Saturday, 10 July 2010

Silverstone: pre-race

Well, that was a mixed qualifying session. I was pleased and surprised how deep into the drop zone Button was in Q2, and surprised and disappointed Webber didn’t really seem to have a chance at pole. If you backed both you should be ahead, and according to The Ten Rule (£10 backing every tip, no laying) you’d be up £23.34.

As well as Vettel and Webber locking out the front row, a notable success was Alonso in 3rd, just ahead of his best friend forever Hamilton. If there’s contact between the two in turn 1 I’m sure it’ll just be them getting close for a good luck hug.

Rosberg did well to get to 5th, Schumacher disappointed in 10th. Barrichello did well to achieve 8th, and Silverstone’s been a happy hunting ground for him so he may climb the ranks during the race.

For the race, it looks set to be a catfight between Randy Mandy and Luscious Liz (the chassis of Vettel and Webber respectively. Liz was originally Vettel’s girl, but Webber had to make do with the cast-off after he rather spectacularly used Kovalainen’s Lotus as a take-off ramp for aerial acrobatics last time round).

Red Bull rather disgracefully replaced Vettel’s front end with Webber’s (it’s a new version), so Webber got both an old chassis and an old nose cone/front wing. That could’ve made the difference in qualifying but, more importantly, will do nothing to calm down the rivalry between the two drivers.

Barring collision or similar calamity (possibly from reliability) I can’t see beyond a Red Bull victory. The odds are pretty rubbish, especially for Vettel. 1.2 for the team win, 1.6 for Vettel, 4.2 for Webber’s somewhat better. Unfortunately this also makes the podium market damned hard because (I believe) there’s effectively a single slot up for grabs.

Overtaking is tricky, though not impossible, and the possibility of a safety car and pit stop timing could shake things up. The track is not hard-wearing on the tyre, so there’s quite a large window and lots of freedom to pick the moment of pitting.

Weather-wise, it’s expected to be dry throughout, removing one variable (probably).

I can’t see any value in the big markets. Red Bull and Vettel are too short given the possible reliability issues and the general unpredictability of F1. Webber’s not bad at 4.2, but I suspect (barring problems, obviously) Vettel will scamper away and win.

After a lot of deliberation, I’ve decided to tip Petrov to get points, at 4.2 (lay set up at 1.5). In previous years it has been possible for drivers to climb from far back (he starts 16th) to achieve 10th or better. Kubica showed the car (even adding 0.2s as a P3 suggested gap from Kubica’s pace to Petrov’s) well capable of better speed than most of those ahead of Petrov. I also think numerous cars may fail to finish due to reliability/spinning and during practice lots of cars briefly left the track, which could aid Petrov.

Of the Grand Prix he’s finished, he’s improved his grid position at half, and dropped down in the race in the other half.

It’s a bit speculative, but I can’t find anything else that catches my eye. The race itself should be great fun, with the Red Bull and Hamilton-Alonso battles we can expect.

Morris Dancer


Nigel said...

Tough to see much value.

I've put a small sympathy bet on Webber, as the odds are decent-ish.
I'd be interested in the Australian sales figures for the next six months. "Red Bull takes your wings and gives them to the Germans" might not be their most inspired piece of marketing.

Morris Dancer said...

Yeah, I really don't think Red Bull's behaviour is very fair. It'd be different if Webber were miles behind, but he isn't.

Also, there's a minor error with my article, Petrov actually starts 15th because Liuzzi got a 5 place grid penalty for obstructing Hulkenberg in qualifying.

This is doubly good news. Not only is he a place up the field, it also puts him on the clean side of the track for the start.

Nigel said...

Not so much unfair - after all, it's entirely their prerogative to make that decision - as counterproductive.

And insisting that they are not favouring one driver is an insult to everyone's intelligence.

Nigel said...

Laying that Webber bet already.

"I'm sure the team will be very happy with this result."


Nigel said...

I'm not an Alonso fan, but the drive through is certainly unfair.

And could really screw his race after the safety car - might even give Petrov one of the places he needs.

Morris Dancer said...

I agree entirely, Alonso got screwed over.

Petrov didn't come up, but was layable to go all green (got most of 1.5 matched).

Surprised how much faster the even side of the track was. Writing up the post-race piece now.