Charles Leclerc was an unlucky loser in Spain but is backed to gain quick compensation in our Monaco Grand Prix predictions.
The Ferrari ace held a comfortable lead in Barcelona when suffering a sudden power failure on lap 27, which allowed Max Verstappen to take full advantage.
That breakdown not only cost Leclerc a third race victory of 2022 but also top spot in the drivers’ championship, as he slipped six points behind his Red Bull rival.
The 24-year-old Monegasque secured pole position for his home event 12 months ago, only for a crash at the end of qualifying to prevent him starting the race.
Both the driver and team Ferrari have generally been far more reliable this season, though, so the stage is set for him to put the record straight.
Taking positives out of the Spanish setback, Leclerc said: “Our pace was very strong in qualifying and in the race and the feeling in the car was really good.
“We made progress in terms of tyre management, which is something that has been a weakness in the past few races.
“So, it’s a shame and I’m disappointed that we lost the opportunity to score a lot of points, but the season is still long and we know we have the potential.
“Next up is my home race in Monaco, so I’m really looking forward to it and I hope that it will be a good one!”
Teammate Carlos Sainz was second here last year and is 8.0 to go one better this term, which might be worth a saver in case anything goes wrong for Leclerc.
How the Spanish Grand Prix finished
1 Verstappen (Red Bull), 2 Perez (Red Bull), 3 Russell (Mercedes), 4 Sainz (Ferrari), 5 Hamilton (Mercedes), 6 Bottas (Alfa Romeo), 7 Ocon (Alpine), 8 Norris (McLaren), 9 Alonso (Alpine), 10 Tsunoda (Alphatauri), 11 Vettel (Aston Martin), 12 Ricciardo (McLaren), 13 Gasly (Alphatauri), 14 Schumacher (Haas), 15 Stroll (Aston Martin), 16 Latifi (Williams), 17 Magnussen (Haas), 18 Albon (Williams), DNF Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Leclerc (Ferrari)
It is generally accepted that Monaco’s twists and turns do not play to the strengths of Red Bull’s straight-line speed.
However, Verstappen’s 2021 victory did make it five wins for the team in the past 11 renewals of this iconic contest.
The Dutchman led home a Red Bull one-two when seeing off Sergio Perez in Barcelona, which was a good result for our preview.
There was an issue with DRS malfunctions in Barcelona and a spin off the track due to “a big gust of wind”.
Mercedes made some much-needed progress last weekend, with George Russell finishing third and Lewis Hamilton fifth.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton had to work his way through the field following an early collision, which caused a puncture.
Team principal Toto Wolff described Hamilton’s pace as “stunning” and claimed he could have even challenged for victory without the shunt from Kevin Magnussen.
If Mercedes have mastered the technical difficulties plaguing them so far this term, 41.0 for either of their drivers to win will be popular amongst value seekers in Monaco Grand Prix betting tips.
Past Monaco Grand Prix winners
2021 Verstappen (Red Bull), Sainz, Norris
2019 Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel, Bottas
2018 Ricciardo (Red Bull), Vettel, Hamilton
2017 Vettel (Ferrari), Raikkonen, Ricciardo
2016 Hamilton (Mercedes), Ricciardo, Perez
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