Fans of Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) and Red Bull Racing are pinning their hopes on the fact Monaco is a track where MercedesAMG, despite their dominance this season, have not won in the last 2, the streets of Monaco is not kind to the Silver Arrows.
Last year Red Bull Racing won with Daniel Ricciardo at the wheel, and have always had a car that makes them competitive on street circuits like Monte Carlo, the shortest track on the calendar.
4 different drivers have won the last 4 Monaco Grands Prix, with Max Verstappen a strong candidate this year in his Red Bull racer.
Red Bull Racing’s boss Christian Horner explained that Mr. Verstappen is eyeing “redemption” after last year, when having looked like the fastest driver before a qualifying smash left him at the back of the grid, after which he recovered to finish 9th and record the fastest lap.
“It was great to be back on the podium in Barcelona and now I’m looking forward to Monaco,” Mr Verstappen said last week.
“It’s a very special and hectic weekend, and for sure it is a lot of fun. It has a lot of history but it’s not been the best one for me over the last few years.
“Hopefully it is time to turn this around. I live in Monaco so it’s nice to sleep in my own apartment instead of a hotel, and a few of my friends and family will be there so I’m looking forward to seeing them and having a good weekend.”
But Mr. Horner has expressed concern at how fast the relentless MercedesAMG looked during the slowest sections of the track in Barcelona last time out.
And MercedesAMGs’ Toto Wolff is hopeful changes to his team’s development of the Y 2019 car has made up the performance difference they lacked in years past at slower tracks, which could enable them to end their Monaco slump.
The ultimate Monaco story this weekend might be around Monegasque Charles Leclerc taking his maiden victory in his 6th race for Scuderia Ferrari.
He arrives at his home circuit with only an electronics problem having denied him victory from Pole in Bahrain, then 2 races later he set the Baku track on fire until he crashed while qualifying.
But the pattern of performance of his Ferrari to date suggests that the tight, narrow Monte Carlo streets could have been specifically configured to expose his SF90’s biggest weakness: its slow corner performance.
Mr. Leclerc’s experience with the course extends beyond it being in his home town. His late father Hervé finished 8th in the 1988 Monaco F3 race here, the highlight of his racing career before devoting himself to helping Charles get established in the motor sport.
In the 2017 Monaco F2 race, shortly before his father’s passing, Mr. Leclerc set a scintillating Pole position and led the race going away until an unfortunately-timed safety car dropped him back and a subsequent suspension failure put him out.
Last year, he qualified his Sauber in Q2 and was going well in the race until a brake failure resulted in a spectacular collision with Brendon Hartley’s Toro Rosso on the approach to the chicane.
Mr. Leclerc is quick everywhere but seems particularly attuned to walled street circuits, he will likely shine if Ferrari has made a breakthrough. And should Mr. Leclerc win it, it would be an very popular outcome for sure.
RACEWEEK SCHEDULE (all times local)
Red Bull have collected 272 points at Monte Carlo, their most at a single F1 circuit.
2018: Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull
2017: Sebastian Vettel for Ferrari
2016: Lewis Hamilton for MercedesAMG
1. Lewis Hamilton (MercedesAMG) 112
2. Valtteri Bottas (MercedesAMG) 105 (-7)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) 66 (-46)
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 64 (-48)
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 57 (-55)
1. MercedesAMG 217
2. Ferrari 121 (-96)
3. Red Bull Racing 87 (-125)
Ferrari is the Aristocrat of the automotive sector.
The iconic Italian Supercar manufacturer claimed the title according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 2019 report launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
HeffX-LTN overall technical outlook for RACE is Bullish to Very Bullish, there is light resistance now at 147.21, and strong support at 140.24, all of our Key indicators are Very Bullish in here