He has since won again on two further occasions while Verstappen is yet to take the top step in the Principality. The Dutchman has pushed the boundaries too far before, crashing out of FP3 ahead of qualifying. It’s a mistake he can ill afford as the chaser in the title race.
The leader into the first corner is the likely winner this weekend and it’s the Red Bull driver who needs to set a marker down if he is to get back on terms with his rival. The gap in the standings is currently 14 points in Hamilton’s favour.
Mercedes has boasted a race-pace advantage but that will count for a lot less with overtaking being so limited.
Is there an outside bet for pole? Valtteri Bottas could get amongst the fight. He has one pole so far this year and has been on the front row here before but a maiden Monaco pole would be a shock result considering he’s been a forgotten man so far this year.
McLaren versus Ferrari
The McLarens will look a little bit different this weekend than usual with its McLaren X Gulf collaboration and one-off livery, but the rivalry with Ferrari is a familiar one and could be the most intriguing outside of the fight for pole.
Lando Norris has spearheaded the Woking team into an early championship lead, though the team’s constructor standings advantage was cut to just five points after Ferrari enjoyed a more competitive Spanish GP last time out.
Charles Leclerc has shown time and time again he can outperform his car in qualifying to put it ahead of where it really should be on the grid while Norris has made errors to leave him languishing in the bottom end of the top 10.