Friday, 16 April 2010

China: pre-qualifying

This post is being made before P3, because of differences with the time zones between England and China.

The Chinese GP last year was remarkable in that it was in the first half of the season, yet Brawn didn’t win. Red Bull scored a sexy one two (naturally Vettel beat Webber). Pre-practice, I expected Red Bull and McLaren to be frontrunners, because of Red Bull’s general excellent pace this season and the McLaren being superb on straights (China has a big one, plus a few smaller ones).

P1 was a McLaren-Mercedes affair, with Button fastest, then Rosberg and Hamilton (both within a tenth of Button’s time) and then Schumacher eight-tenths off the pace. Vettel was 5th, Kubica 6th, Webber 8th then Sutil and Massa (Alonso didn’t set a time).

P2 was pretty similar. Hamilton led, then Rosberg (more than two-tenths down), then Button and Schumacher about a tenth off Rosberg. The Red Bulls were 5th and 6th, Sutil 7th, Kubica 9th and the Ferraris 10th and 11th.

I’ve made a couple of bets, all with small stakes. Hamilton is, in my view, favourite for pole. Backed him at 5 (unwisely, he’s now up to 6. Silly me). I’ve also put some on Rosberg, who is an astonishing 38 despite coming second in both practice sessions. He’s less likely to win than Hamilton, but 37/1 is a bloody silly price for a chap who’s second twice and who beat Vettel (on the same tyres) in Malaysian qualifying. I was just going to back Hamilton, but 38 is such a long price I had to have a little.

I’ve also laid Massa to reach Q3, but only had a little (1.2 or less is worth taking). He’s been 10th and 11th so far. I think the Red Bulls, McLarens, Mercedes, Kubica and Sutil are all dead certs for Q3, which only leaves a pair of spots, and I have only small confidence Massa will get one.

China’s produced a different winner each time the race has been held, and there is a question mark over Sunday’s weather. Saturday will be dry, however, which is helpful.

Anyway, let’s hope one or more of those tips come good.

Morris Dancer


Omnium said...

Rosberg is good value again - sooner or later betting on him will pay off. Backed him before pactice. I still like him for the drivers championship too at around 40s.

Vettel is yet again too short for pole by quite a way I feel. Probably should be fav, but not by the huge current margin - again bet accordingly before practice, and have bet a little more afterwards too. Hamilton certainly second favourite and I did consider backing him, but decided I preferred laying Vettel.

Also had a token tenner on Schumacher for pole. 60s seem good.

Don't have a view on race odds yet although curious that Rosberg is shorter than for pole and Vettel longer.

Morris Dancer said...

Not looked at race odds yet. I think the McLarens (and Force India) will do well in-race, due to their excellent top speed in a straight line.

Vettel's longer because his car has exploded in 2/3 races so far.

I do hope Rosberg will pay off sooner or later, otherwise he'll end up being a Kovalainen Mark II.

Omnium said...

Still think Vettel was too short, but has been a slightly painful morning!

Some (small) consolation in that Rosberg did pretty well which keeps my season bets on him alive.

Nothing leaps out at me for the race odds now.

Morris Dancer said...

I sure your pain.

Massa seems to have been a misjudgement, but the other bets were reasoned. I don't know why the McLaren just died in Q3.

Vettel and Webber into the first corner could be fun.

Next post will be this evening, I'm out shortly.