Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix – Monte Carlo
Race Date: 29th May 2016
Circuit Name: Circuit de Monaco
Practice/Qualifying: 27th & 28th
Number of Laps: 78
Circuit Length: 3.34 km
Race Distance: 206.52 km
The F1 bandwagon has arrived in Monaco for the pinnacle of the Motorsport calendar the Monaco Grand Prix. Monaco is an independent microstate on France’s Mediterranean coastline known for its glitzy casinos, yacht-lined harbour, affluent and many famous residents and of course it’s prestigious Grand Prix, which races on the actual public streets of the area.
Past winners are a clear reminder of the rich history of the sport, with Ayrton Senna claiming a record six victories, Graham Hill and Michael Schumacher five, Alain Prost four and Stirling Moss and Jackie Stewart both three. Current F1 Championship leader Nico Rosberg of Mercedes has dominated the race in recent years winning the last three Monaco GP, while team mate Hamilton and Ferraris Sebastian Vettel, have only won the race once back in 2008 and 2011 respectively.
The race has been a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar since 1955 and the circuit is made up of roads accessible to the public throughout the year and even during race weekends. The circuit is famous for its claustrophobic atmosphere, its unforgiving nature, and especially the difficulty of overtaking however, the sheer uniqueness and history of the race and all the glamour surrounding it definitely makes up for the lack of racing manoeuvres and excitement.
Due to the nature of the circuit and overtaking being almost impossible the driver who qualifies fastest more often than not wins the race. This has been the case in eight of the last ten renewals of the GP, the exceptions being in 2008 when Hamilton won from third on the grid for McLaren and last year when Rosberg won from second on the grid for Mercedes, beating team mate Hamilton who qualified fastest.
From a betting perspective this weekend it’s a surprise to see Hamilton favourite for qualifying and the race proper on Sunday, given his reliability and launch control issues so far this season and especially because he doesn’t have a particularly strong record at this circuit. Rosberg clearly loves the Monaco GP having won it the last three seasons. He’s won every GP so far in 2016, except Spain, and if he can qualify on the front row of the Grid, which he’s managed to do in every race this season, the 5/2 on offer for the race win will start to look very generous given how well he’s started in all of his races this season.
Another bet of interest is Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in the “Not To Finish the Race” market at 9/4. Compared to team mate Perez, who is having a consistent season so far and is improving with every race, Hulkenberg continues to struggle; he’s progressively falling further behind his team mate in terms of performance and clearly has the inferior car. Also, he’s failed to finish the last two races and if he continues in this vein of form and with the Monaco circuit being so demanding on both driver and car there’s a realistic chance he will not make it to the end of his third straight GP on Sunday.