Monaco Grand Prix Win Simulations: McLaren Continues to Surge

Jim Sannes
Jim Sannes@JimSannes
Monaco Grand Prix Win Simulations: McLaren Continues to Surge

We've got ourselves a proper battle on our hands, everybody.

After Lando Norris won the Miami Grand Prix, it was clear the gap to Red Bull was tightening. But there were questions around a well-timed safety car and whether Max Verstappen sustained damage mid-race, keeping enthusiasm somewhat in check.

But last week in Imola, Norris finished within a second of Verstappen, validating that surge in pace.

The days of Verstappen running away and hiding? They may be a thing of the past, at least for now.

When you pair that with a Monaco Grand Prix where passing is borderline impossible, making pre-practice markets more volatile, you get win simulations that look mighty competitive.

Here's what those sims look like prior to FP1 on Friday.

Top 6
Max Verstappen53.9%84.1%86.1%86.2%
Lando Norris16.8%63.7%84.8%85.6%
Charles Leclerc10.5%48.3%83.3%86.7%
Carlos Sainz8.0%37.5%79.5%86.4%
Sergio Perez5.0%28.4%73.8%85.3%
Oscar Piastri3.4%21.2%68.8%85.8%
George Russell1.1%6.6%36.9%78.2%
View Full Table

The model has Verstappen down to 53.9% to win. That's not too far off of FanDuel Sportsbook's F1 betting odds, which have Verstappen at -140, which is 58.3% implied. So I don't think we're underestimating him here; I think this shift is legit.

As for Norris, he actually grades out as a value at FanDuel. He's 16.8% to win, up from 15.4% implied at +550.

The key thing we have to ensure is that Norris can win the pole. It's something he has done just once in his F1 career as he excels more so at tire management and race pace. Given how tough it is to pass, winning the pole here is essential.

Personally, I think he can.

Norris has had this upgrade package for two races. In Miami, during qualifying for the sprint race, Norris had the fastest lap of any driver; it just came during the second round of qualifying rather than the third.

In Imola, Norris was within one-tenth of Verstappen, and his teammate, Oscar Piastri, was even closer. It does seem like they have good qualifying pace, even if their biggest strength lies during the race.

Last year, sportsbooks undervalued the correlation between winning the pole and the race, and it led to value on Verstappen to do both at +240.

They're a bit wiser this year as Norris is +650 to win the pole and the race. If we pair that with his outright odds of +550, FanDuel is saying Norris' win odds would be 86.7% if he were to win the pole.

That very well could be fair. But personally, I'd rather ride with the straight outright at +550, giving myself an extra route to cashing on Sunday should Norris not quite eek out the pole on Saturday.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.