Watch a long shot come in at Monaco
If ever there’s a race weekend to take a punt on a long shot, it has to be the Monaco Grand Prix.
And not just because the circuit skirts past the doors of the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo.
This is a track which has produced some astonishing surprise winners in the past.
In 1996, Ligier ended a 15-year wait for a win when Olivier Panis triumphed in slippery conditions. His remarkable triumph came on a day when just four of the starters were still running at the end (and one of those was in the pits).
Go back 40 years to 1972 and we find another surprise winner in wet conditions: Jean-Pierre Beltoise. Like Panis, this was his only win and the last for his team, BRM.
More recently, the Michael Schumacher steamroller of 2004 was halted by another one-off winner – Jarno Trulli.
Trulli’s win was the only victory for a driver other than Schumacher in the first 13 races. How times have changed. This weekend we could see a record sixth different winner in the first six races.
This is a track where the unexpected lurks around every blind corner, and the unpredictable has a habit of becoming reality. So who are the most rewarding long shots this weekend?
One candidate is Kimi Raikkonen. His Lotus has been consistently quick and he’s finished the last two races on the podium.
He knows his way around the streets of Monaco, winning here for McLaren in 2005, and is priced at 12.0 to repeat it this weekend.
Michael Schumacher’s comeback has given him little to celebrate. But he has tended to go better at Monaco than at other circuits, qualifying fifth here last year.
A five-time winner at the track, Schumacher is priced at 12.0 to equal Ayrton Senna’s record tally of six Monaco wins.
Pastor Maldonado scored a remarkable maiden victory for Williams in Spain. He’s definitely worth a look at 15.0 to make it back-to-back wins.
Maldonado is a Monaco specialist, having won here three times already in junior categories. He was on course for his best result of the season last year before going out in a tangle with Lewis Hamilton.
The brave bet: Sauber
But if you want a real long shot which has an outside chance of winning, take a look at the Saubers.
Neither of their drivers have won an F1 race before. Sergio Perez is priced at 25.0 and team mate Kamui Kobayashi at 30.0.
The C31 benefitted from an upgrade package in the last race which allowed Perez to start a best-ever fifth on the grid. Kobayashi might have been up there with him had he not suffered an hydraulic problem in qualifying.
Perez’s race in Spain was ruined on the first lap when he picked up a puncture. Kobayashi, meanwhile, worked his way forward to finish fifth, equalling his previous best F1 result, which came in Monaco last year.
Perez showed plenty of pace on his first visit to Monaco last year – until that nasty crash in qualifying that ruled him out of the rest of the weekend.
All of which adds up to a decidedly attractive proposition. All you need is perhaps a sprinkling of the rain which gave us those surprise winners in the past, and which almost helped Perez to win in Malaysia earlier this year.
A glance at the weather forecast for Monaco this weekend suggests we might just get it.
Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic