This weekend, the Champions League Final takes place in the French capital of Paris, but it is not the only massive sporting event going on in France at the moment.

We also have the French Open tennis tournament and this weekend, if you head to the south of France and to the principality of Monaco, then you can watch the latest chapter in the current Formula 1 season unfold at the famous Monaco Grand Prix.

The great and the good of Formula 1 will be present alongside the glamorous, famous and fabulously wealthy at what has been one of the premiere races of the F1 season since it was first contested back in 1955.

However, with the agreement for the race in Monaco with F1 running out after this race, and no new deal yet agreed, could this be the final Monaco Grand Prix for the foreseeable future?

And if it is, who is likely to win it?

That is precisely what we are going to be discussing in this preview.

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History Of The Monaco Grand Prix

The very first Monaco Grand Prix was contested in 1929, but it did not host an official Formula 1 race until 1950. After that there was a five-year gap to 1955, but since then the race has featured in the F1 schedule every year, apart from 2020 when it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The race is part of the prestigious Triple Crown of motor racing along with the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24-hour race. Only one driver in history, Britain’s Graham Hill, has won all three legs of the triple crown.

Fernando Alonso has won two of the three races, but is yet to win the Indianapolis 500, but if he can do so then he would be the second driver to follow Hill’s achievements into the record books.

The race has etched a place for itself in the annals of Formula 1 and a lot of that is down to the nature of its famous street circuit.

  • The Circuit

A total of seven different versions of the street circuit around the Monte Carlo neighbourhood in Monaco have been used for the race, and the current edition has been used since 2015.

Lewis Hamilton holds the current lap record for the race with a time of 1.12.909 which he managed to set in the race last year.

The narrow layout of the circuit, combined with the ever-widening F1 car, does make overtaking incredibly difficult where just a couple of positions on the track where it is even possible and only then if the driver is in the perfect position to do so.

There are several famous parts of the track including Casino Square, Mirabeau, the Tunnel, the Station Hairpin and Beau Rivage.

The circuit’s contract with F1 expires after the 2022 race and it is not yet known whether F1 are ready to agree terms to retain the circuit as part of its 2023 calendar.

  • Previous Winners

The most successful driver in the history of the Monaco Grand Prix was the late great Ayrton Senna, who achieved six victories including five victories in succession from 1989 to 1993.

  • 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)

McLaren are top of the constructors table when it comes to race winners with 15, 10 ahead of second placed Ferrari with Mercedes in third with 8.

Of other teams in this year’s Constructors Championship, Alfa Romeo and Williams have had 3 wins each while Red Bill have amassed five wins in the race, including last year.

  • The Future

This year’s race is the final one of the current contract Monaco has with F1 and there are seemingly some tough negotiations set to take place between both parties over the coming weeks and months.

Monaco has always enjoyed favourable rates from F1 given the races popularity and standing, however with F1 now booming in popularity around the globe, there is every likelihood that F1 could get a much better deal with another venue that offers more exciting racing.

However, there is no doubt that F1’s appeal would be diminished without its annual trip to Monte Carlo and that is something that will need to be weighed up carefully in these talks.

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

Latest Betting Odds And Tips To Win The Race On Sunday

At the time of writing the current betting odds on the race with bet365 Sport are as follows, but remember that the odds may change in the run up to the race.

  • Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – Even Money
  • 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

Charles Leclerc’s familiarity with the track, he grew up and went to school in Monaco, makes him the favourite here. Last year he earned pole, but then crashed his car meaning that he couldn’t start the race.

He’ll be anxious to make up for that this weekend as he and Max Verstappen continue their battle to be the dominant driver in F1 this season.

You can’t rule out their teammates Carlos Sainz or Sergio Perez from the race either, and perhaps you need to consider the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton’s car had several upgrades on it last time out in Spain and the British 7-time World Champion was delighted with how his car performed as he moved from last up to fourth place in the race after receiving a puncture early on in the race.

If both Mercedes now have those improvements, then Hamilton and Russell are two more that could be in contention.

However, my advice for this market is to wait until after qualifying. Pole position at Monaco is almost a necessity if you are to win the race given how difficult it is to overtake,

Personally, I think Mercedes could be set for a major jump in performance here and those longer odds-on Hamilton are very tempting indeed, especially if he starts on the front row of the grid.