Monaco GP: F1's 'crown jewel' plays host to intensifying title race as Mercedes hunt Red Bull, Ferrari
Mercedes believe that - after an improved weekend in Spain - they are back in F1's title fight with Red Bull and Ferrari; Watch the Monaco GP, F1's most famous event, all live on Sky Sports F1, with Saturday qualifying at 3pm and Sunday's race at 2pm
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 24/05/22 4:18pm
After an intensifying title race took another twist in Spain, it's time for Formula 1's most legendary and glamorous event - the Monaco GP.
All live on Sky Sports this weekend, F1's fabled jewel in the crown never fails to deliver a spectacular event and remains the race that every driver wants to win as they push the limits around the narrowest of streets.
It's a unique test and one that increases in importance this weekend, with a championship fight simmering and three teams in confident mood.
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Max Verstappen now leads the title race for the first time this season after the world champion turned a 19-point deficit into a six-point advantage on a wild Sunday in Spain, pouncing on Charles Leclerc cruel engine failure.
Red Bull and Ferrari have been evenly matched all season and they will have aspirations of delivering again this weekend, in a Monaco GP filled with jeopardy.
But for the first time this year, we can now expect Mercedes to be right in that battle at the front.
The team on a record eight-year streak of constructors titles have flattered to deceive at the start of 2022 but at the Spanish GP finally managed to unlock consistent pace from their car, with George Russell a competitive third and Lewis Hamilton fifth after a fine recovery from the back.
Last weekend has also seemingly resulted a shift in Mercedes' aspirations. With Russell 36 points off Verstappen in the drivers' championship and Mercedes 75 points off Red Bull in the team standings, the team roared after Barcelona: "Can we fight for a world championship? You bet we can.
"We have reasons to believe we can get there.
"If you look at the standings that is very hard to see but motor racing is a different ball game.
"We've seen that Ferrari didn't score a lot of points when they should have and we will absolutely push flat out to bring us back into the game."
Excitement builds for F1's 'crown jewel'
The Monaco GP is the world's most famous street race, steeped in history, glamour and challenges for drivers - while its circuit remains frozen in time with many of the 19 corners among the most famous in motorsport.
Think Ste Devote, Casino Square, Mirabeau, and the Rascasse.
This year's event is not only much-anticipated because of the championship battle, but also because it will be the first in the new generation of cars, which have provided thrilling racing so far in 2022.
Monaco, F1's narrowest circuit and toughest to overtake on, will provide the toughest test so far - although that is what makes Saturday's must-watch qualifying the most crucial and exciting of the year.
Monaco has hosted Grand Prix racing since 1929 and was included on the inaugural F1 calendar in 1950, and is in talks about extending a contract that is due to expire after this season.
"It's one of the crown jewels of our sport," said Hamilton, a three-time winner in Monaco. "So I'm not really sure it would be great to lose it.
"I guess that the difficult part is that the racing itself is not that spectacular. But everyone that goes enjoys it. It is a prime location. It is just that that icon status it has, the history that it has that is so appealing to drivers, but also I think to those that are watching."
Daniel Ricciardo, another Monaco victor, added: "Monaco is just special.
"For sure the race, it's one of the most tricky circuits to overtake but the weekend experience and just everything that is Monaco is special and unique.
"I think going there as an F1 driver and having that and experiencing all the emotions that go with competing in Monaco, it's unique. And I'm very, very happy to have that, and have experienced that in my career."
Sky Sports F1's live Monaco GP schedule
All the Monaco GP is live and exclusive on Sky Sports F1, while viewers will also be treated to the world-famous Indianapolis 500 on Sunday night.
Thursday, May 26
4.05pm: F2 Practice
Friday, May 27
10.35am: F2 Qualifying
12.30pm: Monaco GP Practice One (session starts 1pm)*
3.45pm: Monaco GP Practice Two (session starts 4pm)*
5.10pm: The F1 Show
Saturday, May 28
11.45am: Monaco GP Practice Three (session starts 12pm)*
2pm: Monaco GP Qualifying Build-up*
3pm: MONACO GP QUALIFYING*
4.35pm: F2 Sprint Race
5.35pm: Ted's Qualifying Notebook
Sunday, May 29
8.45am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Monaco GP Build-up*
2pm: THE MONACO GRAND PRIX*
4pm: Chequered Flag: Monaco
5pm: Ted's Notebook
6pm: Monaco GP Highlights
7pm: The Indianapolis 500
*simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event