Saturday, 12 September 2009

Pre-race forecast for Monza

Now this is a tricky bag of monkeys and no mistake. I saw somewhere that KERS should prove ultra-effective at Monza (and Renault are running it in addition to Ferrari and McLaren). Sure enough, Hamilton is in pole position, with Raikonnen 3rd and perennial under-achiever Kovalainen in 4th.

Sutil put in a great performance for Force India to finish 2nd whereas his erstwhile team-mate Fisichella (now of Ferrari) is a lowly 14th. Brawn’s cars are 5th and 6th, Barrichello leading Button, and title contenders Vettel and Webber languish in 9th and 10th respectively.

So, it should be a straightforward Hamilton victory, right? No. Hamilton should still be favourite, but he’s also the lightest on fuel of anyone in the field, and only Sutil is close to his fuel weight. Raikonnen is about 10kg heavier and the Brawns are absolutely loaded with over 30kg more than Hamilton.

So the Brawns will one-stop, and Hamilton and Raikonnen two-stop. Although it’s nicer to be further up the grid, it’s worth recalling that the last two winners came from 6th (Raikonnen last time at Spa) and 3rd (Barrichello at Valencia) to win.

I’ve put a little (equal stakes) on Button and Barrichello at 8.8 each (to win). Ross Brawn seemed thrilled with the result and Button was much more confident and relaxed when he spoke post-qualifying.

For a more likely chance you could try the 2.3 available for Button to get a podium, and similar odds for Barrichello.

I suspect this race will see Button consolidate his lead, finally, and really get one hand on the Drivers’ Title. Likewise, Brawn should make their grip on the Constructors’ Title even stronger.

Morris Dancer


Peter from Putney said...

I'm confident that Lewis Hamilton will win tomorrow, even on a two-stopper, but he's at lousy odds to do so.

The reason Jenson looks so happy is not that he thinks he'll win, but rather that he's confident of finishing ahead of both Red Bulls. Assuming he does, his only realistic challenger for the F1 title is (and I'm whispering this very quietly) Barrichello. Rubens knows this too, of course and I expect a VERY strong performance from him tomorrow. I can't see much value anywhere to be honest, but should I decide to part with a few quid, it would probably be in his direction.

CJ-A said...

After the last race where I suggested Trulli was a better bet than Raikkonen I'll not argue to much with what you say! Last time Fisichella was discounted almost immediately but time proved he had the best car. So I'm not going to remove Sutil and Liuzzi this time, although my head tells me clearly to scrap them. Renault, Ferrari and Red Bull don't seem to have the pace despite Raikkonen being in a promising position.

So that leaves me with the Mclaren's and Brawn's Kovaleinen looks tempting on weight and grid position alone, but he's not a winner so unlikely to last the pace.

It depends on the start but I think I'd gravitate towards Hamilton for this one with my second choice being a strong Barrichello performance, Jenson seems to be sleepwalking but this could be his day to prove the doubters wrong.

As a prediction I'd go Hamilton, Barrichello, Luizzi/Sutil although that's with a terrible track record.

Enjoying the F1 articles, keep them going.

Morris Dancer said...

Hehe, my record isn't great so don't lend my words too much weight.

I concur Hamilton is the likeliest victor but his odds are barely above evens (or were when I checked). Unlike the Brawns he would probably be compromised by a safety car situation, which is another negative.

Much harder to call than Spa, I think, where Raikonnen was a strangely compelling favourite. It should be a great race.

Glad you like the articles, it's always nice to get positive feedback :)

Anonymous said...

Nice article, Morris Dancer.
One of the reasons this season has been more compelling it that different cars have been better at different types of circuits. Reminds me of a season like 83.
Barrichello needs this. Red Bull don't seem to have the pace to take big points from Button since McLaren's revival, so I see Rubens as the main challenger.


Morris Dancer said...

It's been a great season, especially more recently as the Ferraris and McLarens finally became race-winners.

I concur (and I think I wrote this post-Spa) that Barrichello is Button's biggest threat. In talent terms Vettel's the best chap in the field, but he's got to end his bad habit of blowing up his engines and making the odd silly error.