, is only 17 points behind Hamilton, a gap that can be turned around in one weekend, but Ferrari will be unhappy with their current standing in the title race given the opportunities they’ve had for more victories so far.
A safety car and bad pit strategy cost him likely victory in China, he was leading late into the Azerbaijan GP when he overshot an early corner and then had to deal with a safety car before a chain of events gave Hamilton victory. There will be concern about the fact that Vettel's 78 championship points is 26 less than he had after five races in 2017, when he hit the lead and then was reeled in by Hamilton late in Asia.
However, Vettel led a 1-2 for Ferrari in Monte Carlo last year and the one lap pace of the Ferrari has been impressive so far. The unique nature of Monaco, the tightest track of the year, means that the battle for pole is all important here (In the previous 64 F1 races in Monaco, the winner has come from the top three 54 times) and Ferrari will be hopeful of getting at least one of their cars on the front of the grid.
Being the shortest and slowest lap of the year, Monaco is all about generating as much grip from tyres and downforce settings as possible and those are areas where the SF71H has thrived this year. The long straight down the back of the circuit into sector three – and then into the Harbour before the home straight – ought to help their cause in the crucial battle for track position.
That said, the Mercedes revival will worry Ferrari, who have had the worse of battles between the two in Europe over the past two seasons when Hamilton has managed to create big gaps that the Prancing Horse couldn’t pull back. Mercedes are currently 7/2 to be the team of the winning driver with Ladbrokes.
Choosing between the top two is difficult but there are a multitude of sporting options that one can have in markets nowadays and the best and simplest bet might relate to neither Ferrari nor their close rival.
Red Bull have arguably left even more points on the track than Ferrari, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen crashing into each other when they were pushing for a podium on lap 40 of the 52-lap race in Baku. They finished third and fifth in Spain and the raw pace of their car ought to put them on the heels of both Ferrari and Mercedes, making the double points option for both cars the best one for both.
New modifications that have been completed just in time for the European season have impressed, with Red Bull's speed in sector three last week which is littered with slower corners, showed a distinct improvement from what has been seen previously drew some interesting quotes from rivals who see the RB14 as a car to watch.
There were revised bargeboards, floor and side pods attached in Spain and perhaps it’s not a coincidence that Max Verstappen took his first podium of the season and had several seconds back to Vettel to boot. Lewis Hamilton was amongst a couple of the riders to take note of the marked improvement:
“If you look at Daniel Ricciardo [in Spain], he was much quicker in the last sector. He was much quicker in the last sector – and the last sector is all downforce. They are going to be rapid in Monaco – and very hard to beat.”
The narrowest and tightest circuit on the calendar, Monaco is a coming together of F1 extremes in a luxurious setting. Maximum downforce and sharp breaks mean maximum concentration is required for corners such as the iconic Loews hairpin, the slowest corner in F1, before the famously long straight into the tunnel. You won’t want to miss this one - get your bet in at one of the top F1 betting sites.