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The Formula One paddock descends on the principality of Monte Carlo for this weekends Monaco Grand Prix.
The thrilling street race will be one not to miss out on. All top three teams have a genuine chance of fighting for victory.
Red Bull will come in to play thanks to the higher downforce levels needed to manoeuvre the tight twists of the Casino Square and surrounds.
Last year’s winner Sebastian Vettel will be eager more than ever to perform to regain top spot in the championship as Lewis Hamilton extended his lead due to his commanding win last time out in Spain.
Vettel will be seeking his 50th career win again and Hamilton will chasing his 44th win with Mercedes.
Bottas’ best place at Monaco has been fourth, his first year with Mercedes and it was the first time he finished in the points in his Formula One career.
Qualifying is crucial in Monaco. Can Ricciardo or Raikkonen pull it together for that one critical lap? One would argue that Raikkonen was robbed of last year’s race win thanks to a strange Ferrari strategy.
Don’t be surprised if there is a shock in qualifying, whether it be one of the top contenders going over the limit or a back marker sneaking into Q3.
As for the race there will inevitably be a safety car at some point of the race. First lap chaos will also be present as the drivers fight for position before they settle into the groove.
Pirelli are introducing the hypersoft tyres for this race which are meant to last for only a lap or two hopefully meaning multiple pit stops during the race. Overtaking will be difficult even with the DRS zone across the start/finish line.
It’s going to be a great race as it ever is once again as the weather is going to be fine and sunny.
I’m predicting Vettel and Ferrari to have a dominating weekend, close battle between the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers, Leclerc to excel at his home race and continue his point scoring run, Alonso to be the best of the rest.
Pole position prediction – Sebastian Vettel
Podium prediction – 1. Sebastian Vettel 2. Raikkonen 3. Ricciardo
Surprise – Leclerc, Alonso