Nico Rosberg travels to the familiar setting of Monaco this week hoping he can maintain his momentum atop the 2016 Formula 1 standings after crashing out of the Spanish Grand Prix a fortnight ago.
Alongside Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, the standings leader was forced to retire in Spain, but a win in Monte Carlo would see him become the first driver since Ayrton Senna to clinch four successive Monaco victories.
In the absence of the Mercedes pair, Red Bull star Max Verstappen shone more brightly than ever and rallied to Spanish success in his first race for the manufacturer since transferring from Toro Rosso.
It's tough at the top, as both superstars and emerging faces alike are under pressure to deliver in Monaco this Sunday, where Rosberg's lead and record are under serious threat.
Read on for a breakdown of the start times in Monaco this weekend, complete with driver list and TV information.
|Monaco Grand Prix 2016: Formula 1|
|Date||Session||Start Times (BST)|
|Saturday, May 28||Practice 3||10 a.m. - 11 a.m.|
|Saturday, May 28||Qualifying||1 p.m.|
|Sunday, May 29||Race||1 p.m.|
|F1 2016: Driver List|
|Team||Driver 1||Driver 2|
|Scuderia Ferrari||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Sahara Force India Formula One Team||Sergio Perez||Nico Hulkenberg|
|Haas F1 Team||Romain Grosjean||Esteban Gutierrez|
|McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team||Fernando Alonso||Jenson Button|
|Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||Lewis Hamilton||Nico Rosberg|
|Manor Racing MRT||Rio Haryanto||Pascal Wehrlein|
|Red Bull Racing||Daniel Ricciardo||Max Verstappen|
|Renault Sport Formula One Team||Kevin Magnussen||Jolyon Palmer|
|Sauber F1 Team||Marcus Ericsson||Felipe Nasr|
|Scuderia Toro Rosso||Daniil Kvyat||Carlos Sainz Jr.|
|Williams Martini Racing||Felipe Massa||Valtteri Bottas|
Mercedes Marvels on the Ropes
Even in the wake of their Catalunya collision, both Rosberg and Hamilton have professed to their working relationship surviving nonetheless, but all eyes will be on that pair in their hunt to bounce back this Sunday.
BeIN Sports provided footage of the crash in question from Barcelona, along with quotes from Hamilton insisting he and Rosberg haven't seen their relationship damaged any further by the incident:
Course familiarity is a major factor in any driver's fortune, as explained by BettingExpert.com, and Rosberg clearly has an affinity for Monte Carlo—his home since a young age and one he still lives in today.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was ever so slightly more irked by the entire event and informed Autosport's Ian Parkes the crash has left "scars" on his team:
Every major incident, and I would quantify Barcelona as a major incident, leaves scars. Barcelona has left scars, certainly on the drivers, within the team, and the people involved within Mercedes in Formula 1. It was an incident that was not supposed to happen, but I look at things philosophically.
Scars are bad because it means something has hurt, but they can also be good because you try and avoid more in the future. That's what I would like to take out of it. Yes, we had a complete wipeout, but I would like to think it is something that can be avoided in the future.
The Briton has at least shown his performance isn't suffering after topping the times in first practice, per BBC Sport's Andrew Benson, and he's searching for a second Monaco win of his career after triumphing in 2008.
That being said, Rosberg's 39-point lead atop the standings is in danger if we see a repeat of anything close to what happened in Barcelona, and Sunday will tell if he and Hamilton's professionalism can trump all else.
Verstappen Smelling Victory
The rise of Dutch wonder Verstappen has been telegraphed for quite some time in the motorsport world, and his success at the Spanish Grand Prix was a record-breaking display of why his fans were right all along.
Just one win into his Red Bull career—following promotion Toro Rosso in the place of Daniil Kyvat—and Verstappen also revealed he'll soon be in line for an engine upgrade, per the official Formula 1 Twitter account:
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel also commented on Verstappen's meteoric push into the elite-driver stratosphere and contrasted the 18-year-old's rise with his own experiences at that age, per NBC Sports' Luke Smith:
I was in Formula Three so I can’t possibly share. But yeah, in both cases probably the circumstances were very new. It wasn’t an expected win, probably little bit less for me at the time.
Still, I think your first grand prix win is something. You’re over the moon. Something very difficult to grasp. I’m sure he felt now how it was and he wants to do it again. That’s how I felt back then.
It’s up to all the rest of us to ensure it doesn’t happen too often.
Verstappen has already proved he's a supreme racing talent when the field has opened up ahead of him, but his next trick will be laying on the same kind of performance when the likes of Rosberg and Hamilton are present.
Repeating the success of his Spanish showdown will be a tough task in Monaco, but as he continues to adapt to the Red Bull RB12, Verstappen only promises to be a more fierce contender.