Saturday, 11 September 2010

Monza: pre-race

Blimey. I got back to discover not only was I enormously wrong, with Vettel sixth and my lay umatched, the entire top six seemed jumbled up.

Alonso snatched pole, with Button second, then Massa, Webber, Hamilton and Vettel. The top 10 was completed by Rosberg, Hulkenberg, Kubica and Barrichello.

Red Bull must hate Monza, it’s the first grid for ages when they haven’t been on the front row. Staggered Vettel wasn’t closer to pole. Next year, I’ll have to bear this in mind.

For the title race, this is tremendously exciting. The two strongest contenders are 4th and 5th, two slightly adrift are on the front row, with the third adrift fellow sixth. It looks like the race could be pretty tasty.

Caught up with a little of the BBC coverage, and it seems like Button’s gone for downforce over raw straight line speed, which could give him the advantage in breaking zones, for overtaking, and make it easier on his tyres. It certainly proved a better choice than Hamilton’s, which sees the title leader half a second down the road from Button.

The weather’s going to be nice and sunny, so the weather shouldn’t play a part.

I’ve decided to go for a trio of bets this time around. Firstly, I’ve laid Alonso to lead lap 1 at 1.46. I think both Button and Massa will be very keen to get ahead and stand a decent chance.

Secondly, I’ve backed Button for the win at 4.7. He was doing very well at the somewhat similar circuit at Spa, with a broken front wing, before Vettel wrecked his race. He’s got good pace, and lower downforce will make it easier on his tyre and afford him overtaking opportunities.

Lastly, I’ve backed Hamilton for a podium at 1.95. I imagine he’ll ice Webber on lap 1, and stands a decent chance of getting past Massa later on.

Unusually, hedging will be at a minimum. For the first lap leader, it’s not really possible/sensible, and Hamilton’s odds are so short for the podium you’d need to lay at 1.1 or suchlike.

Pretty shocked Vettel was so far down the road in qualifying. Let’s hope Button takes Alonso before the end of lap 1, and the McLarens have a great day out.

Morris Dancer


Nigel said...

Could be an interesting race again.

Button's extra downforce might just give him the drop on Alonso into the first corner. In any event, he qualified pretty well.
Hamilton made a mess of both his Q3 runs, with an error in the first, and then being sent out into traffic (a basic team error) in the second.

The race looks like a straight Ferrari/McLaren fight. If Alonso's race pace matches his qualifying then it ought to be an easy win - but like you I have put some money on McLaren.

Morris Dancer said...

It perplexes me how far back the Red Bulls suddenly seem to be. Still, I imagine they'll come roaring back after Monza.

The race should be exciting. I hope it's profitable too :)

jamei said...

It could be just the fact that Monza doesn't suit the Red Bull cars, but personally I feel that Red Bull have taken a hit with the FIAs more stringent floor tests introduced for this weekend, and I'm not convinced they'll bounce back to their levels seen earlier in the season. I put more money laying Vettel for the driver's championship today.

I'm not convinced with the 1.46 lay of Alonso to be First Lap Leader as Massa will probably have been "warned" to avoid trying to overtake Alonso at the start. His target will be to overtake Button and give his team mate space to build a lead.

On the other hand if Button doesn't make it by the first corner, I think he's well set up to overtake Alonso later in the race so I'm backing your tip of Button to win.

Morris Dancer said...

Good point, jamei, and something I'd forgotten. It's unfortunate those rulings have come now, when Red Bull was expected to be relatively slower anyway. Makes it difficult to assess precisely what performance drop-off is due to the circuit and what's due to the front wing/floor.

Gordon said...

I think Button will be overtaking during the pitstops hence the setup for looking after his tyres. He might have a good setup for the corners but that won't help you overtake if your opponent has pulled out enough of a lead down the preceding straight. The other interesting thing is that Brundle said the extra downforce gives you a boost on the standing start after you hit 50mph so a jump on Alonso is possible. However if he isn't first by the end of the first lap mayhem I think his best chance is to stay out longest and get some flyers in later on.

Morris Dancer said...

McLaren rather stupidly telegraphed Button's pit stop. Oh well.

jamei said...

I'd set up a lay on Button at 1.83 (Alonso's starting price) which came good so I didn't lose out.

Morris Dancer said...

I had two, at evens to go all square, and 1.5 for profit. Should've just had it at evens.

However! Green for the weekend [just], and my first green race for ages.

Tense race. Wish Button could've won.