Sunday, 16 May 2010

Monaco: post-race analysis

Apologies for the lateness of this post. My connection was wonky earlier, but appears to be straightened out now.

Bad tip from me. Massa had a pretty good start, but couldn’t make a very slight third place stick. From then on, the race was mostly a procession (notable that 11 cars didn’t finish).

Alonso’s strategy (do a lap on softs, pit whilst last and then do the whole race on hard tyres) worked brilliantly, propelling him all the way from 24th to 6th. Not what he’d hoped for, back when he was blitzing free practice, but a solid result from the worst possible starting position.

Red Bull, annoyingly, went a whole race with neither car exploding even a little bit. Webber did fantastically well and now leads the title race (Vettel is his equal on 78 points but has won a single race to Webber’s two). Following them is Alonso on 73, and Button on 70, whose car had an argument with a crash barrier and burst into flames.

Massa is on 61, with Hamilton and Kubica tied on 59 each. That’s a counter-intuitive tie, but a strong sign of how well (I feel) the new scoring system is working. I also think it’s great that the Red Bull’s early reliability issues mean they’re ahead, but not by a huge margin.

In the Constructor’s race Red Bull are on 156, with Ferrari on 134 and McLaren on 129.

Last time in my post-race piece I suggested Button and Webber (both around 10) were too long. I think it might well be worth laying Webber, if you can get something like 3.

Vettel’s odds are stubbornly short. He is a class act, and a cut above Webber. Now, you may ask, why doesn’t he have more points or wins? Simple. His car kept breaking (denying him a huge tally of points) and Monaco is a track he’s not very good at. For the same reason of differential reliability, Webber was briefly ahead of Vettel in the 2009 season. In the end, Vettel’s class made the difference. I can’t decide whether to back Vettel or not. He’s 3, but I wish his odds were longer.

It seems that, right now, the Red Bull is simply too good for the rest.

Button’s odds have, perhaps obviously, lengthened to 15 or so. May well be worth backing a little, if you haven’t yet. I think he may be the biggest threat to the Red Bull duo. He’s made excellent tyre calls, and won races. Unlike Hamilton he seems to be able to keep a cool head instead of succumbing to stress so easily.

Disappointing to have two tips and neither come off. Still, that’s why I advocate in-race laying, if possible. Hopefully I’ll do better at the non-processional circuits.

The next race is at Turkey in a fortnight. Last season Vettel started on pole but slipped to 3rd, behind Button and Webber.

Morris Dancer

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