The odds are that Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix will take place with rain falling from the sky and, of the current band of Formula One drivers, Sebastian Vettel has a good claim on being the most accomplished of them when racing in the wet.
Red Bull’s dominance of Formula One from 2010 to 2013 means that Vettel’s four consecutive titles may never receive an equitable level of credit but the German driver was far too good for his Australian teammate, Mark Webber, and he gave more than a few driving exhibitions on sodden surfaces.
Vettel’s maiden Monaco Grand Prix appearance in 2008 was a blinder, charging through the field in his Toro Rosso car to finish fifth after beginning from 19th on the grid. Vettel has started eight editions of the Monaco Grand Prix for one first, three seconds, one fourth, one fifth and two retirements. So, in summary, Vettel has not ended up lower than fifth when his vehicle has taken the chequered flag.
BetVictor and BoyleSports are offering odds of -149 about Vettel finishing the Monaco Grand Prix in one of the top six positions and, particularly in view of the weather forecast for the principality, backing the Ferrari star to end up in the first half a dozen is the best bet available.
Only once since the start of the 2015 Formula One season has Vettel been classified outside the top six and that occurred in last year’s Belgian Grand Prix – the German driver was listed in 12th place after his Ferrari car suffered a tyre failure, receiving a classification because he had completed more than 90 per cent of the total race distance. Vettel has ended up in the top six in 20 of the last 24 Formula One races, with equipment letting down him on four occasions.
In summary, Vettel is almost nailed on to finish the Monaco Grand Prix in the first half a dozen if his Ferrari vehicle does not break down. There are no Ayrton Sennas or Michael Schumachers among the current crop of Formula One drivers but, if the heavens open in the principality, then Vettel’s performances in the wet entitle him to the utmost respect. The last wet Monaco Grand Prix was the 2008 race in which Vettel beat the likes of Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso despite being behind the wheel of a Toro Rosso car that was not one of the finest in the series.
The weather forecast, the tensions within the Mercedes camp and the relatively high probability of multiple appearances by the safety car are sufficient for one to refrain from punting on the winner of Formula One’s most famous race.
It is anyone’s guess as to how Lewis Hamilton and Rosberg will approach the Circuit de Monaco first corner if they fill the front row of the Monaco Grand Prix grid and one remembers only too well how the safety car and a dud call cost the British driver victory in last year’s renewal.
If you do decide to bet on the Monaco Grand Prix winner market then you had better wager on a driver who starts Sunday’s race from a good position. The Circuit de Monaco is a notoriously difficult track on which to overtake, with the fact that the pole sitter has led 819 of the last 933 Monaco Grand Prix laps saying everything that needs saying.
One other negative factor to consider when betting on the Monaco Grand Prix is that it will feature the first-ever appearance of the Pirelli ultrasoft tyres, a development that may result in some teams adopting brave strategies.
Sebastian Vettel to finish in the top six of the Monaco Grand Prix
Sunday 29th May, 13:00 GMT