Formula 1 makes a welcome return to street racing for the first time since 2019. The iconic Monaco Grand Prix is set to get underway on Sunday, May 23, after three days of qualifying around the legendary track. Last year’s cancellation of the race meant it was missing from the regular F1 calendar for the first time since 1954, but it is back and set to be an exciting next chapter of the fascinating 2021 season. Of course, it is all played out amidst the spectacular backdrop of Monaco’s famous hotels, casinos and yachts.
Hamilton favourite to win another Monaco Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton goes into this year’s Monaco Grand Prix with a 14-point lead in the World Championship standings after winning three of the opening four races. He got off to the perfect start with a win in Bahrain, but had to settle for second place three weeks later as Max Verstappen took the chequered flag in Imola.
However, Hamilton has recorded successive wins in Portugal and Spain to open up a gap in the race for the title, albeit Verstappen remains hot on his heels after finishing as runner-up in the three races Hamilton has won. Hamilton has been installed as the even money favourite with William Hill to win in Monaco, with Verstappen priced at 11/8. Valtteri Bottas, who is third in the F1 standings, is a 17/2 chance, while Sergio Perez is priced at 16/1.
Hamilton and Verstappen set to do battle again
Despite appearing in 13 Monaco Grand Prix’s, Lewis Hamilton has only won on three occasions, the last time being the last visit in 2019 when he triumphed over Verstappen. The two drivers are at the top of their game and continue to push each other to bigger and better things.
There have been wheel-to-wheel scraps in all four races this season between Hamilton and Verstappen, with six overtakes taking place between the two cars. Hamilton’s back-to-back wins in Portugal and Spain has given him the advantage, but the Dutchman will be desperate to register his first podium finish at the famous track.
Verstappen finished second two years ago, but was relegated to fourth for an unsafe release time penalty after making contact with Valtteri Bottas in the pit lane. He is certainly in contention to challenge Hamilton again in front of a limited attendance of 7,500 fans.
Former winners will line up on the grid
In addition to Lewis Hamilton, there are four previous winners of the Monaco GP set to line up on the grid for Sunday’s race. Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have all taken the chequered flag at this track, where overtaking is notoriously difficult on the narrow street circuit and pit lane tactics can win or lose a team the race.
Monaco is also the first of two consecutive street races on the calendar, with the Azerbaijan GP in Baku following in two weeks’ time.
Previous Monaco winners
It is the race that all drivers want to win due to the history and prestige of the event. There have been some famous names who have finished with their noses in front at this iconic track, including the great Ayrton Senna who holds the record for most wins with six recorded between 1987-1993. The last 10 winners have been:
• 2020 Not held
• 2019 Lewis Hamilton
• 2018 Daniel Ricciardo
• 2017 Sebastien Vettel
• 2016 Lewis Hamilton
• 2015 Nico Rosberg
• 2014 Nico Rosberg
• 2013 Nico Rosberg
• 2012 Mark Webber
• 2011 Sebastien Vettel
• 2010 Mark Webber