Roy The Boy picks his preferred bets from the Monaco Grand Prix but only after highlighting his dislike of Monaco and its iconic Formula One race.
It’s odd stuff, money. It doesn't always do what you think it will do. It's like water, it slips through your fingers and it finds the path of the least resistance.
Monaco is a money puddle, a cash delta. It’s as if all the wealth from the rich northern European pastures has trickled down the Continent and found its way here, to form a sort of mangrove swamp of gluttony, before being washed into the Mediterranean. Maybe swamp is the wrong term, some people like swamps, maybe sewage outlet is a better description.
There are two sorts of slum. There are slums that grow out of too little and slums that grow out of too much. Monaco is the sort of slum that rich people build when they lack for nothing except taste and a sense of the collective good.
The one thing a poor slum holds over a rich one is dignity. What Monte Carlo has instead of dignity is prostitutes, CCTV cameras and policemen. Ok, there are numerically fewer policemen than cameras or call girls but, with 515 at the last count, it’s pretty impressive for a country which measures less than 2km sq.
It's been said that Monte Carlo is the biggest trailer park in the world. An itinerant collection of wasters, drifters and self-delusionists. It’s also an example to the rest of us of what money actually does buy you. And the truth of the rubric is that any place that has the appellation ‘tax haven’ will be a doss-house for purgatory.
After money, Monaco is famous for one thing - the Monaco Grand Prix. An iconic staple of the Formula One calendar. Annually it rolls out its tarmac and erects barriers for a unique road race, unabated, even when every other European city is desperately trying to rid itself of motorcars for a cleaner healthier environment. Nevertheless Monaco lies on its back in the street like a trucker's prostitute despite being wholesomely inadequate for the role it has been charged to do.
It doubtlessly worked well for the job shortly after horse drawn carriages went out of fashion and just before cars reached speeds of 40 mph. But this is the twenty-first century.
The Monaco Grand Prix, taking place on Sunday May 24, will actually be won on Saturday May 23 during the qualifying session as the antiquated circuit offers the type of ‘racing’ where overtaking is more impossible than unlikely.
Starting positions will be pretty much maintained throughout the ‘race day parade’ and to underline the importance of qualifying here, or the coma inducing traffic jam this always is, just consider that ten of the last 11 Monaco Grand Prix winners started as the pole-setter.
A fortnight ago, at the Spanish Grand Prix, the two Toro Rosso cars driven by Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen started the race in fifth and sixth. In the race they soon dropped down the field like a stone through water but if they can bring a similar ‘qualifying set-up’ to Monaco it’s unlikely, near impossible, they will relinquish their positions
I’m looking forwards to the prospect of backing the duo for a “Top Six” finish at very big prices (both currently 5/1 with Ladbrokes) and also for a “Top Ten” Points Position (both currently Evens with Ladbrokes).
But the pièce de résistance is the fastest lap market. With just 1 of last 13 winners (or pole setters) recording the fastest lap I’m going to avoid the Mercedes mantrap and wade into all the Williams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso drivers to claim the accolade at a minimum ‘double-carpet’ 33/1 apiece.
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