Monte Carlo. The glitz, the glamour, the beautiful people. Even if you’re not Formula One’s biggest fan, it’s still tempting to take a peek and see how the other half live. And that Bernie Ecclestone is still really, really small.
It’s not always the excitement high point of the F1 season, but it’s lapping the opposition when it comes to prestige. We’re all set for a fascinating race and here’s the top five bets you’ve backed that Paddy Power really wants to see beaten.
#1 Jenson Button to win the race – 100/1 (Each-way)
Jenson Button qualified in ninth place. The tight, winding streets of Monaco are notoriously difficult to overtake on. It’s not expected to rain, so we shouldn’t see anything too crazy today. Bravely overlooking these not especially encouraging omens, you have ploughed into the 33 year old shampoo promoter to cause a huge upset.
There’s been the type of money you’d expect for grid leaders, Rosberg, Hamilton and Vettel, but a win for the McLaren driver at 100/1 is the result that would really put a nail through Paddy’s front tyre. He did win this race before, but that was back in 2009 when then Brawn GP were rear-diffuser-ing all their rivals into the ground. A place on the podium would be an excellent performance for Button, but a win would be even for amazing – for anyone who backed him.
You’ve got to think that the popularity of this bet has a lot to do with profiting from the Schadenfreude plenty of people would get to see the not universally popular German drop out early. Don’t knock it – some of the best bets come from ignoring logic and going with your own slightly twisted wishful thinking. The reigning three-peat world champion did crash out early back in 2009 due to some dodgy tyres. Not ‘backstreet garage remoulds’ dodgy, but not far off by the looks of it.
For similar reasons to Jenson Button (the tight streets, the fact he’s starting miles back) we wouldn’t have pegged Bianchi to make much of an impact today, but again that apparent logic has been over-ruled by a lot of heft bets on the young Frenchman. He has a third place finish in Monaco at GP2 level to his credit and getting up to 10th would be enough to land this bet, so maybe it’s not the most outlandish thing we’ll see happen today.
It’s Monaco, so all it takes is one slight error or one quick glimpse at a scantily clad supermodel down at the port and you’re out of the race. And the streets are so teeny-tiny that if someone hits a barrier, they’re going to block everyone else and the safety car driver is going to need to come out for a few laps of showing off while they remove the easily distracted diver. It’s 1/7 that the safety car makes an appearance today, but that hasn’t stopped plenty of people lumping on the 7/2 that the safety car gets about as much use as Bernie Eccelstone’s conscience.
Yesterday was momentous day for Mercedes as they landed a 1-2 in qualifying at a circuit where grid position can be decisive. Still though, plenty of punters seem to think that karma will bite the team right in the ass about 24 hours on. There’s been strong support for a Mercedes to be the first car to retire suggesting that you think Lewis Hamilton shouldn’t be counting on doing a slightly smug post-race victory interview just yet.