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SportMonaco Grand Prix 2024: Formula One race preview, schedule, how to watch...

Monaco Grand Prix 2024: Formula One race preview, schedule, how to watch F1 and prediction

The big story

With a 48-point lead over Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen remains in a commanding position at the top of the Formula One 2024 standings – but his victory by less than a second over Lando Norris in Italy last time out is being seen by many as a chink in the champion’s armour.

But for a misguided tyre call which hindered Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin, Verstappen might not have won in Monaco in 2023, and McLaren’s technical improvements and enhanced pace have also given Red Bull reason for possible nerves.

Ferrari, too, have made improvements, leaving the early-season expectations that Verstappen would routinely whitewash the field looking a long-gone memory.

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Leclerc has taken two of the last three poles in Monaco and was fastest ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in second practice on Friday, when Verstappen complained that his car was “bouncing like a kangaroo” as he settled for fourth.

Hamilton – a three-time Monaco winner – was fastest on Friday, and 2022 winner Sergio Perez, of Red Bull, has also been in the reckoning in practice.

“Looking at the track layout, it’s probably not going to be our best track, just because our car normally struggles a bit over bumps and kerbs,” said Verstappen.

“We did work on it a bit compared to last year. So far on most of the tracks that we’ve been to, our low-speed performance has improved a little bit. But I don’t think this is going to be a very easy weekend.”

Norris said McLaren had “definitely put ourselves in there”. “It’s a long way to go,” he cautioned, having secured his maiden win in Miami.

“I am definitely not thinking about it and it is not going to change anything. You concentrate on getting a good result and then things play out for themselves.

Monaco Grand Prix 2024

Monaco is a notoriously difficult track for overtaking, forcing drivers to push their cars to the limit for much of what is one of the most glamorous races on the circuit.

McLaren will race in a green, yellow and blue livery dedicated to former champion Ayrton Senna, whose six wins in Monaco are the most in history.

There are 78 laps over a distance of almost 3.4km, and this is the 70th run of a race first held in 1950. Lewis Hamilton set the course record of a fraction under one minute and 13 seconds in 2021.

Monaco Grand Prix: What they said

Norris on his performance in Friday’s practice sessions:

“We looked good out there, but not in the sense of speed. We’re not bad at all and it’s always tricky around here. It’s just nice to be back and driving around this track, because it’s as chaotic as it always is.

“We’re definitely lacking a little bit compared to Charles and the Ferraris. Maybe the Mercedes, as well. Everyone’s tighter just because it’s a smaller and abnormal track.”

Hamilton on his performance in Friday’s practice sessions:

“It’s been a good day, probably the best we’ve had so far this year, and the car is feeling very positive. This track is just amazing in an F1 car, and I’ve been enjoying my driving – I was pleasantly surprised by the grip level and the way the car was responding, which made it a much more enjoyable ride than the last two years.

In the second session, it felt a bit less comfortable, and we’ve got lots of work to do overnight to improve the long runs and the front graining. It was a feeling positive on the lower fuel and we don’t want to lose that, but our focus now is to improve on the long run.”

Monaco Grand Prix TV channel, stream

F1 fans in the UK will be able to watch every race of 2024 on Sky Sports F1 or via the Sky Go app. The full schedule for the remainder of the race weekend is as below.

Monaco Grand Prix schedule, start time

All times UK

Saturday 25th May

11:30 – Practice Three

15:00 – Qualifying

Sunday 26th May

14:00 – Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix prediction

Verstappen is, as usual, the warm odds-on favourite to win, but his odds are not as staggeringly short as they have tended to be.

Take the romantic option of second-favourite Leclerc to win his home Grand Prix and narrow the gap further at the top of the standings.

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