The F1 season is almost a third of the way done as the teams ship out Monaco for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, “the crown jewel of F1.”
After six races, Red Bull has vaulted to the top of the 2022 Constructor Standings (team standings) with Ferrari now in second, trailing by 26 points. Mercedes remains a fair bit behind in third, trailing Red Bull by 75 points.
Max Verstappen of Red Bull, also moved into first place in the Drivers Standings after last weekend’s win in Barcelona. The reigning champion has won every race that he’s been able to finish this season, retiring in two other instances due to mechanical failures with the car.
The rest of the top five behind Verstappen is Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, who had to retire in last weekend’s race due to power issues with the car, plus Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, Mercedes’ George Russell, and Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz.
Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton continues to struggle to meet his previous standards and sits in 6th in the Drivers Standings.
Monaco has been the most well-known and celebrated track in F1 essentially since its debut in 1950. Built along the French Riviera, the track consists of 19 narrow corners weaving alongside the Monaco opera house, the Casino de Monte-Carlo, and many other local landmarks.
It also has barriers around the entire track to accommodate masses of spectators, as well as the famous straightaway down the Riviera where people gather on their yachts to party and watch the cars race by. It’s truly a spectacle and could be one on the track as well.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was born and raised in Monaco, so the team resolving his car’s power issues before his hometown race will be crucial. Ferrari has announced that they will have a replacement power unit in time for the Monaco Grand Prix, but last week’s failure will certainly be in the back of the entire team’s minds when Leclerc begins his practice laps on Friday.
Due to the multiple tight corners of the track, the cars with the best straight-line speed are not necessarily the favorites this weekend. Cars will need to be efficient in the slow-speed sections, which has always been a strength of Mercedes and Ferrari. Despite Lewis Hamilton’s recent struggles in Monaco, perhaps this is a race where he can overcome the lack of top-end speed in the Mercedes cars this season and get back to the strong results at Monaco from earlier in his career?
Given the layout of the course, overtaking is extremely difficult. That means that qualifying and pit stop efficiency will be instrumental in ensuring that teams don’t unnecessarily fall behind cars they will have trouble passing.
That trouble has caused many people to wonder if F1 has simply outgrown Monaco. With the cars being built bigger and wider for more top-end speed, the tight streets of the track seem even more constraining. If the size of the cars leads to a relatively uninspiring race, will F1 think of making any changes to its most famous circuit?
Monaco Grand Prix TV, how to watch
- Date: Saturday, May 28th
- Time: 10:00 a.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
- Date: Sunday, May 29th
- Time: 9:00 a.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
For more F1 Coverage, visit TailgateSports.com
2022 Monaco Grand Prix Odds
|Driver||Winner||Top 6 Finish||Top 10 Finish|
Odds for Monaco Grand Prix courtesy of DraftKings. For more, click here.
Monaco Grand Prix Top Picks
Max Verstappen to win (+120)
I know that Leclerc is the trendy pick. It’s his home race. He’s been driving really well. He looked great at Monaco last year before a crash at the end of qualifying. He’s been tremendous in qualifying all season, which gives him a good shot at pole position. I know all of that. But I also know that Leclerc’s car just had a major power failure, which worries me. I also know that Verstappen has won every race he’s finished this season. Yes, the Red Bull car is not as good in slow corners as the Ferrari car, but I just think Verstappen is the better driver and is aggressive enough to take advantage of tight-window passing opportunities.
Valtteri Bottas to finish top six (-175)
We placed this bet last weekend in Spain and it worked out for us, so we’re going back to the well again. Bottas hasn’t finished below 8th this season (aside from one DNF) and has been top-six in three of the five races he’s finished. The Alfa Romeo car also has performed really well of late, separating itself from the mid-tier competitors. Given the issues the top teams have seen this year, and the talent that Bottas has, it’s not unlikely for him to sneak into the top six.
Monaco Grand Prix Darkhorse Pick
Lewis Hamilton Finishes on the Podium (+210)
This has been a poor season for Hamilton, but it’s not all his own doing. His car failed him a couple of times, and in both Saudi Arabia and Australia, he got stuck behind a safety car which prevented any chance of him gaining ground on his competitors.
However, he looked good in the Spanish Grand Prix, showing the top-end speed that the car had been lacking early in the season. Mercedes has been making changes to the car throughout the year, so it’s possible that last week was an indication of improved performance going forward. While Hamilton finished 7th last year, he did complete the fastest lap and has also won Monaco in 2019 and 2016, so we know he can perform in this circuit.