Venue: Circuit de Monaco
Max Verstappen was described as a ‘sitting duck’ when passed late on by Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona but is fancied to hit back in our Monaco Grand Prix predictions.
The set-up in Spain always promised to suit Mercedes but Red Bull may find conditions more to their liking in the principality.
Past history certainly gives the Milton Keynes outfit a chance as they completed a hat-trick here from 2010 to 2012 and claimed a one-two in 2018.
This circuit was not used last year but Verstappen had his best run in 2019 and gets the nod to now prevail at 11/8 in our Monaco Grand Prix betting tips.
Team principal Christian Horner said in Catalonia: “We couldn’t have done anything differently, Lewis and Mercedes were quicker than us and able to follow Max so closely without hurting their tyres.
“We were able to hold track position but when the field opens up to the degree it did behind, Lewis gains a free pit stop which leaves you in the horrible position as race leader trying to brave it out to the end instead of sacrificing track position.
“But it’s full focus on Monaco now and continuing work back at the factory to find more performance and catch up to Mercedes.”
The Mexican commented on the F1 website: “I’m getting more confident with the car now and every time I get to the end of a weekend, I think, ‘I wish the weekend was just starting now’.
“I am excited for Monaco, especially with this car, as historically it’s been competitive and I think we have a chance of winning.”
How the Spanish Grand Prix finished
1 Hamilton (Mercedes), 2 Verstappen (Red Bull), 3 Bottas (Mercedes), 4 Leclerc (Ferrari), 5 Perez (Red Bull), 6 Ricciardo (McLaren), 7 Sainz (Ferrari), 8 Norris (McLaren), 9 Ocon (Alpine Renault), 10 Gasly (Alphatauri), 11 Stroll (Aston Martin), 12 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 13 Vettel (Aston Martin), 14 Russell (Williams), 15 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 16 Latifi (Williams), 17 Alonso (Alpine Renault), 18 Schumacher (Haas), 19 Mazepin (Haas), DNF Tsunoda (Alphatauri)
Of course, Hamilton has to be respected after claiming his 100th pole in Barcelona and then enjoying his third win from four races this term.
An inspired decision to pit for the second time with 24 of the 66 laps remaining led to the seven-time world champion picking off Verstappen with plenty of time to spare.
“There is still some life in this old dog,” said Hamilton, 13 years older than Verstappen and Evens to oblige again here.
“This is a period of time where I have to be at my best because Max is driving exceptionally well.
“It is so close between all of us that it is going to take perfect delivery every weekend. I don’t think anyone can do that but it is about getting as close as possible.”
The Briton has won three times in Monaco (2008, 2016 and 2019) but was eclipsed by then team-mate Nico Rosberg from 2013 to 2015.
Valtteri Bottas can be backed at 7/1 to do the business for Mercedes after still insisting he is not there simply to support Hamilton, despite already being 47 points behind.
Bottas was ordered to move out of his team-mate’s way in Spain and it was only with some reluctance that he did.
He later admitted: “I definitely could have let him by earlier. I am not here to let people by. I am here to race.”
Past Monaco Grand Prix winners
2019 Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel, Bottas
2018 Ricciardo (Red Bull), Vettel, Hamilton
2017 Vettel (Ferrari), Raikkonen, Ricciardo
2016 Hamilton (Mercedes), Ricciardo, Perez
2015 Rosberg (Mercedes), Vettel, Hamilton
2014 Rosberg (Mercedes), Hamilton, Ricciardo
2013 Rosberg (Mercedes), Vettel, Webber
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