Photo: Luxury F1
By: Kobe Lambeth
Compared to recent years, it has been quite an interesting start to the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship season. We have an intense title battle on our hands as Mercedes and Ferrari look to take the fight to one another throughout the season. Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, and Valtteri Bottas have already earned the top spot on the podium. With battles up front and the midfield, it would not be a surprise to see a shocking result in the 2017 edition of the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Monaco Grand Prix was won by Mercedes, three times by retired reigning World Champion Nico Rosberg, and last year with Lewis Hamilton. Based on the technical nature of the famous street circuit and the way the competition has fared so far this season, it would not be a surprise to see a surprise winner or spectacular stories finish in the points.
Ferrari and Mercedes are the obviously favorites as they have been going head to head in each grand prix this season. Another historic battle between Hamilton and Vettel is something Formula One fans live for, but do not count out their teammates as Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen. Red Bull will likely be a contender too as drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen must be hungry to add their names to a list of legends who have won at Monaco. However, last year was a massive disappointment for Red Bull as Ricciardo was in a position to win, but a terrible mishap on an unprepared pit stop left the team scratching their heads. Monaco is definitely filled with drama, tight corners, and plenty of excitement.
One of the largest storylines heading into race weekend is two-time Formula One World Champion and Monaco Grand Prix winner, Fernando Alonso choosing to skip the grand prix in favor of joining the Verizon IndyCar Series for a one-off in the No. 29 McLaren-Honda fielded by Andretti Autosport as he attempts to go for glory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. As Alonso will not be in Monaco, McLaren-Honda has called upon Jenson Button to take his place alongside Stoffel Vandoorne. It will be interesting to see how Button adapts to the 2017 Formula One car as the increased loads of downforce are completely different compared to the 2016-spec McLaren-Honda.
Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull are the favorites but do not count out the others as the power units are not as important on a technical circuit such as Monaco. How cool would it be to see strategy produce a shocking winner or a surprise in the points? That is the true unique mystery about the Monaco Grand Prix. We never truly know what is going to happen until the checkered flag falls on the streets of beautiful and scenic Monte Carlo.