Ricciardo & Verstappen Get Better Odds for Monaco GP 2018
May 22, 2018
Following Max Verstappen’s podium finish last weekend in Spain, Red Bull drivers enjoy higher odds to win this season’s Monaco GP. But Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo’s Monaco GP 2018 odds are not good enough to beat Sebastian Vettel on Sunday.
Vettel, despite finishing fourth in Spain GP last week, still received the nod of sportsbooks. The Ferrari driver is not new to the Monaco track, having won the said Grand Prix before. Will punters see Ferrari dominate Monaco again or will Red Bull, Mercedes, or others rise up to the challenge in the next Grand Prix?
Serious Contenders in Monaco GP
The street circuit of Monaco is far different from Barcelona’s. Circuit de Monaco is filled with very tight and slow corners with elevation changes in different parts of the track. There are barely any long straights on the circuit which was ever present in the Spanish circuit. These track features make it difficult for any drivers to overtake anyone.
Sportsbooks see Vettel and the two Red Bull Racing drivers—Ricciardo and Verstappen—as the racers to beat in Monaco because their machines have the advantage on the circuit. The Ferrari driver is set with 2.75 odds from Bet365 and William Hill while Hamilton gets 3.75 odds from both sportsbooks. Ricciardo gets 5.00 odds from Bet365 and 5.50 odds from William Hill. Verstappen finally enjoys better odds with 5.00 odds from Bet365 and 6.50 from William Hill.
The reason for these odds, despite Hamilton leading this season’s championship standings by 17 points, is that both the Red Bull and Ferrari cars excel at tight and slow corners. Ferrari demonstrated the capabilities of their car in the Monaco GP last year when Vettel finished first and Kimi Raikkonen took second. The Red Bull cars also showed that they are suited for the Monaco circuit last year when Ricciardo reached the podium with Verstappen finishing in fifth place.
Mercedes is aware of the challenge present in Monaco. Hamilton had a tough time in Monaco GP last year when he finished seventh, which is a performance far from his Monaco win in 2016.
Toto Wolff, executive director of Mercedes, said:
“We’ve seen in the last years that there were always tracks that suited us well, and some that we weren’t perfect, for whatever reason. It’s very difficult to undo the DNA of a car, and Monaco, Budapest, Singapore, were all tracks where we underperformed — underperformed a lot — last year. It’s a great challenge for us to come back this year, tame the ‘diva’ — it’s not a diva this year, actually, she’s behaving better. It’s a difficult one. Why our car doesn’t like to be quick around the corners in Monaco, we haven’t found out yet.”
Spanish GP Turning Point for Red Bull Team
Barcelona was a major turning point for Verstappen despite finishing in third. The two disqualifications and disappointing finishes this season were wake-up calls for Verstappen. The Red Bull driver looked to have improved in Spanish GP where he kept a clean and consistent driving performance. This is a clear contrast from his aggressive racing style.
On the other hand, Mercedes dominated Barcelona with Hamilton and Bottas taking first and second respectively because the British driver finally found synergy with his car in the previous race.
Spanish GP was a different story for the Ferrari team that was having trouble with medium tires made specifically for the Barcelona circuit. Vettel’s medium tires surprisingly wore out quicker than the team had expected. This forced Vettel to make a second pit stop to get fresh new tires which allowed Bottas and Verstappen to overtake him.
With Monaco just around the corner, Vettel will have the clear advantage over his Mercedes rival because of his Ferrari. Verstappen’s fresh attitude toward overcoming the challenges on the track can help him and his team to improve Red Bull’s standing in the next race. Meanwhile, the pressure will be on Hamilton and Bottas to prevent Ferrari and Red Bull from closing in on the defending champion.