Practice one & two Sky Sports F1, 12.30pm & 4pm Friday
Practice three & qualifying Sky Sports F1, 11.30am & 3pm Saturday
Race Sky Sports F1, 2pm Sunday
Carlos Sainz to win the race
1pt each-way 20-1 bet365
Charles Leclerc fastest qualifier
1pt 15-8 Hills
THE Monaco Grand Prix often fails to live up to its billing but there are reasons to think that this year F1’s marquee event could deliver a humdinger.
This season has been a slow burner with Red Bull dominating so far but Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez could be vulnerable on the streets of Monte Carlo.
The team are on a six-race winning streak stretching back to last season and they have won in Monaco in three of the last four runnings of the race with three different drivers.
However, the unique, narrow, constantly twisting track may not play to their strengths.
Red Bull have enjoyed a performance advantage over their rivals in three key areas this season – straight-line speed, fast corners and DRS effectiveness. However, none of those things will be much help at Monaco.
In slower sections of the circuits raced so far this year, Ferrari have been kings.That was particularly in evidence at Baku, where Charles Leclerc’s nimble prancing horse eked out enough of an advantage through the twisty first half of the track to claim pole position.
Leclerc topped qualifying in Azerbaijan for the third year running, and it looks worth backing the hometown hero to complete another hat-trick of poles this weekend.
The Monegasque racer was fastest in qualifying in Monaco the last two years but has only a fourth-place finish to show for it.
As well as excelling in the slower corners, the Ferrari has been much more competitive over a single lap than in race trim. But at Monaco, where overtaking is nigh-impossible, that’s not a particular concern.
Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz has been having a solid if unspectacular season. Consistent in qualifying, the Spaniard has crossed the finish line fourth, fifth or sixth in every race this year, but was demoted in Australia after picking up a dubious penalty.
Sainz has finished second in each of the last two Monaco Grands Prix for Ferrari and he should have a good chance to pick up his first podium finish of the season.
Bet365 offer three places to each-way punters and while the early 33-1 about Sainz has gone, he still looks too big at 20-1.
There is a chance of showers across the weekend, with Sunday more likely to see rain than Saturday according to the Met Office.
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