Venue: Circuit De Monaco
After a trio of poor results, it could almost be Monte Carlo or bust for Sebastian Vettel and that makes him a worthy favourite in the Monaco Grand Prix odds.
The German has finished eighth in China, fourth in Azerbaijan and fourth in Spain, allowing Lewis Hamilton to storm 17 points clear in the drivers’ championship.
However, Ferrari dominated this event 12 months ago, both in qualifying and on race day, so 7/4 for a Vettel victory still appeals in our Monaco Grand Prix betting tips.
Vettel’s team struggled to adapt to Pirelli’s new thinner tyre in Barcelona and the German was the only driver of the front-runners who had to stop for fresh rubber twice.
He was running in second but lost two places to Valtteri Bottas and then Max Verstappen during a sluggish stop to cross the line in fourth position behind back-to-back winner Hamilton.
Vettel commented: “During the whole weekend it was tough to find the right balance on these new tyres. But I see no reason for not being optimistic for the next race.
“I am happy to go back to ‘normal’ tyres in Monaco, as we seemed to struggle a little bit more than the others.”
Prior to those problems, Ferrari had been showing plenty of promise, only to suffer unfortunate setbacks, so we’re hoping they now get back on track.
How the Spanish Grand Prix finished:
1 Hamilton (Mercedes), 2 Bottas (Mercedes), 3 Verstappen (Red Bull), 4 Vettel (Ferrari), 5 Ricciardo (Red Bull), 6 Magnussen (Haas), 7 Sainz (Renault), 8 Alonso (Renault), 9 Perez (Force India), 10 Leclerc (Sauber), 11 Stroll (Williams), 12 Hartley (Toro Rosso), 13 Ericsson (Sauber), 14 Sirotkin (Williams), DNF Vandoorne (McLaren), Ocon (Force India), Raikkonen (Ferrari), Grosjean (Haas), Gasly (Toro Rosso), Hulkenberg (Renault)
Hamilton turned on the style to crush his rivals by winning so impressively in Spain, having previously scrambled home in Baku.
However, there is a genuine fear that the Mercedes cars will not be suited to Monaco’s twists and turns again this term.
The streets of Monte Carlo proved last year’s nadir for Hamilton after he qualified only 14th and took the chequered flag in a lowly seventh place.
“I’m bloody worried,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said. “We have seen there are tracks which suit us well and some that we are not perfect at.
“For whatever reason, it is very difficult to undo the DNA of our car, and Monaco, as well as Hungary and Singapore, are tracks where we have under-performed at.”
Hamilton appears resigned to scrapping for points and adopting a damage-limitation approach.
He added: “There are a lot of challenging races coming up and Monaco is a serious challenge.
“We know that it is going to be a difficult weekend, but as we have seen this year, you can still take great points from races you do not win.”
For those who want to hedge their bets a touch, it is 7/5 for Ferrari to prevail, with Kimi Raikkonen added to the mix.
The flying Finn failed to complete the course in Spain but does have three podium placings this season.
He edged out Vettel for pole position here 12 months ago, before settling for second on race day.
Past Monaco Grand Prix results:
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
2012 Webber (Red Bull), Rosberg, Alonso
2011 Vettel (Red Bull), Alonso, Button
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