Mercedes Destined To Rule Streets Of Monaco

May 24, 2019

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Domination in sport is a funny thing. Although we tend to celebrate and praise a person/s authority in a professional competition, it can often have an impact on the neutral’s interest in that selected sport.

With regards to Formula One, this is definitely the case. Mercedes have absolutely dominated the Championship standings in the opening five races, with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas sharing the top two spots in every single event.

It is the Brit who currently stands tall as the outright favourite to win a sixth title this season, but even if he falls short, the victor is still all but guaranteed to be dressed in Mercedes colours. Can we expect anything different when its ‘Lights out’ in Monaco?

Mercedes Dominate Practice Run

The story so far in the practice laps would suggest that we are not going to witness an underdog story this weekend. Mercedes finished over seven-tenths clear of Red Bull in FP2, as both Hamilton and Bottas dominated the track.

There is a feeling of inevitability when the Mercedes cars take to a circuit, as it appears the only way of them faltering is through an engine failure or collision. So long as disaster doesn’t strike for the constructor team, they expect to see their two drivers on the podium places in every single race. If the practice runs and F1 betting odds are anything to go by (which they are), not many would bet against this outcome happening again on Sunday.

Official qualifying takes place on Saturday 25th and the bookmakers fancy a top two spot for the Mercedes drivers once more. Should this happen, the duo will be odds on favourite to carry on such a trend for the remainder of the season. Monaco isn’t exactly known for its overtaking straights, so as long as they remain cool and calculated in the lead, there is very little chance of a slip up on the streets of Monte Carlo.

Lewis Hamilton The Favourite – 11/10 at 888sport

Whether you are frequent F1 follower or not, you know the name of Lewis Hamilton. Last season’s champion has experienced a phenomenal start to this year’s campaign, winning three out of the first five Grands Prix. It took him eight events to reach this landmark last season and the Brit looks good for his money to break his all-time record of eleven race victories in a calendar year.

Only Bottas could get within 0.7s of Hamilton during FP2, with the latter registering a blistering lap time of 1:11.118. The Brit’s impressive performance has inevitably seen him shoot up to the top of the F1 betting odds, and he is expected to finalise his pole position this Saturday.

For those who aren’t so keen on backing the outright favourite, it is worth noting that the Brit has only won this Grand Prix twice in eleven attempts. It is one of his lowest performing circuits of the F1 season, but his display on Wednesday and Thursday showed little signs of trouble.

Bottas Still Has Value – 15/8 at Coral

With two race wins this season and three consecutive pole positions, Bottas is closely behind Hamilton in the Monaco GP odds, but there is still value to be found in the Mercedes driver.

15/8 with Coral can be classed as a big price on the Finnish man, as he looks destined to start the race in one of the top two positions on the grid. During practice, it is clear that Bottas is desperate for that pole position though, as he was overly pushing on the majority of corners. It was an aggressive display by the no.2 ranked driver, who overspun at one point and even brushed the barrier on the final bend too.

Recognised as one of Formula One’s top racers, Bottas is evidently desperate for his first ever Championship parade. In this Mercedes car, he has every chance of doing so too. The Finnish man has never been in a stronger position to make his title aspirations come true and he will push Hamilton all the way.

There is always a first time for everything and he has a good chance in claiming his first-ever Monaco title this Sunday.

Best of the Rest

When you have two dominating drivers on the same level as Bottas and Hamilton, everybody else is simply classed as ‘the outsiders.’ That isn’t to discredit the ability of any other racer in the standings, it is just a testament to the Mercedes drivers’ superiority and the standard of their vehicles.

Max Verstappen is third in the Monaco GP odds, with Sport Nation valuing the Dutchman at 7/2. The aggressive Red Bull driver finished second in FP1, even after his turn one lock-up. Verstappen has been chasing Bottas and Hamilton all season, and the Mercedes drivers will recognise that there is no margin for error. We know that the 21-year-old loves pushing for an overtake, but there is limited space to do so this weekend.

Charles Leclerc didn’t experience the most productive practice. He impressed initially by finishing 4th, before his vehicle struggled in FP2, resulting in an overall 10th position. That being said, in his home town, the Ferrari driver will be keen to impress. The young racer registered the fastest lap in Bahrain and Azerbaijan, so he is of no stranger to pushing the boundaries. Monaco is a different kettle of fish though, and his big price of 20/1 with Betfair recognises this.

It feels strange placing the four-time Championship winner in such an underdog category, but this is the polarisation that Mercedes have enforced on the table. Sebastian Vettel is a mammoth 22/1 to win with Unibet, even after his 3rd place finish during FP2. When the German is being classed as a rank outsider, that says more about the influence of the cars than anything else.

Novelty Monaco GP Bets

So, barring a huge underdog story, there isn’t much value to be found within the Monaco Grand Prix odds. The top two will continue to be tipped to claim the podium spots all season, leaving Max Verstappen and the Ferrari drivers to battle it out underneath them. Verstappen is the favourite to come third, but Leclerc might be worth an outside bet.

At 9/4 with Ladbrokes, punters may fancy the Monaco born racer to slip inside and claim a podium finish in-front of his home crowd. He did so in Bahrain, and you can never count out a Ferrari driver.

There is no value in a top three finish for Verstappen, but his 7/2 price with Unibet to claim the fastest lap is one that might raise some eyebrows. The Dutchman is a driver that likes to push the boundaries, as we saw at this exact circuit last year. It was quite simply a mesmerising performance from Verstappen, with many labelling it the greatest drive of his short career. Can he repeat his individual fortunes this year? 7/2 is a strong punt in him doing so.

Bookmakers offering the best Formula One betting odds

Author: Joshua

As an experienced sports writer, Josh has been published across various different platforms, writing about his beloved club Manchester United and other footballing topics. He also covers a range of other sports, specialising in UFC and Formula One.

Twitter @JoshGI97

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