Betting the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix

Grand Prix de Monaco is the sixth race of the 2015 F1 schedule. It will be held Sunday 24 May 2015 with practice and qualifying happening the days previous. This article takes a look at the circuit, historical results, and what punters should recognise before placing a wager.

Circuit de Monaco Information

2015 Monaco Grand PrixCircuit de Monaco is a personal favorite of mine, along with thousands of other F1 racing fans. The circuit runs along the harbour in the streets of Monaco, in the richest area of the world. It runs inside a tunnel, has a wonderful (and somewhat dangerous) chicane, a couple of nice straights, and a huge sweeping turn.

At the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix the pole means a ton. Overtaking at this circuit is difficult, thus positions mean a lot here. It is a tiny, unforgiving circuit (3.340 km) that requires experience and high levels of driver skill. It is home to the famous Grand Hotel Hairpin (Loews Hairpin), and runs through the tunnel under the Fairmont Hotel. Drivers have likened this circuit to ‘racing horses in a garage’, and ‘riding a bicycle around your living room’. That’s tight.

Location: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Circuit:Circuit de Monaco
Circuit Length: 3.340 km
Total Race Distance: 260.520 km
Turns: 19
Hard Turns: 14 (1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19)
Hard Turns/Km: 4.192
Fastest Lap Time: 1:14.439 (Schumacher, 2004). Lap time is low, but keep in mind this is a very short circuit, as evident in the stat below.
Fastest Seconds/Km: 22.287

Betting on Race Winners in 2015

Personally my opinion is to not bank on there being any surprises at this 2015 Formula 1 Race. For past six F1 seasons, the winner at Monaco has come from the pole position. In the most recent 11 races the pole sitter won 10 times. The sole time it was not won by the pole was in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton won after starting P3.

Results1st (Grid)Time2nd (Grid)3rd (Grid)
2014Nico Rosberg (1)1:49:27.661Lewis Hamilton (2)Daniel Ricciardo (3)
2013Nico Rosberg (1)2:17:52.506Sebastian Vettel (3)Mark Webber (4)
2012Mark Webber (1)1:46:06.557Nico Rosberg (2)Fernando Alonso (5)
2011Sebastian Vettel (1)2:09:38.373Fernando Alonso (4)Jenson Button (2)
2010M. Webber (1)1:50:13.355S. Vettel (3)R. Kubica (2)
2009J. Button (1)1:40:44.282R. Barrichello (3)K. Räikkönen (2)
2008Lewis Hamilton (3)2:00:42.742Robert Kubica (5)Felipe Massa (1)
2007Fernando Alonso (1)1:40:29.329Lewis Hamilton (2)Felipe Massa (3)
2006Fernando Alonso (1)1:43:43.116Juan Pablo Montoya (4)David Coulthard (7)
2005Kimi Räikkönen (1)1:45:15.556Nick Heidfeld (6)Mark Webber (3)
2004Jarno Trulli (1)1:45:46.601Jenson Button (2)Rubens Barrichello (6)

The historical results shown above already prove the importance of position and this table doesn’t even tell the full story. In the rare times the top 3 finished off the podium it was often due to early retirement (collision or mechanical). If looking for the specifics of what happened in one of the above races, Google search Monaco Grand Prix with the year, and look for a detailed entry for that year.

As you can also see from the above Nico Rosberg comes to 2015 Monaco Grand Prix as the back-to-back defending champion. His chance to repeat depends largely on qualifying. If his Mercedes AMG team is running well, as it was last season, he should be a very live bet.

Advice for betting race winner: Avoid all together! If betting after qualifying, the pole is likely 1/9 (1.11 decimal / -900 American odds) at best. That requires staking 9 to win 1. The only way I can see it maybe being worth a bet is if by some miracle an inexperienced driver makes their first pole. The better bet here is probably to watch practice and bet the race winner before qualifying.

Top 3 & Top 6 Bets are where I prefer to look for value in the 2015 race. What I’m looking for in top 3 is for an aggressive driver with a capable car that is sitting P4 (or “maybe:”P5 with a teammate in P1 or P2). In the absence of this scenario I’m passing and looking at top 6 bets.

As predictable as the winner can be in this race, the drivers who will finish in 4th – 6th is equally unpredictable. It is very common to see drivers starting as low as P16 finishing in the top 6. In every year since 2001, at least one driver starting in P8 or lower finished in the top 6. In nine of those years (2001 – 2014) multiple drivers starting P8 or lower finished in the top 6.

In conclusion, with such a tight circuit that favors position, a lot of the chance to find value is in top 6 betting. Here I am looking for guys that have a recent history of finishing races better than their starting positions. These are of course a gamble, but with research and shopping the odds at multiple F1 betting sites, it is generally possible to find a bet or two that stands out as having value.