Saturday, 15 May 2010

Monaco: pre-race

So close and yet so far. Kubica came very close, but was beaten, from nowhere, by Webber turning in a great effort. However, there was indeed ample laying opportunity (I got my lay at 1.5 matched).

Should’ve laid Vettel, but it’s not hard to be tip events that have already occurred.

The much spoken of traffic issues didn’t particularly emerge, and qualifying didn’t become exciting until the end, when the Aussie annoyingly knocked Kubica off pole.

So, how’s the race shaping up? First and foremost we have Alonso, who was excellent in P1 and P2 but made an error in P3 which wrecked his car for qualifying. Assuming it’s ready for the race he’ll start last, from the pit lane. Not brilliant, though it does give him more technical freedom.

At the front we have Webber and Kubica, followed by Vettel and Massa, who was pretty good in P3 and throughout qualifying and could prove a dark horse. Then we have Hamilton, Rosberg, Schumacher and Button. Barrichello defied poor practice to come in a good 9th.

As I said in the pre-qualifying post, Monaco is a very difficult place to try overtaking other cars. Rain is not expected, so that won’t throw a spanner into the works. Timing of stops will be critical, as will the start.

Struggled to find value because, like Spain, it’s rather a procession type circuit. I looked at a few possibilities, but the only one I’ve backed is Massa for a podium at 3. He starts 4th, he’s run well through much of the weekend and has had some good starts. Plus, if he stands still and either Red Bull explodes he’d come through.

Other ones I considered were laying Webber at 1.75 (decided against because his car seems bullet-proof compared to Vettel’s), backing Kubica to lead the first lap (if you fancy the Pole I’d consider this instead of the winner market because the odds are longer and if he doesn’t pass at the start he’s unlikely to win) and Massa to win at 27. I do think Massa could have a good start, hence my bet for him to score a podium, but he’d have to pass three chaps, and in the ultra-narrow confines of Monaco that’s unlikely. Also, although his season’s not been that good since the early races, Massa’s finished equal to or ahead of his qualifying position at every race save China.

Anyway, there we have. Disappointed not to see more value, but I suspect I have a tendency to look too hard and see what isn’t there. 3 for a chap to make a single pass at the start or for one of the cars ahead to breakdown is reasonable.

Morris Dancer

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