A very narrow course held on the streets of Monaco, the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix will be held this weekend and should be another classic on this demanding Formula One track. In last year’s edition of the race, Charles Leclerc won the pole position, but it was his Red Bull Racing rival Max Verstappen who was able to secure the top spot on the podium. In the leadup to this race this season, Leclerc and Verstappen have traded victories, with the latter taking home the top honor in four of the last five races, including three in a row. Will that be the case again this weekend in Monte Carlo?
Here SBS will go over two different possible scenarios of either Leclerc or Verstappen winning against the field. With the two drivers winning the first six races of the season (four for Verstappen and two for Lecrlerc) they have an excellent shot of repeating again this weekend.
|2022 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix||The Pick|
|Charles Leclerc vs. The Field||The Field||-135||-135||-135|
|Max Verstappen vs. The Field||Max Verstappen||+140||+140||+140|
The Monégasque racing superstar started the 2022 F1 season with a bang with victories in two of the first three races held – the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Australian Grand Prix. Since then, he has won the pole position in two other events (Miami Grand Prix and Spanish Grand Prix) but was unable to hang onto the victory both times. In each of those contests, he was knocked off by his rival Verstappen. Currently, he trails his Belgian rival by six points in the 2022 World Drivers’ Championship standings, 110-104, but could make up the difference with a victory this weekend.
Since this will be a homecoming for Leclerc, he might have the spiritual edge this time. The stars will be specially aligned for him if he is able to notch another pole position win (he has four on the year). However, this has not proven to be the case in the past with Leclerc having never won at his home racetrack. In fact, his prior best at the course came in 2018 when he came in 18th place. Nonetheless, he is a far superior driver than he was four years ago and should be in a solid position to exceed his personal best at the course.
Prediction: Though Leclerc and Verstappen have clearly distanced themselves from the field this season, it remains to be seen if the former can slay the latter consistently. For Monaco, take the field to win here.
The hottest driver in all of F1, Verstappen is the favorite to take home the gold this weekend at the famous Monaco course. Prior to his victory last season at the locale, the 24-year-old’s previous best at the track was a solid fourth-place finish in 2019. The current leader in the 2022 World Drivers’ Championship standings with 110 points, he is on a different level this season and is looking for back-to-back F1 World Championships after winning it all in 2021.
Coming off three straight Grand Prix victories (Emilia Romagna, Spanish, and Miami), the Belgian racer is certainly on one of the best winning streaks of his career. In fact, if he is able to pull off another win this weekend then it will be the longest winning streak of his short, but highly successful career. For the 24-year-old, getting first in the pole position will be critical to notching the gold this weekend. Though it is not required for victory, in the one race this season where Verstappen won the pole position (the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix), he was able to notch a complete win and also post the fastest lap of the day. If this is the case prior to Monaco, then look out for the Belgian dynamo.
Prediction: As mentioned above, if Verstappen locks down the pole position, then expect the 24-year old superstar also to take home the victory in Monte Carlo.
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