Monaco Grand Prix Betting: Why Odds Have Been Slashed On ANOTHER Max Verstappen Victory

Ahead of the last round of the Formula One season we listed five reasons why Max Verstappen could win a race this year. But the speed with which he got the job done - leading the field home in his first race for Red Bull - caught everyone by surprise.

Congratulations are in order if you backed the 18-year-old to win in Barcelona at 41.00. But you won't find such rich pickings for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. Verstappen's odds on winning have been slashed to 6.50, and 2.00 for a podium finish, which is among the shortest we've seen for a non-Mercedes driver over the past two years.

Team mate Daniel Ricciardo, twice a winner at Monaco in Formula Renault 3.5, is on 8.50 for a win and 2.00 for a podium. And there's good reason why the Red Bull drivers' odds have shortened so much.


Red Bull closing the gap

Spanish F1 Grand Prix : News Photo

After enduring their first winless season for seven years last season, Red Bull came out of the box strongly at the beginning of 2016. The team which dependably produces one of the best-handling chassis on the grid has clearly done it again.

That should pay dividends in Monaco. The narrow streets of Monte-Carlo are all about maximising traction and aerodynamic downforce for the many slow corners. Red Bull should be in their element this weekend - they might even get among the Mercedes in qualifying.


Engine boost

Spanish F1 Grand Prix : News Photo

Although Monaco is not a circuit where engine performance makes a significant difference, Renault have found so much from the new version of their power unit they're going to introduce it one race earlier than usual.

The snag is they're expected to only have one example ready for Red Bull (who brand their engines as 'TAG Heuer'). It remains to be seen which driver will get it, but as the team's leading points scorer in the championship Ricciardo may well have first refusal.


The Verstappen factor

Spanish F1 Grand Prix : News Photo

It was at this race 12 months ago that we got our first hint of just how good Verstappen is. In his first ever session around the daunting Monaco track - in a Formula One car, no less - he lapped quicker than all his rivals with the exception of Lewis Hamilton.

Youthful exuberance proved his undoing in the race. He was pressuring Romain Grosjean when he was caught out by the Lotus driver under braking and suffered a huge crash.

There's no doubt Verstappen wouldn't have won in Spain had the two Mercedes drivers not tangled. As ever they are the favourites for victory this weekend - Hamilton on 2.40, Rosberg 2.50.

But Monaco is a special place which has a habit of throwing up freak results, like the one-off wins for Olivier Panis and Jarno Trulli in 1996 and 2004.

A second win for Verstappen this weekend isn't entirely a flight of fancy.


Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic