As the Formula One season heads to Europe, our Bleacher Report F1 experts are doing their best to predict the key results from the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix.
It's a blue-riband event, with the eyes of the motorsports world trained on the billionaires' playground.
Mercedes have dominated the early-season races and looked as strong as ever in Spain. The street circuit is a different challenge, but will it throw up a different result?
Joining us is Bob Margolis, who covers NASCAR in the U.S. for Bleacher Report. He'll be pitting his wits against our F1 team, and you can as well.
Here are our best guesses:
Mark Patterson: The stage is set for Nico Rosberg. He has signed a contract extension and knows he has the faith of the team. He is driving at his "home" track, being a Monaco resident. And he won here last year. If he can't win this weekend, his title chances may be irreparably damaged—but I expect him to dominate.
Oliver Harden: Monaco's reputation as a track which rewards driver skill could allow Daniel Ricciardo, who has always been a strong qualifier, to spring a surprise on Saturday. But expect Mercedes to stretch their legs once again in the race.
Matthew Walthert: A safety car (or two) will make this a much closer race than we saw in Spain, but the two Mercs will still have no trouble keeping their rivals behind them. After losing out to Lewis Hamilton in qualifying, Rosberg will be unable to get by his teammate on the tight, twisty streets of Monte Carlo. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso will sneak in a late fastest lap as the Silver Arrows are cruising to their fifth straight one-two finish.
Neil James: Monaco is a circuit on which Lewis Hamilton should excel. In years gone by, "should" might have translated into a botched qualifying lap and fifth on the grid, but this season it should mean pole and, by extension, the race win. But expect a much smaller gap back to the Red Bulls, one of which may even pip Rosberg for second.
Bob Margolis: Lewis Hamilton's dominance this season has unfortunately drawn attention away from the close and entertaining competition offered by the rest of the field. While Monaco will be yet another display of mastery by the Brit, it is the race for who is the "best of the rest" that bears watching this weekend.
|Columnist||Mark Patterson||Oliver Harden||Matthew Walthert||Neil James||Bob Margolis|
|Pole Position||Nico Rosberg||Daniel Ricciardo||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis Hamilton|
|Race Winner||Nico Rosberg||Nico Rosberg||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis Hamilton|
|Fastest Lap||Nico Rosberg||Nico Rosberg||Fernando Alonso||Nico Rosberg||Lewis Hamilton|
|Number of Finishers||19||16||16||16||14|
Here's how we did in Spain and what the results did to our scores so far this season:
|Columnist||Mark Patterson||Oliver Harden||Matthew Walthert||Neil James||RESULT|
|Pole Position||Nico Rosberg||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis Hamilton||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton|
|Race Winner||Nico Rosberg||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis Hamilton|
|Fastest Lap||Lewis Hamilton||Lewis Hamilton||Nico Rosberg||Nico Rosberg||Sebastian Vettel|
|Number of Finishers||18||18||16||17||20|
|Points This Season||13||16||15||16||-|
How the Scores Are Calculated
The right answer earns you one point, except in the case of total finishers, where you can be two cars either side. However, if you predict the exact correct number of finishers, you pick up two points.
Feel free to play along in the comments, and see how you fare against our predictions!
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