Though Nico Rosberg won the last two races in Monte Carlo, his teammate is the favourite to win this weekend’s event.
Formula One is back in Monaco for the most unique race of the year. The streets of Monte Carlo are far from anything that would remind anyone, who bet on sports in the EU to a race track, however the venue is an integral part of motor racing history from its beginnings. The race could be boring easily tough, as overtaking is a rare feature in the tight streets of the Principality, but the event itself is a highlight of the year indeed.
- Rosberg is a Monte Carlo expert
- Hamilton is favourite to win
- Mercedes in a different league in Monaco
Many of the drivers live in Monaco, so they are able to walk from home to the paddock, and the microstate is full of high profile fans, superstars, celebs, magnates and other people who own a yacht and have some cash to burn. Spectators can enjoy the race from their balconies or from their pools and don’t be surprise if you see a pool actually on a balcony filled with bikini girls sipping champagne. That is what the Monaco Grand Prix is all about.
Monaco was crucial last year
Nico Rosberg is the actual Monaco specialist of the field coming second in 2012 and winning the last two races. He is the only multiple winner in Monaco amongst the active drivers outside Fernando Alonso of course, who succeeded here in 2006 and 2007. Last years’ race did not lack controversy, as that was the event which started the war between Rosberg and his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Though their rivalry became desperate in Belgium, where Rosberg opted not to avoid contact with Hamilton, ruining the Briton’s race, it all started on the streets of Monte Carlo. In the closing phase of last years’ qualifying session, Rosberg was having the best lap time and being a virtual pole sitter, when Hamilton was on his way to take that away from him. However, the German went wide in turn 5, drawing yellow flags and thus Hamilton was unable to finish his lap that would supposedly take him to pole position.
Rosberg was accused of making an error deliberately to secure himself the pole, however he was cleared by the marshals after the qualification. Next day he won the race ahead of his teammate, and regained the lead in the championship which he held until the Singapore GP was run in September. Rosberg fancy something similar this year too, however as Hamilton leads by 20 points, an upset is certainly needed for the German to emerge as the leader of the championship after the weekend.
Rosberg is at home, but Hamilton still a favourite
Being a son of a Formula One world champion, Keke Rosberg, Nico grew up in Monaco, so this Grand Prix is his home race indeed, especially in this year as the German GP was cancelled. His two victories show that he probably knows every corner better than anyone in the field, however this is still not enough for online sportsbooks to rank him as the favourite to win the race.
Rosberg might have won the last race in Barcelona to strengthen his confidence and his position in the competition for the title, but Hamilton is rolling this year, and being the default favourite for pole means in Monaco that he is the favourite for winning the race too. He has sorted out things with Mercedes eventually and signed his new deal keeping him there until the end of the 2018 season. Gambling news report that he will get 30 million euros a year, and closing the negotiations could provide a relaxed background and a boost for the title defender.
However, Rosberg had the opportunity to test the Mercedes in Barcelona last week, where the Brackley-based team tried setups for Monaco, which sure is an advantage for him. The Ferraris were reportedly underperformed in Spain, so the gap between them and the Silver Arrows could be narrowed this weekend. However, last years’ races showed that the package that Mercedes offers to their drivers is far the best for this track.
With its special, slow and twisting layout, Monaco was historically rather about the drivers’ skills than car performance, but the drivability of Mercedes puts Hamilton and Rosberg in a different league for this venue. The key moment of the weekend should be in Q3, where the two of them will decide on who to start from pole. If there is no big upset in the race, the pole sitter should succeed in the race as well, so those who place a wager at online sportsbooks in the EU, should consider to pick Saturday’s winner for Sunday too.