May 22 (GMM) Pastor Maldonado is a genuine contender for victory this weekend at Monaco.
That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, arguing that the once-derided 'pay driver' Venezuelan's breakthrough win in Spain was not necessarily a one-off.
Some, including reigning world champion team Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz, have written off the 2012 season so far as little more than a Pirelli-fuelled "lottery".
But having offered odds of 500-1 prior to Barcelona, Maldonado is now 16-1 to repeat his victory in the famous Principality, according to the major British bookmaker William Hill.
Auto Motor und Sport reckons on "two main favourites" for Monaco, the other being McLaren's Hamilton.
"Both (Hamilton and Maldonado) are proven Monaco specialists, who were able to win on the Cote d'Azur in any class long before Formula One," read the report.
"Hamilton was the fastest man in Barcelona but was hampered by the fuel problem in qualifying. And in addition to his Monaco-talent, Maldonado's Williams has incredible traction."
However, journalist Tobias Gruner acknowledged that "whoever has bet on the favourite this season has not been happy so far".
Two-time title winner Emerson Fittpaldi would bet on Lotus.
"I see them as the most consistent team," the Brazilian legend is quoted by Globo.
The 2012 'lottery' has polarised F1 pundits, but former driver and Williams mentor Alex Wurz counts himself among the delighted.
"There have been six winners so far: five different drivers, and Formula One itself," the Austrian told Sportwoche.