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Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix Odds, Picks and Predictions: Ferrari’s Time to Shine

Formula 1 got a week off due to flooding causing the grand prix at Imola to be canceled, so that gave F1 fans some more time to look ahead to Monaco. Given its essentially non-existent room for passing, results at Monaco are more dependent on qualifying than any other race (by a mile). Truth be told, barring crashes, Monaco does not actually produce particularly exciting racing action despite its glitzy reputation. As such, this article will be exclusively a preview and not include any Formula 1 bets; it is simply not worth making any wagers pre-qualifying this week.

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Best Formula 1 Bets & Expert Prediction | Monaco Grand Prix

Check out current Monaco Grand Prix outright odds via BetMGM:

How Did Last Year’s Race Shake Out?

Again, qualifying above all defines Monaco. Ferrari had a great qualifying sessions (with some controversy thrown in), with Charles Leclerc qualifying first and Carlos Sainz second. Red Bulls Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen went third and fourth.

Conspiracy theorists were in full force last year due to Perez’s wreck in Q3 of qualifying. His teammate Verstappen was convinced Perez wrecked on purpose to keep himself ahead of Verstappen on the grid — which is a very long, very stupid story. Suffice it to say, Perez crashing on purpose to keep himself in third (aka the second row) at a race where being on the front row is imperative to success would be, at a minimum, a really bad plan.

That said, Ferrari bungled its strategy so poorly that Perez ended up winning anyway. Sainz pitted to switch from wet tyres (as the rain at the start of the race had stopped) to slicks, and Ferrari wrongly told Leclerc to pit as well. That resulted in Leclerc having to wait for Sainz’s pit to finish before he could be serviced himself, which allowed Perez to pass them both. And once Perez had the lead, he never let it go because, again, Monaco does not allow for passing.

Had Ferrari not completely screwed up (due to no fault of its drivers), Sainz or Leclerc likely would have won. That is certainly something to account for this year since Ferrari has actually been qualifying reasonably well in 2023 despite Red Bull running away with the good results on race days.

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What to Expect From Monaco in 2023?

If Ferrari, Mercedes or Aston Martin can edge Red Bull in qualifying, there is a reasonable chance of one of those cars actually winning this race. Red Bull’s dramatic edge on the field comes with its overpowered DRS advantage and top speed, two things that do not really come into play much at Monaco. And Leclerc took pole at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the only race so far that is remotely comparable to Monaco given its tight corners that do not allow for a lot of passing. Granted, Baku also has long straights, something Monaco does not have, but thus far it is the closest thing to the type of street race Monaco offers.

Yes, Perez and Verstappen ended up first and second in Baku, but once again, qualifying is king at Monaco and Leclerc is a qualifying whiz. Sainz is not too bad himself on the tight circuits. If there were a race for Ferrari to win, this would be the one — assuming strategy does not let them down again.

Aston Martin and Mercedes are probably a step behind Ferrari in terms of challenging Red Bull, with the exception of perhaps Fernando Alonso. Alonso has been in Leclerc’s league as a qualifier, while George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have been more up and down. All of them were behind the two Ferraris and the two Red Bulls at Azerbaijan, however.

Of course, the best bet post-qualifying is probably going to be Verstappen no matter where he ends up — if anyone can defy Monaco trends, it’s him. But pre-qualifying, there is some value in going after Ferrari (albeit very little).

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