The seventh round of the 2022 Formula 1 world championship is a special Grand Prix as it’s at the world-famous Monaco street circuit. It’s also the second race of a double-header and is one of the oldest on the calendar with the first GP as far back as 1950.
The 3,3km long track is a public road for almost every other weekend of the year except when F1 or Formula E are in the principality. The short distance results in a 78 lap race that covers a race distance of 260km.
It’s a tight challenging circuit dominated by slow and medium corners. The teams will throw away the optimum aerodynamic handbook and focus on setting up their cars specifically to handle the bumps and kerbs of the street track. As former world champion, Nelson Piquet famously remarked, “Monaco is like riding a bike around your living room”.
The title race pendulum swung in favour of Red Bull’s reigning world champion Max Verstappen in Spain last week as the Dutchman scored a third consecutive victory. Max has four wins in total.
The only other driver to win races this season is Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari has looked strong wherever its raced and Leclerc’s two wins see the Monegasque driver trailing Verstappen by six points in the drivers standings.
Leclerc’s power unit failure in Barcelona was his first DNF of the season but he’ll be encouraged by grabbing pole position and the significant lead he built up at the start of the race. The F1-75 is seriously quick and the several upgrades brought to Spain illustrated a car that could beat the Red Bulls with Leclerc behind the wheel.
Verstappen and Leclerc are the favourites, with the latter just edging ahead for pole and the race win.
Other drivers to look out for on the podium will be Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez. The Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton are strong contenders to battle with the top two teams and their upgrades as well as sorting out the cars bouncing on the straights paid dividends last time out in Barcelona.
Keep an eye out for Valterri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen, Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly and the two Alpine boys to battle for points.