Saturday, 14 August 2010

A look back at the races

Ah, after the surprising delight of seeing I was pretty good at qualifying, the less pleasant task of looking at my race performance and trying to discern why I’m not very good at it.

First off, a list of profit/loss per race [not including qualifying, obviously], assuming a £10 stake per tip and no laying/backing as applicable to hedge bets.

Bahrain – 3 tips, one right – red £10.50
Australia – 2 tips, both wrong – red £20
Malaysia – 3 tips, all wrong – red £30
China – 4 tips, 3 right – green £38.81
Spain – 3 tips, all wrong – red £30
Monaco – 1 tip, wrong – red £10
Turkey – 1 tip, right – green £17
Canada – 3 tips, all wrong – red £30
Valencia – 1 tip, wrong – red £10
Silverstone – 1 tip, wrong – red £10
Germany – 1 tip, wrong – red £10
Hungary – 1 tip, wrong – red £10

So from £240 total stake money that’s a net loss of £114.69. Which is, er, terrible. Green from just 2 of 12 races.

When I was reading through the old articles, something struck me: I need to stop dicking about on minor markets, classifieds, points, safety cars and first lap leaders.

All (four…) of the winning tips were on the major markets (podium and winner). I’m going to try and predict a winner (or tip laying someone for the win) at every race from now on, and generally avoid the minor markets.

The winner market matters most. This is because it has most liquidity which affords a helpful combination of allowing larger stakes and the best opportunity for hedging a bet. At the last race I made a piffling extra sum on bets not tipped because there were only a few pounds available (Hulkenberg for Q3). So, getting the win right matters most.

Incidentally, I don’t think this can be attributed to the lack of refuelling. Whilst that did throw me at first, it’s no excuse for months of inaccuracy. I do think I lack a certain intuition. Others correctly predicted Button’s wins, at long odds, but I never saw them coming at all. I think I work best by analysis of numbers, and tried to make up for the lack of refuelling weight information by going for daft markets, to dramatically bad effect.

There is no P3 qualifying simulation equivalent for the race. However, we do know certain things (the McLarens have the edge on straights due to best top speed, Red Bull and Ferrari have superior downforce etc). We also now have a good history of the season, and certain patterns have emerged (excepting changeable conditions, Hamilton tends to perform better than Button, Schumacher can struggle to make Q3 as Button can occasionally, Vettel often cocks up a promising position etc).

It’s fortunate for me that I decided to have a go at qualifying betting. Despite my woeful race record it’s roughly evens overall. But, there are still many races to go, and opportunities abound for me to make amends and improve my stats.

In addition, I’ve been keeping note for the last few races of how my own results (with laying/backing) compare with a straightforward £10 bet with no hedging for every stake, and so far hedging has proven £25.08 more successful (from Silverstone to Hungary). Only Hungary had its result weakened by hedging, and that by £1.60 [admittedly people hedge at different times, so this is somewhat imprecise].

The next article will be in a fortnight, and focus on Spa’s pre-qualifying situation.

Morris Dancer

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