France is the centre of the sporting world this weekend.

Not only is the French Open tennis tournament now underway, but on Saturday night we have the Champions League final taking place in Paris between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

And starting Friday with practice and going through to the race itself on Sunday, the principality of Monaco, contained within France, will be the host of the 2022 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

One of the most famous, and glamorous races on the F1 calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix has long been held in great esteem by F1 drivers and teams and its famous street circuit is always amongst the most popular races for a driver to win in their career.

However, with the contract with F1 expiring after his race in 2022, the future of the race is not yet sealed, which makes this year all the more special for the drivers competing to stand on the top spot of the podium.

In this article we are going to take a look at the famous circuit, the past, present and future of the Monaco Grand Prix and lastly, we’ll go through which drivers will likely be battling it out for top spot in this year’s race on Sunday, with odds provided by bet365 Sport.

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The Famous Monaco Circuit

The 3.337km circuit on the city streets of Monaco, taking in some of the principality’s most famous landmarks is often known simply as Monte Carlo, as that is the neighbourhood of Monaco in which the circuit is mostly located.

The current layout of the track is the seventh version of the circuit and has been used since 2015. It features 19 turns and Lewis Hamilton holds the lap record at 1:12.909 which he set in the race last year.

Although the first Monaco Grand Prix took place in 1929, the first Formula 1 Grand Prix was in 1950, there then followed a five-year break before it returned in 1955, and since then the circuit has been a mainstay of the F1 calendar every year since (bar 2020 when Covid forced its cancellation).

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the Triple Crown series of races in motor sports along with the Indianapolis 500 and the 24-hour race at Le Mans. Only Graham Hill has ever achieved the feat of winning all three races at least once.

Famous parts of the circuit include Beau Rivage, Casino, Mirabeau, the Station Hairpin and Le Tunnel.

Although a hugely popular track, the increasing width of F1 cars has made it difficult for drivers to overtake each other in the race, while the city setting is not the most advantageous for spectators to view the race.

Previous Winners At Monaco

A total of 16 drivers have won multiple times at Monaco, but no driver has landed more victories at the circuit than the Brazilian great Ayrton Senna with six.

  • 6 Wins – Ayrton Senna (Bra)
  • 5 Wins – Graham Hill (GB), Michael Schumacher (Ger)
  • 4 Wins – Alain Prost (Fra)
  • 3 Wins – Stirling Moss (GB), Jackie Stewart (GB), Nico Rosberg (Ger), Lewis Hamilton (GB)
  • 2 Wins – Juan Manuel Fangio (Arg), Maurice Trintignant (Fra), Niki Lauda (Aut), Jody Scheckter (S.Af), David Coulthard (GB), Fernando Alonso (Spa), Mark Webber (Aus), Sebastian Vettel (Ger)

In terms of constructors, McLaren have by far the most wins at the circuit with 15, ahead of Ferrari with 10 and Mercedes with 8. Red Bull have had 5 victories, Alfa Romeo and Williams 3 apiece.

What Happens With The Monaco Grand Prix Beyond 2022?

With the contract with F1 running out after this weekend’s race, the future of the Monaco Grand Prix is somewhat unclear.

There’s no doubt it remains one of the most iconic races in the calendar, and it is a race loved by drivers and fans around the globe.

However, F1 has always offered Monaco very favourable terms to host the race and with F1’s popularity soaring, there is every likelihood a different venue would offer F1 a much better financial package, which is certainly very attractive to F1 bosses.

It looks like there may be some delicate negotiations ahead of Monaco is to remain a part of the F1 calendar moving forward.

Current F1 Driver’s World Championship Standings

  1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 110
  2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 104
  3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 85
  4. George Russell (Mercedes) – 74
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari) – 65
  6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 46
  7. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 39
  8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romao) – 38
  9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 30
  10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 15
  11. Daniele Ricciardo (McLaren), Yuri Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 11
  12. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 6
  13. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 4
  14. Alex Albon (Williams) – 3
  15. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 2
  16. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 1
  17. Mick Schumacher (Haas), Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin), Nicolas Latifi (Williams) – 0

Current F1 Constructor’s World Championship Standings

  1. Red Bull – 195
  2. Ferrari – 169
  3. Mercedes – 120
  4. McLaren – 50
  5. Alfa Romeo – 39
  6. Alpine – 34
  7. AlphaTauri – 17
  8. Haas – 15
  9. Aston Martin – 6
  10. Williams – 3

Betting Odds From Bet365 Sport

The latest betting odds on the race with bet365 Sport (odds correct at time of writing but may have changed in the meantime) are as follows:

  • Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – Evens
  • Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 5/4
  • Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Sergio Perez (Red Bull), George Russell & Lewis Hamilton (both Mercedes) – 16/1
  • Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 100/1
  • Lando Norris (McLaren) – 2501
  • 500/1 bar

Who Will Win The Race On Sunday?

The favourite at the moment is Charles Leclerc and given that he grew up in Monaco, and actually went to school on the bus that followed part of the circuit, that is understandable.

He also landed pole last year, but could not start the race after crashing his car afterwards and his mechanics were unable to repair it in time for the race.

He, along with Max Verstappen, have been the most dominant drivers in the Championship this season and it is unsurprising to see both of them well out of the rest in terms of favourites for the race.

However, that’s not to say that either one of these will be my pick, nor their team mates, who are both rated as 16/1 chances.

After seeing significant improvements in speed in the last race and a massive upturn in performance, I feel Mercedes could well be on the verge of gate-crashing proceedings at the top of the table over the next few weeks.

Last week Lewis Hamilton suffered an early race puncture that saw him come into the pits and come out in last place.

However, he showed superb pace, at one point clearly being the fastest car in the track as he moved through the field to claim a superb top five finish come the end of the race.

If those performance levels can be repeated here, then Hamilton at 16/1 may offer punters the chance of a very rare big return on an F1 race winner.

However, being on the front row of qualifying is likely to be crucial and as such, my advice would be to hang fire on making your bet until qualifying is over and you see how the front of the grid lines up.