The Monaco Grand Prix, held in the city of Monte Carlo, is often referred to as the greatest track on the F1 calendar. It also just happens to be my favourite. There’s something evocative and thrilling about watching world class drivers race through the tunnel at top speed, only to scream out into the daylight and slow down for a heavy very-nearly-180 degree turn. Luckily for me and other diehard F1 fans, Monaco is coming up this weekend, and qualifying has just wrapped up.
Taking pole is Red Bull’s resident Honey Badger, Daniel Ricciardo.
He and his teammate Max Verstappen were favourites for the race this weekend. Where is Mad Max qualifying? Stone dead last. But I’ll get to that in a minute. Taking P2 is Sebastian Vettel, my personal favourite for the 2018 championship. In P3, to little surprise, is Lewis Hamilton, the OTHER favourite for the championship. Behind him in P4 is Vettel’s teammate Kimi ‘Ice Man’ Raikkamen, and in turn behind him, Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas in P5. Fernando Alonso of the struggling McLaren F1 team qualified 7th overall as well.
Mad Max has had a rough year so far. He’s collided with several other drivers on numerous occasions, often resulting in the race ending for one of them. In qualifying this weekend, the only thing he managed to hit was a wall while weaving through a hairpin, which tore his right front wheel steering mechanisms and suspension to pieces, before he could even post a competitive time.
As a result, he was placed squarely at the back of the pack in P20. His hopes for a competitive race in Monaco have been all but turned to ash.
I predict (and hope) that Daniel Ricciardo will take the chequered flag in Monaco, with Vettel and Hamilton taking second and third, respectively, just as in qualifying. I would also place money on Verstappen making up several places in the race, until he smashes his car again on the chicane by the swimming pool, also as he did in qualifying. Let’s not forget, this isn’t the first time he’s done that.
Title image: ThisIsF1.com
Image 2: The Independent
Image 3: Daily Express