Monaco presents fine chance for back-to-back Maldonado podiums
Pastor Maldonado sprung a major surprise with victory in the Spanish Grand Prix and 3/1 looks reasonable value that he follows up again by finishing on the podium in Monaco.
Not only was the Spanish success the first for Maldonado in Formula One, it also represented a maiden podium and built on the solid start that Williams had already made to the current campaign.
Bigger things will now instinctively be expected of the team rather than battling for the minor points, but at least Maldonado can point to a fine record in Monaco from his career prior to Formula One.
In his four seasons in GP2 and a mixture of seven races in Monaco between featured events and sprints, Maldonado secured two victories and was at least on the podium once every season.
This bodes well for the Monaco Grand Prix and Maldonado’s finishing position could much depend on how well he qualifies.
The Venezuelen took advantage of starting on pole at the Circuit de Catalunya and an equally strong grid position may be needed in Monaco.
This is because only once in the last 20 years has a driver won the Monaco Grand Prix after starting worse than third on the grid, which was Olivier Panis in a rain-hit race in 1996.
There is good reason for this, as the lack of long straights take away obvious overtaking opportunities, while the narrow nature of the street circuit makes passing difficult.
It takes a certain kind of driver to thrive in Monaco, with the lack of straights also offering little mental-rest time, while the bumpy nature of the circuit puts an even greater premium than normal on fitness.
Maldonado is available at 12/1 to win the Monaco Grand Prix, while 2/5 could be the best price for safer punters that he simply finishes among the points.