F1 betting tips: Monaco Grand Prix predictions, preview and Formula 1 best bets

We are set for an exhilarating weekend as the 81st Monaco Grand Prix approaches. This iconic race, nestled in the winding streets of Monte Carlo, promises high drama and intense competition. With its reputation as one of the trickiest and most prestigious circuits in the Formula 1 calendar, fans and punters alike are gearing up for what could be a defining moment in the season.

This week, we delve into the prospects of the drivers, with our Formula One expert Steve Harrington that has provided two best bets and a complete preview on what should be a great spectacle.

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F1 Betting Tips: 2024 Monaco Grand Prix Predictions

Key Stats

Charles Leclerc’s Dominance in Qualifying: Leclerc has secured pole position in Monaco for two consecutive years (2021 and 2022), highlighting his exceptional pace and mastery of the circuit.
Lando Norris’ Consistency: Norris has finished in the top two in the last three races of the current season, showcasing his strong form and the improvements in the McLaren car.
Red Bull’s Vulnerability on Bumpy Tracks: Despite their overall dominance, Red Bull has shown weaknesses on bumpy circuits like Monaco, with Max Verstappen acknowledging struggles when adjusting the car’s ride height.

A Unique Challenge in Monaco

The Monaco Grand Prix is renowned for presenting some of the most demanding conditions in Formula 1. The circuit’s narrow streets and tight corners require extraordinary precision and skill from the drivers. The race is held on the streets of Monte Carlo, a location that transforms into a high-speed arena for this annual event. Unlike other tracks, the layout of Monaco leaves little room for error. The barriers are unforgiving, and even the smallest mistake can lead to a race-ending collision.

Qualifying plays a critical role at Monaco. Due to the circuit’s layout, overtaking is extremely difficult, making a good starting position essential. The streets of Monte Carlo are famously narrow, and the tight, winding corners do not provide many opportunities for passing. As a result, drivers push their cars to the absolute limit during qualifying, often coming perilously close to the barriers in their quest for pole position. This emphasis on qualifying means that Saturday’s sessions are almost as thrilling as the race itself, with drivers vying for the best possible grid positions.

The track surface in Monaco is also a factor. The streets are bumpy and uneven, which can unsettle the cars and make it difficult to maintain control. The combination of these elements makes Monaco a unique challenge that tests every aspect of a driver’s abilities, from their reflexes and precision to their mental toughness and strategic thinking.

Charles Leclerc: Home Favourite with High Hopes

Charles Leclerc, the local hero, has become a perennial favourite at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver, born and raised in Monte Carlo, has a special connection to this race. His performances here have been marked by exceptional speed and determination, qualities that have endeared him to the local fans. In 2021 and 2022, Leclerc secured pole positions, demonstrating his capability to master this challenging circuit.

However, Leclerc’s quest for a home victory has been marred by a series of unfortunate events. In 2021, a gearbox issue during the warm-up lap dashed his hopes of converting pole position into a win. The following year, a strategic error by Ferrari cost him the victory. Despite these setbacks, Leclerc’s pace and potential have never been in doubt. These incidents were not due to a lack of skill or speed but rather to circumstances beyond his control.

The Ferrari engine has traditionally performed well in Monaco, particularly in slow-speed corners where agility and acceleration are key. This year, the car’s design and engine performance could give Leclerc the edge he needs to finally clinch a victory at his home Grand Prix. Moreover, Red Bull’s recent struggles on bumpy tracks, as noted by Max Verstappen, could play to Ferrari’s advantage. Leclerc’s familiarity with the circuit and his car’s strengths position him as a strong contender for the win.

Red Bull’s Vulnerability

Red Bull has been a dominant force this season, with Max Verstappen leading the championship. However, their performance on tracks with uneven surfaces has shown some weaknesses. Verstappen himself has highlighted the team’s difficulties when they need to raise the ride height of the car to cope with bumpy tracks. Monaco, with its notoriously uneven surface, could expose these vulnerabilities.

This potential weakness in the Red Bull setup offers a glimmer of hope for other teams. If Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez struggle with the car’s handling on the bumpy streets of Monaco, it could open the door for drivers like Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris to challenge for the top spots. The unique demands of the Monaco circuit might level the playing field, providing opportunities for unexpected results.

The Case for Lando Norris

Lando Norris has emerged as one of the standout performers of the current season. The young McLaren driver has consistently shown his ability to compete at the highest level, with podium finishes in the last three races. Norris’ driving style and the recent improvements to his McLaren car make him a formidable competitor at Monaco.

McLaren’s enhancements in handling slow-speed corners could prove decisive on the tight and twisty Monaco circuit. Traditionally, McLaren has struggled in these areas, but recent upgrades have addressed these weaknesses. Norris has capitalised on these improvements, demonstrating his skill in navigating difficult tracks and maintaining competitive lap times. His ability to adapt and extract the maximum performance from his car will be crucial in Monaco.

Supporting Bets

While the primary focus remains on Leclerc and Norris, there are other drivers worth considering for potential bets at the Monaco Grand Prix. Yuki Tsunoda and Nico Hulkenberg have both shown impressive form in qualifying this season. Tsunoda, with a 71% success rate of making it into Q3, and Hulkenberg, who has consistently performed well on Saturdays, are both strong candidates for top-six finishes.

Analysis of Other Drivers

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen, despite his dominant performance this season, has shown some vulnerability on bumpy tracks. His need for a slipstream to secure pole in the previous race indicates that Red Bull’s car may not be perfectly suited to Monaco’s challenges. Nevertheless, Verstappen’s skill and experience make him a formidable opponent, capable of overcoming these obstacles.

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez has had a mixed relationship with the Monaco Grand Prix. He won here in 2022 but crashed out in qualifying last year. If Red Bull’s car struggles, Perez may find it more challenging to compete at the top. His ability to adapt to the car’s handling will be crucial.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton’s record in Monaco speaks for itself, with three wins to his name. However, Mercedes has not been particularly strong at this circuit in recent years. Despite this, Hamilton’s experience and tactical acumen could see him secure a points finish. His ability to navigate the complexities of the Monaco circuit will be key to his performance.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, who had a disappointing performance last time out, finished second in Monaco last year. While his team’s current form is not the best, Alonso’s skill on street circuits and his strategic mind could see him achieve a strong result. His ability to maximise his car’s potential in challenging conditions will be a factor to watch.

Predictions and Betting Tips for Monaco Grand Prix 2024

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Charles Leclerc to Win

Charles Leclerc, the Monegasque driver, carries the hopes and dreams of his home crowd every time he races on the streets of Monte Carlo. His record at Monaco is impressive, with pole positions in both 2021 and 2022, showcasing his exceptional pace and ability to navigate the narrow, winding streets of this challenging circuit. The Ferrari driver’s deep familiarity with the circuit’s intricacies, from its tight hairpins to its high-speed tunnels, gives him a significant edge over many of his competitors.

Ferrari’s performance on slow-speed tracks further strengthens Leclerc’s case for a victory. The team’s car design excels in navigating the complex and tight corners that define the Monaco Grand Prix. This characteristic has allowed Ferrari to consistently perform well at circuits requiring precision and agility. The engine’s excellent performance in these conditions ensures that Leclerc can extract every ounce of speed from his car, crucial in a race where overtaking is notoriously difficult, and maintaining position is key.

Leclerc’s determination to win his home race adds another layer to his potential success. Racing in front of a home crowd can be both a motivator and a pressure point, but Leclerc has shown that he thrives under these conditions. His past misfortunes at Monaco, including the gearbox issue in 2021 and the strategic blunder in 2022, were not due to a lack of pace or driver error. These experiences have only added to his resolve, making him more determined than ever to clinch a victory in Monte Carlo.

Moreover, this season’s context provides Leclerc with a unique opportunity. Red Bull, despite their overall dominance, have shown some vulnerabilities, particularly on bumpy tracks like Monaco. Max Verstappen has admitted that their car struggles when the ride height needs adjusting, which is often the case on Monaco’s uneven streets. This potential weakness in the Red Bull setup could give Leclerc the chance to capitalise on any slip-ups from the reigning champions.

In summary, Leclerc’s impressive track record at Monaco, combined with Ferrari’s strong performance on slow-speed tracks and his unwavering determination to win at home, positions him as a top contender for victory. His familiarity with the circuit, the car’s strengths, and Red Bull’s potential vulnerabilities make him a strong bet for the win this weekend.

Lando Norris Podium Finish

Lando Norris has been a beacon of consistency and skill this season, emerging as one of the standout drivers in the field. His impressive form has seen him finish in the top two in the last three races, highlighting his capability to compete at the highest level. Norris’ driving style, characterised by precision and calm under pressure, suits the demands of the Monaco circuit perfectly.

The recent upgrades to Norris’ McLaren car have significantly enhanced its performance, particularly in slow-speed corners—a critical aspect of the Monaco Grand Prix. Traditionally, McLaren struggled with these types of corners, but the latest improvements have addressed these weaknesses, allowing the car to navigate tight turns more effectively. These upgrades are particularly important in Monaco, where the ability to maintain speed and control through the circuit’s numerous sharp corners can make the difference between a podium finish and a mid-pack result.

Norris’ adaptability and skill in extracting the maximum performance from his car have been evident throughout the season. His ability to consistently deliver strong performances, even under challenging conditions, sets him apart from many of his peers. This season, Norris has demonstrated a remarkable ability to manage tyre wear and maintain competitive lap times, both of which are crucial in the endurance-focused Monaco race.

Furthermore, Norris’ mental toughness and strategic acumen play a significant role in his success. The Monaco Grand Prix is not just a physical challenge but a mental one, requiring drivers to maintain intense concentration for the duration of the race. Norris’ ability to stay focused and make smart decisions under pressure will be vital in securing a podium finish.

Given McLaren’s recent improvements and Norris’ current form, a podium finish in Monaco is a plausible and attractive bet. The car’s enhancements in handling slow-speed corners, combined with Norris’ consistency and skill, make him a strong contender to be among the top finishers this weekend. As McLaren continues to close the gap with the front-runners, Norris is well-positioned to take advantage of any opportunities that arise during the race, potentially even challenging for the top spots.

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Steve Harrington
Steve Harrington is a sportswriter whose heart beats for football. With a passion that began in the grassroots, he's witnessed the magic of the game from local pitches to grand stadiums. Over the past 7 years, Steve has lent his expertise to several online publications, chronicling the ever-evolving world of football. Beyond his professional pursuits, he holds a special affection for Burnley Football Club, cherishing every triumph and tribulation. Steve believes in the power of storytelling and its ability to bring the beautiful game closer to its ardent fans.