Well, Vettel made one mistake all weekend, and brilliantly did it in Q3. Alonso got pole, with Vettel second. Then it’s Hamilton, Button, Webber, Barrichello, Rosberg, Kubica, Schumacher and Kobayashi.
Massa had a gearbox failure in Q1, and starts last.
I must admit I’d never have backed Alonso, so congratulations to Mr. Eagles on the sister site for getting that right.
As of 6pm on Saturday, the weather forecasts aren’t that helpful, with showers possible. So, they need to be considered, but might well not occur at all.
Hmmm. Recent starts have shown a slight pattern. McLarens have great starts, Ferrari ok starts, and Red Bull have developed a habit of leaving the handbrake on.
I checked the two most recent races, and Hamilton and Alonso both have a win and a third place. Last year, Vettel got 4th.
Also worth considering is Massa. He starts last, and the circuit isn’t great for overtaking. However, the Ferrari is a very fast car, and he may opt to get a new engine (he can’t be demoted to 34th for exceeding the 8 engine limit). With a very early or very late pit stop, he might yet spring a surprise.
Had a quick look, and see little value with Massa. He’s only 1.8 to get points, and on a street circuit with many barriers, possible rain and little run-off that’s not very appealing.
Of more interest is the 5.7 to back McLaren for victory. Starting 3rd and 4th, with possible rain, they may go for a split strategy in the event of precipitation, and Button showed earlier this year a very good feel for on-off rain conditions. In addition, I think it likely one or both Britons will pass Vettel at the start.
I also think it’s worth laying Vettel for a podium at 1.46. He’s had poor starts recently and the two cars behind him have had good starts. Of the last 3 races he’s gone backwards in 2 of them.
I’ll only be hedging the McLaren bet (at 2.5).
Found this a bit tricky to call. On the other hand, I was pretty confident in Vettel’s pole until Q3, so maybe my doubts will prove more accurate.
With any luck, the race will be a cracker, and we’ll finish ahead.
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