F1 Monaco Grand Prix
Sunday May 29, 14:00
Sky Sports F1
Disaster struck for Charles Leclerc in Barcelona last weekend as he went from being en route to a potentially comfortable win, to being forced to retire from the race altogether with a power unit issue in a devastating twist.
That allowed Max Verstappen to navigate his way to another race win, and in doing so, the reigning champion leapfrogged his rival to the top of the Drivers' standings while Red Bull also now lead the Constructors rankings.
As we now head to Monaco, Leclerc will firstly hope to just finish the race on his home turf for the very first time, and with momentum going away from them, Ferrari will be desperate for a positive showing from both their drivers.
To complicate matters further for them, Mercedes took a major step forward in Spain, and while they have been picking up points despite their troubles so far this season, they appear to have found some all-important solutions to close the gap to the front of the grid.
Despite that though, it's Leclerc who starts the race weekend as favourite to win the Monaco Grand Prix at 2.01/1, but with Verstappen's consistency and ability to produce despite reliability issues still plaguing Red Bull, the Dutchman isn't far behind at 2.47/5.
Three-team fight for all-important pole position
Given the characteristics of this track, the battle for pole on Saturday is not only going to be a thrilling watch but it's going to be decisive in terms of who comes out as race winner on Sunday as no qualifying session is as important as in Monaco.
Leclerc has had some horrendous bad luck over the years on home soil, but he did secure pole here last year before being unable to start the race. Further, Ferrari have been very strong in qualifying so far this season, with the Monegasque driver bagging four out of six pole positions on offer.
That said, Red Bull's pace has been impressive throughout and now with Mercedes entering the fray having added an upgrade to their package, they will fancy their chances here too especially given the lack of high speeds which should nullify any lingering porpoising concerns.
Nevertheless, for that same reason, Ferrari will be hopeful this weekend as they've been struggling with that straight-line speed of Red Bull, and so this circuit somewhat quashes it. Provided that they've fixed their power unit issue and Leclerc can put together an error-free drive, he could be primed to end his home race jinx.
Fine margins will make all the difference on this tight and twisty circuit. In the last 12 years, the driver at the front of the grid for the race has won eight times, that trend could continue here and is available at 1.625/8.
Back proven results in unpredictable season
Another costly retirement last weekend saw similarities between me and an ever-furious Verstappen on the team radio, with Leclerc cantering to victory only to be cruelly denied and thus scuppering the top tips.
Every race Verstappen has finished this season, he has won. Sergio Perez has finished all-but one race so far this year, and in those he has seen the chequered flag 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 4th and 2nd. Meanwhile, George Russell has finished fifth or better in every race so far this season.
Logically, that then makes a Verstappen podium finish, Perez top six finish and Russell points finish at 2.89/5 a smart option, and while anything can of course happen, especially at a track like Monaco with a chance of rain on Sunday, those three drivers haven proven to be among the more reliable options.