F1 Monaco Grand Prix predictions, best bets and picks: Can Charles Leclerc win at home?
The greatest day of racing of the year starts off with the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, May 28. It starts off the triple-header that continues with the Indy 500 in IndyCar and the Coca-Cola 600 for the NASCAR Cup Series. With arguably the most historic race on the Formula 1 schedule every year, we have all become used to the yachts in the marina and the world famous turns and racing in front of and through the casino plaza. We also treat the race as a parade of sorts, with the typical running order set by Saturday’s qualifying session. That might be the case again this year — but that doesn’t mean we can’t bet it, right?
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Monaco Grand Prix track layout
It’s tight, like really, really tight. It’s also short. The shortest track on the F1 schedule at just 2 miles per lap over 19 corners. The track layout hasn’t changed much since the first grand prix run here in 1950. Just how tight is the racing line at Monaco? The last on-track pass for the lead was in 1996 and prior to that it was in 1987. It’s been considered more of a parade race of late than anything else but, just because of the tight track doesn’t mean it’s not full of trouble spots. The chicanes and even turn 1 are typical issue spots not to mention the famed pool section of the track. Thanks to all of the danger in the 78 laps of the race, there’s never a time you can just ignore back markers; they often change strategies of the frontrunners.
Monaco Grand Prix betting strategies
Speaking of the strategies for this race, it might seem easy, right? Given I just said that the leader isn’t passed generally ever, it’d seem that way. However, just because the leader isn’t being passed on the track doesn’t mean the driver that starts on pole wins all the time. In fact, the pole-sitter has only won in 2 of the last 7 Monaco races. That’s all due to terrible race strategy by a certain team (ahem, Ferrari), mechanical issues for pole-sitters (ahem, Ferrari) and not taking advantage of safety cars and virtual safety cars. Weather has also played a role periodically, although that’s not in the forecast for this weekend — at least for now.
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Outright winner predictions for F1 Monaco GP
All odds listed are from DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing
Max Verstappen (+120)
The fact that we’re still getting plus odds on Verstappen winning after Friday’s FP1 and FP2 sessions is different. Normally, the only way to get plus odds is to bet him on a Tuesday. That’s a bit of an indication of both how strong Red Bull has been this year as well as how much they struggled — by their standards — on Friday. Verstappen was still top 5 in both of the practice sessions and looked pretty tight, time wise, to the fastest laps. However, the car was still not where he wanted it. The good news? He can win without being on the pole thanks to Red Bull’s strategy and they have time to dial the car in over FP3 and qualifying. Based on the results last year, there is very little chance they allow Sergio Perez (+800) to nab the win over Verstappen on Sunday if at all possible.
Charles Leclerc (+330)
The Monegasque driver would love nothing more than to win literally his home race. He grew up and still lives in Monaco and has been in position to win the crown jewel a few times previously. Whether it be a mechanical issue or terrible pit strategy he’s been robbed of the podium chances. That figures not to be an issue this year, though, and the speed is present in the Ferraris to take home the win. There would be no more special win in recent memory than Leclerc pulling off the win through his home streets.
Fernando Alonso (+500)
He was already a pain to pass last year when he created a train in the back half of the field without the speed to compete for closer to the front. Now, though, he has the speed to be a podium contender this year on one of his favorite tracks that suits his driving style perfectly. We’ll likely need him to start on the front row if we want a clean race win rather than needing to hope for others to have errors — unforced or otherwise.
Carlos Sainz (+700)
Sainz laid down the fastest laps in each of the first 2 practice sessions of the weekend. He’s arguably been faster than his teammate in 2023 and also was at this race last year. While it’s clear that Ferrari would hope to get Leclerc the shot at the win, if Sainz is their only shot then that will have to do for them. And as of halfway through the weekend, he is their best shot.
Best prop bets for Monaco Grand Prix
Props will be published on Saturday after qualifying is complete
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