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Hamilton to gamble in Monte Carlo

Frank Monkhouse | 28 May 2017

Brit goes at a cracking price

We race towards the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo this weekend for the Monaco Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel has been the most impressive driver in the opening exchanges of this season, and was again fastest in practice.

Rival Lewis Hamilton goes at a handy price to fire himself to the top-step on Sunday, but the Englishman has been rather unconvincing so far. He did take the flag last year – will he do it again? Click here to bet on a number of F1 markets, or read on as we pick through the value.

Drama has returned to F1

Sebastian Vettel stands at the head of the driver’s championship table, boasting 104 points and two Grand Prix wins. The German had to settle for the runner-up spot last time out in Spain however, ending second behind main rival, and pre-season favourite, Lewis Hamilton, who led Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo home in style.

F1 bosses promised a summer of drama, following a number of upgrades and rule changes, and the race in Spain was a fine example of just what they had in mind. A precise game plan from Mercedes, coupled with a brave round of driving from their English pilot, won the day, and fans would’ve been delighted to see the team finally pushing in the same direction.

Hamilton defending champ

That maximum kept Lewis second in the overall table, moving to within just six points of leader Vettel. Mercedes are, however, threatening to run away with it in the constructors’ championship, going into the weekend eight points clear of Ferrari on 161 points. With Red Bull back in third on 72, we already have a straight two horse race on our hands.

There was also joy for Lewis Hamilton at this track 12 months ago, winning the Monte Carlo GP from Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez, edging a gripping contest. The second-place finisher paid the price for a painfully slow pit stop, handing Hamilton the race, but we saw another feat of fearless driving to get the champion home in front, and he’ll be confident of defending his crown.

Practice not perfect for Mercedes

This year’s build-up has been far from plain sailing however, with Hamilton’s Merc ending way down in eighth during the second practice session on Thursday. That has moved odds compilers to take a backwards step, pricing Vettel as early race favourite, and Coral punters will get 10/11 on the German winning, while Hamilton rates as a 2/1 shot at the time of writing.

It’s a similar feel in the winning car market, Ferrari seemingly nailed on at 8/11, while another Mercedes triumph goes at 6/4. Looking away from the first two in the charts, you’ll find Australian Ricciardo at 11/10 for a podium finish.

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