Two disappointing weeks and temporary changes need to be made. Let’s have a look at our team for this weekend’s crown jewel event.
This weekend our constructor changes to the charging Red Bulls. This is a tactical move for the Monaco event as the Milton Keynes team traditionally holds strong pace around the streets of Monaco thanks to their strong aero packages and the circuit’s reduced emphasis on engine performance.
Also, note that Red Bull Racing has taken a staggering 11 hypersoft tyre sets per driver – the most compared to their close rivals. This means Red Bull Racing will have mighty pace and knowledge of the pink-walled compound heading into qualifying and the race.
As for our drivers, Fernando Alonso has been in great form in the past two races and he will be a strong prospect for some points this weekend in his Renault powered McLaren. An experienced racer through the twists and turns of Monte Carlo, the two-time World Champion will hold the turbo driver badge for the third race in a row.
Kevin Magnussen also has been fantastic so far this season. To be honest, we predicted the Dane would be the first to go alongside the rest of our team, but he has been a great contributor each round with fantastic results on both Saturday and Sunday and stealing bittersweet points off his out-of-form teammate Romain Grosjean.
Kimi Räikkönen also stays in the side off the back of his DNF in Spain almost a fortnight ago. If he were to have finished the Barcelona race, he would be one of the highest scoring drivers in the field this year. The Ferrari veteran has tallied up a total of 32 points so far this season for us.
Daniel Ricciardo is in the mix in Monaco too. We have hope he can do well in Monaco this weekend and challenge for his first win here after coming so close to victory in 2016. There’s been plenty of talk in the paddock that the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix race winner has high chances of taking the top prize in Monaco and getting the best of his teammate Max Verstappen. All these good luck charms hopefully can pay dividends for our team this weekend.
And finally, for our last driver, Nico Hülkenberg. The German has had a disastrous two rounds of racing with crash-induced DNFs in Azerbaijan and Spain, yet he still takes up a spot in our line-up. The Renault driver is on his last straw and a disappointing run this weekend will have him traded from the team due to his driver value decreasing. Keeping him on for any longer – were his value to continue diminishing – would in turn slash our team value and cause headaches for affording more expensive drivers in the future.
The switch to Red Bull, for now, is seen as a temporary switch as our remaining budget opens up to $8.6m with the “downgrade” in value from Ferrari.
Remember, only one change can be made per round so we have to wait to use the remaining budget for the Canadian Grand Prix. The move opens up the opportunity to switch back to the Prancing Horse in Montréal or potentially invest in a higher-valued driver if need be.
There is plenty of potential in the drivers of this team and as we stated in our Spanish Grand Prix preview, experience is key especially around tight corners of Monaco which almost all our selections already hold. Qualifying for the famous street circuit event kicks off at 3:00pm CEST before the highly anticipated Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
Images via PlayOn and Red Bull Racing