Monaco Grand Prix Betting: Look for Lewis to make pole position count this time

23May 2013



Mercedes have been on pole for the last three races only for the wheels to come off - almost literally - on race day. Ralph Ellis reckons the kinder conditions of Monte Carlo could give Lewis Hamilton a big opportunity.


It was two years ago that Bernie Ecclestone came up with the barmy idea to dot sprinklers around the Formula One race tracks to supply fake rain that would add extra drama to the average Grand Prix. Thankfully nobody took it too seriously.


Instead, it seems, they decided to fit the cars with tyres that would fall apart whenever they went too fast. How else do you explain the mystifying start to this season that saw some teams having to make four pit stops in Spain two weeks ago? Poor old Pirelli paid all that money to put their name on the fastest wheels on earth, but would you want a set of their black circles on your car? What happens if they fall to bits as soon as you get on the motorway?


Five races into the season the issue of tyre management has dominated the F1 agenda, to such an extent that by the time the motor racing circus gets to Canada in a couple of weeks we'll be back to the sort of tougher wearing compounds that were used last season. Trying to predict what would happen in each race has been so tough, because different conditions have dramatically changed the dynamics of who could preserve the wheels best.


Going into Monte Carlo, however, might just be a different matter. The teams will still be using the 2013 version of the Pirelli wheels that have degraded too quickly in the heat. But at Monaco, with its slower speeds and smoother surface, they should present less problems - especially as they will use the soft and super soft sets which wear the least of all.


Red Bull will be look forward to the weekend. They have won the race for the past three years, with Sebastian Vettel's 2011 win sandwiched between two triumphs for Mark Webber in 2010 and 2012. Their RB9 has more downforce than any other car which makes it well suited to the twisting track, and Vettel is 4.0 favourite to be the race winner.


But the tyre issue must come into play. If anybody has suffered most so far from the rubber problems it has been Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg. Between them they have been on pole in the last three races and locked out the grid in Barcelona, only for Rosberg to finish sixth while Hamilton limped home in 12th place. So it must be music to their ears that Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery is predicting two-stop strategies and very low tyre wear and degradation around the street circuit this weekend. Mercedes are a tempting 3.4 to provide the winning car.


Monte Carlo is traditionally a circuit where qualifying counts. Since the year 2000 eight of the winners have started the race at the front of the grid. The narrow streets and tight corners make the race a fantastic spectacle, giving a sense of the speed. But they also make overtaking virtually impossible - so it's a weekend when the qualifying/winner double market, where Hamilton is currently 7.2, is worth looking at.


One last thought, the weather forecast is dry and fair with temperatures no hotter than the early 20s. It should be a straightforward race - unless Bernie has got his sprinklers ready to set up!



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Keywords: Monaco Grand Prix, Lewis, pole position

Source: Betfair

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