F1 Tips: 3 Monaco Grand Prix best bets for Sunday’s showdown

Paddy Power's Rob Bentley is here to put you in the driving seat.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

The dust has settled after an eventful Spanish Grand Prix and the roadshow now heads to Monaco, one of the oldest and most iconic circuits on the calendar.

Max Verstappen made it three wins in a row last weekend and took the lead for the first time this season in the Drivers Championship as Charles Leclerc was forced to retire. It wasn’t plain sailing for Max, however, as he survived an early spin as well as DRS issues before pulling away and sealing the win. Cue Leclerc and Ferrari looking for a big response here in his home race.

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This street circuit is incredibly narrow and chaotic, with very limited opportunities to overtake. Racing round the circuit was famously described as “trying to cycle around your living room” and is often won and lost in qualifying. Usually it is one of the drivers at the front row of the grid who will find themselves at the top of the Podium come Sunday.

Up until this point, I’ve refrained from settling on a race winner, it’s been too close to call either way. But the way Monaco is likely to play out means I’ll be sticking my neck on the line for this one.

I’m going for Charles Leclerc to win the Monaco Grand Prix. Qualifying is key here and will likely determine the outcome of the race. And so far, Leclerc has been the man for a Saturday. He’s outqualified Max in five of the first six races, including taking pole four times. Add to that his performance in qualifying here last year, where he qualified on pole, it gives me confidence that Charles will break Max’s run of three on the spin.

Mercedes’ upgrade last week in Spain seemed to make a real difference, it even put a smile on Lewis Hamilton’s face. Whilst teammate George Russell has consistently delivered top five finishes all season it’s been the former World Champion that has struggled. He described the feeling of last week’s result as “better than a win” which says it all about where he feels the car has been up until that point.

It could have been even better too had he not had to slow down during the closing laps due to a coolant leak, allowing Sainz to overtake and take fourth.

The team will be looking to put the first five races of the season behind them now and kick on, and after last week’s showing, for the first two legs of my three-fold Same Podium Multi I’ll be going with Lewis Hamilton & George Russell Top 6 Finish. You could see the relief in Lewis’ face last week and you can never keep a Champion adown. Coupled with Russell’s supreme consistency this year those two will both be looking at a Top 6 Finish.

The man joining them in the Top 6 Finish acca is Valterri Bottas. The former Mercedes driver has emerged in recent weeks as being the leader of the middle pack. He has enabled Alpha Romeo to close the gap on McLaren in the Constructors Championship, as he too closes in on Lando Norris in the Drivers. As I’ve mentioned before, the team have given him a good car but it’s the same car that his teammate, Zhou Guanyu, has really struggled with in his debut season. Yes, Bottas is the better driver but it also comes down to experience. He’ll need to use all of that to back up last weeks Top 6 with another here in Monaco.

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Max Verstappen is a driver who drives very close to the line. We saw a few times last year he will go over that line in order to try and win those close battles. Although we are yet to see the same kind of aggression this season, the desire and will to win is there. He has so far won every race he’s finished, whilst also being out-qualified by Leclerc in all except one. If he continues his qualification form, then Verstappen will be starting behind him on Sunday, and Monaco doesn’t lend itself to playing catch up on race-day.

It is only the seventh race in what is a very long season, but the Drivers Championship is starting to heat up. Can Verstappen stay patient on Sunday if he finds himself behind Leclerc? With the nature of the Red Bull man’s driving and the layout of the course, I think Max Verstappen not to be classified could be worth a punt. That’s without even mentioning the historic reliability issues his team have had which seemed to rear its head again last week with his DRS system issues…

Monaco Grand Prix betting tips:

Charles Leclerc to win the Monaco Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton, George Russell & Valterri Bottas all to finish in the Top 6
Max Verstappen not to be qualified

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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