Formula 1 Grand Prix De Monaco 2021 Preview

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Formula 1 Grand Prix De Monaco 2021 Preview

The fifth round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship sees the sport travel to Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo.

At present, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton lead Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings by 14 points, as he currently sits on 94 from the opening four rounds, meaning that the Dutch driver will realistically have to start winning races soon, or risk being cut adrift from the Brit in the title race.

The Monaco GP didn’t feature in last year’s calendar for the first time since 1954, meaning that the last time they raced at this famous old street circuit was in 2019, where Hamilton edged out Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel by just over two seconds, with Valtteri Bottas finishing third, whilst the two Red Bulls of Verstappen and Pierre Gasly crossed the line in fourth and fifth place.

Verstappen actually crossed the line in second place, but due to a five-second penalty for an unsafe release to jump Bottas in the pit stops, he finished fourth, meaning that the 23-year-old is yet to earn himself a podium in Monaco.

One of the most notable incidents was a Charles LeClerc spin early on in the race, as he attempted an audacious move on Nico Hulkenberg, as the Ferrari driver looked to fight his way through the field from 16th on the grid, but the Monaco born racer punctured his left rear tyre and caused a puncture of which he didn’t nurse his car back to the pits in a mature fashion, and consequently caused a lot of damage to the floor of the Ferrari, which ultimately lead to his retirement later on.

Verstappen as usual, tried to take the fight to Hamilton, as he desperately needed to get past the Brit to stand any chance of finishing in the podium, which saw the Dutchman make a late lunge into the turn 10 chicane and made contact with Hamilton, but, both cars were able to carry on in normal fashion, which meant that the order of the field stayed the same until the end of the race, when the time penalty was incurred.

Monaco GP Specials - Mercedes and Red Bull

skybet betting tip

BOTH MERCS & BOTH RED BULLS TOP 4 IN QUALIFYING & IN THE RACE @ 4/1

Qualifying Prediction

Last time out in Spain, Hamilton became the first driver of the season to manage two pole positions, having done so at Imola too and also became the first to convert a pole position into a race win. Whoever finishes pole at Monaco always gives themselves an incredible chance of winning the Grand Prix, due to how close the barriers and track limits are on this street circuit.

Monaco is a track that hasn’t been as kind to Hamilton as others in the past, as he has qualified on pole position twice in the sports last five visits to Monte Carlo, as well as strangely for his standards, having an inferior record to teammates in terms of race wins in year’s gone by, as Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg have accumulated four race wins here to Hamilton’s three.

It looks as though Verstappen will likely be Hamilton’s most likely challenger for pole position, alongside Mercedes teammate Bottas, and due to this being a track which has served the Red Bull’s well in years gone by, we could see the likes of Sergio Perez emerge as an outsider for pole, as he very nearly did at Imola, where the Mexican finished 0.035 seconds shy of the seven-time world champion.

Prediction: Pole Position: Verstappen – 11/10. 2. Hamilton 1/1. 3. Perez 20/1. 4. Bottas 11/2.

Monaco GP Price Boosts - Hamilton

skybet betting tip

LEWIS HAMILTON HAT-TRICK - WIN/FASTEST QUALIFIER/FASTEST LAP @ 9/2

Hamilton vs Verstappen

In general, this season it looks as though the Red Bulls are quick on the soft compound tyre, but, as they have at both Spain and Portimao, seem to be struggling to get to grip with the mediums, which could be crucial in the outcome of this race, as it is all about precision and tyre management.

Mercedes had the upper hand on the strategy in Spain, due to having both Bottas and Hamilton in touching of Verstappen in the lead, despite overtaking the latter into the first corner of the GP, before also beating him in the first round of pit stops.

However, Toto Wolf and the Mercedes strategists pitted Hamilton for the second time in the race and reaped the rewards of having fresh tyres, whilst Verstappen in the Red Bull suffered from severe tyre degradation, meaning that the world champion was able to claw back 22 seconds and overtake the race leader to claim this third victory of the season.

What must be noted is that Monaco is a tight circuit and has quick laps, as the fastest lap of the race last time out was a 1 minute and 14.279 seconds lap by Gasly who as mentioned before, was at Red Bull in 2019. This means that there is usually a lot of congestion with traffic from backmarkers throughout the 78-lap race, so there is limited chances to maximise strategies alike the one Mercedes managed at Spain.

This track is one that favours a high rake car, of which Red Bull have, but Hamilton keeps on defying the odds this season, as every time pundits and fans generally think that Verstappen has the jump on the Brit, he has more than often answered all of the questions thrown at him, hence why he is narrowly favourite 11/10, compared to Verstappen’s price of 5/4.

Monaco GP Tips - Verstappen

skybet betting tip

MAX VERSTAPPEN TO BE FASTEST QUALIFIER & RACE WINNER @ 9/4

Magnificent McLaren

So far this season, Lando Norris has shown his future potential, accumulating 41 points from his first four races, including just his second podium in Formula 1, via an incredible drive at Imola. Meanwhile, things have started slightly slower than expected for teammate Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren, as he is struggling to match his teammate’s pace, but, alike at Renault, it may just be a matter of adjusting to his new team.

Ricciardo has a respectable total of 24 points and has good memories of this track, winning the race in 2018 as Red Bull driver, vanishing the ghosts of his second-place finish in 2016 with the Austrian constructor, where a lengthy pit stop cost the Australian victory at the expense of Hamilton.

Realistically McLaren will be aiming for fifth and sixth-placed finishes, but, at times this season, they have shown that on their day that they can push for a podium finish when others aren’t on form. Norris is priced at 11/2 for a podium finish, whilst Ricciardo has the odds of 7/1.

Monaco Specials - Magnificent McLaren

skybet betting tip

MCLAREN: RICCIARDO & NORRIS BOTH TOP 6 & EITHER TO FINISH ON THE PODIUM @ 7/2

Is This Bottas’ Chance?

Bottas comes into this race on the back of three podiums from the first four races, having finished third in Spain last time out, playing a vital role in Hamilton’s victory over Verstappen, as mentioned above, as well as recording third-place finishes at Bahrain and Portimao.

The Finnish driver managed a podium last time out in Monaco, finishing 3.162 second behind his teammate, having firstly being blocked from leaving the pits in a clean manner, due to Verstappen’s dangerous release from the Red Bull garage, as well as losing countless amounts of time stuck behind backmarkers.

Former Williams drivers Bottas will know that this could be a good chance to impose his mark on the new season and fight for a race win, alike when Rosberg completed a hattrick of race wins against Hamilton between 2013 and 2015.

Monaco GP Specials - Monaco Carnage

skybet betting tip

5+ SAFETY CARS TO BE DEPLOYED @ 10/1

A First Podium for Perez at Red Bull?

This is Perez’s first race at Monaco with Red Bull and Christian Horner will be determined to see the Mexican manage to earn his first podium with his new team in what is round five of the race calendar this time around.

Perez had countless issues in the run-up to the Bahrain GP, having been let down by team strategy at Bahrain in qualifying, before having electrical faults on the formation lap on the way to the grid, before recovering to a fifth-place finish.

Since Bahrain, things have been bumpy for the former Racing Point man, as he finished 11th at Imola, despite qualifying second, as well as fourth at Portimao and fifth in Spain, of which the two lower finishes will be regarded as unsatisfactory by the Red Bull team, as a fourth-place finish is realistically the minimum requirement for their second driver.

If Perez is to avoid the same fate as both Gasly and Alex Albon, then he will need to start improving on his current crop of results. Red Bull’s Mexican driver is priced at 7/4 to get on the podium, as well as having the odds of 7/2 to do the fastest lap of the race.

Monaco GP Specials - Monaco 2019 Repeat

skybet betting tip

MONACO 2019 REPEAT - HAM TO WIN, BOT PODIUM, VER, GAS & SAI ALL TOP 6, RIC & VET BOTH POINTS @ 80/1

Home Advantage for LeClerc

Ferrari driver LeClerc comes into this race as the fan favourite, as it is his home Grand Prix. The 23-year-old Monegasque driver is currently fighting alongside Norris for the status of driver of the season, having somehow yielded 40 points from four races out of what is a rather underwhelming car for the Italian constructor’s standards.

Realistically, a top-six finish would be a fantastic result for LeClerc this weekend. The 23-year-old showed in 2019 that he has got what it takes to compete with the very best, and if circumstances fall right, then he could be in for an unlikely podium on the weekend, which is priced at 5/2 as fifth favourite to do so.

Prediction: 1. Hamilton - 11/10. 2. Verstappen – 5/4. 3. Bottas – 7/1. 4. Perez – 14/1.

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