Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Shocking reliability problems.

No, not Vettel’s car, but my calls so far. Two races in and a single correct call is pretty poor, and I think it’s worth (even, perhaps, as a somewhat vain exercise) trying to work out why so I don’t continue in this vein.

First race of the season. I tipped Alonso at 3.25 and Massa at 6.8 for pole. Despite Vettel getting it, I believe the 6.8 was justified. However, the other tip was a case of me being nervous and trying to hedge my bets.

For the race I got Barrichello right for points at 1.95, so obviously that’s a good call (in addition, it seems clear that Sutil, Barrichello and probably Kubica are the best of the rest, outside the top 4 teams). However, the 5.2 for Massa to win was wrong. I’m unsure whether to consider it a justified bet, he finished second, and but for a bad start might have won. The bad start was due in part to a dirt side of the track, so it may have been a bad call. The 18 for Barrichello to get a podium was just moronic. Whilst true it was the first race and we never knew for sure how it’d work, Bahrain is a processional circuit and his car just isn’t quick enough.

I’m going to stick with making a pre-qualifying post for races that take place at Stupid O’Clock, after P2. Probably be tip-less, as a rule.

In the race I tipped (for the win) Alonso at 6.4 and Vettel at 1.8. I missed the first 7 laps but apparently Alonso had a shocker of a start which wrecked his race. This is a second case of trying to hedge bets. I never should’ve backed Vettel at those odds. I think Alonso would have been reasonable in the dry, but given the forecasts it would’ve been better to look at more creative bets, speculative winners or people further back getting a podium. (Indeed, Mr. Tibs and others successfully backed Button at long odds. Congrats to them).

So, there are two clear errors I’ve made twice. Nervousness at backing a bigger outsider leading me to back someone else as well, at shorter odds, and failing to take account of the race conditions (in Bahrain the procession type race, and in Australia the weather).

So, how does this Malaysia look regarding these? The forecast is for rain. How heavy? Best to wait until nearer the time before checking forecasts, I feel. It’s also well worth not just reading the practice times but seeing what the conditions were like when they were achieved. If someone’s shit hot in the wet it doesn’t mean they’ll be the same in the dry. There’s also a difference between torrentially wet and showers, or on and off wetness.

As Jennifer in the comments of the prior post mentioned, last season Malaysia was so wet the race had to be stopped and half points were doled out. This might bode well for Vettel (his car tends to explode in the latter half of races). Other drivers good in the wet are Schumacher, Button (who won there last time out) and Hamilton. Sutil can often punch above his weight in the wet as well.

Morris Dancer


Anonymous said...

We are quite likely to see a wet qualifying as well which would clearly favour the MacLarens.

Omnium said...

I wouldn't worry about the results from 1,2 or 10 races. Even if you were betting on something as simple as the toss of a fair coin and the (mad) bookmaker gave you 55% you'd still have to wait potentially quite a long while for your edge to really show.

In the PB1 thread there's been some discussion of whether market price implies 'odds'. It's quite clear that in fact they do - if you price up an event with certain probabilities then you have some implied odds - and if you offer odds then they imply some probabilities. However these are not 'right' in any sense. They are just what your source tells you. A probabalistic model (for example) is just a model and that model generally talks about the long term. The long term can really mean quite a lot of 'tests' - hundreds (at least).

There is incidentally no bulletproof reason that a coin lands 50/50 - if you believe in a deterministic universe, then it is I guess in some sense 'written' - just let me know if you find that book!

Omnium said...

Probably ought to add some F1 thoughts.

Rubenio! - He's underrated because somehow he's never won very much. I think it's clear that he can get very dis-spirited and that it does him no favours when he does. He's as good as Button in my view and was unlucky not to win last year, but with a less than ideal car he's unlikely to feature much - although I'd be very happy if he proved me wrong. (Hulkenburg looks very dismal in the car too)

Sutil - All about the car - if it was great then he'd stand some chance, but it seems it isn't.

Kubica - Proper dark horse.

Schumacher - One win and he'll be back in the game. Good chances in the wet.

Button - has to be on a high and has to be thinking he can exploit Hamiltons flapping.

Hamilton - has to be looking for mature concentration for Malaysia.

Vettel - angry German will perhaps alost drive to break his car - I expect him to win in Malaysia.

Alonso - Wants at least 2nd

Massa - wants to beat Alonso and won't do so.

Rosberg - My tip for the season value-wise. He badly needs a result of some sort though. If he wins, stay with him.

Webber - In mind-games with himself I think. (cf Barrichello/Schuamcher in previous seasons)

Malaysia - Don't see any value here really. Have a fiver at 37s on Rosberg, but for comparison I had 500 on him at the start of the saeson.

Morris Dancer said...

Would it favour the McLarens, Anonymous? I'm not saying it wouldn't, but we haven't had properly wet practice or qualifying yet.

Just glanced at the market. Safety Car at 1.62 looks interesting. If the forecast is for very heavy rain I'll back it at those odds.

(I think that last time there was a safety car without even a crash being necessary, because it was so wet).

Jennifer said...

Joe Saward is now in KL and asked them all about the weather- it rains every day at 5pm- the race starts at 4 local time. Chance of disruption fairly high he seems to think

Morris Dancer said...

Thanks, Jennifer :)

D'you frequent the main site, incidentally?

Nigel said...

>>Would it favour the McLarens<<

Not sure about quali, but those two long straights, separated by a very slow speed corner, play into the Maclaren race strengths of high top speed, and good mechanical grip.
With the current difficulties overtaking (impossible to stay close behind through higher speed corners) it's about as good as it gets for them. They can get close on the first straight, and stay close though the hairpin to pass on the second.

Whether it's enough to make up for their qualifying deficiencies is another matter - but it's enough for me to have a small punt on Hamilton.

Morris Dancer said...

Excellent thinking, Nigel. I must confess I haven't so much as glanced at a circuit diagram as yet, but the F-vent may well come in handy for the team for tracks with big straights.

Nigel said...

Hi Morris,

Button's odds (c. 14/1) don't look too ungenerous in the circumstances, either.

Anonymous said...

The McLarens have so far consistently underperformed in qualifying in relation to their race pace in terms of lap times. I think the long straights here will mean this effect is slightly less pronounced, but if it rains in qualifying then it really goes out the window. I'm not saying the McLarens would perform particularly well in a wet qualifying, simply that their current disadvantage would not express itself.

So far I have found value on Hamilton for qualifying and Button & Rosberg for the race. I'd like to bet against Vettel once again but his risks seems adequately priced in now, unlike last time.

Omnium said...

Vettel has to be too short at 2.5ish on betfair to win qualifying.

Morris Dancer said...

I'd tend to agree, despite his excellent qualifying so far. I'm not going to bet (or tip) pre-P3 [it's my intention to write the post as soon as possible after P3] but I have glanced at the market.

A problem is that P1 and P2 are both dry sessions, and I don't know what qualifying will be like. It's also highly likely the race will be wet either throughout or at some point.

In the dry, Hamilton's looking good, and the Red Bulls seem unreliable.

Omnium said...

If it's wet then Q3 will surely be more of a lottery than otherwise.

Generally though the Q3 window is pretty short and traffic or red flags or all sorts of things can mess up carefully laid plans. Anyway I've laid Vettel (2.48s) in 25 quid or so and have a fiver from earlier on Rosberg at 37s. Would have done more on both but my Betfair funds are heavily tied up in Politics.

Morris Dancer said...

Because qualifying's early tomorrow (9am UK time) I'm going to write half the pre-qualifying post today, and update it with news of P3, weather reports for qualifying and anything else that emerges.

I do think there may be value in laying Vettel. My eye will be more fixed on the possibility of backing Hamilton, but I'd really like P3 to be wet to get more information. It may be that laying Massa to get into Q3 might be worth a shot (no idea on the odds as yet). The Ferrari has been poor in P1 and P2 so far.

Nigel said...

>If< Hamilton wins this weekend, then I think he is going to look very good value for the championship.

The loss of their outboard wing mirrors is going to be a significant handicap for Red Bull and Ferrari - and is also going to divert some of their development efforts.

Might be worth working out a few championship strategies in advance, as if this weekend's race is really wet, then there will be an element of lottery about it, so I wouldn't want to be putting much money on the race itself (I've already laid a bit of my Hamilton punt).