Yes, yet another pre-qualifying post before P3. Can’t be helped, I’m afraid. Before I get to the Grand Prix and title race, a word on next season. I do intend to continue betting on and following Formula One. However, given the performance of this year [ok on qualifying, dire on race day] I’m not going to write a regular mini-series of articles each weekend. If I do spot a tip, I’ll put it on the main site. I do intend to post about F1 on pb2, but more sporadically. Once the 2010 season ends, I’ll be doing some analysis, firstly to try and see just how good the practice sessions are at forecasting qualifying and race pace, and how good qualifying is at predicting race results. After that, I’ll be going through my bets and trying to find out which were just unlucky [yes, I still remember that **** Alonso missing pole by 0.002s] and which were moronic.
The fact is I never really got to grips with no refuelling. I think it’s a mistake in terms of racing as, excepting Montreal, just about every dry race has had an identical, dull, one-stop strategy, but it’s also something I’ve not got a handle on betting-wise. If I do ok or better in 2011, I’ll go back to regular articles in 2012 [something for you all to look forward to].
Anyway, back to Brazil, home of fantastic races and title-transforming results. Only Alonso can win the prize in Brazil, but many others could lose it. Theoretically, it’s still a five horse race, though Button is unlikely to be a contender come Sunday evening.
P1 saw Red Bull dominance. Vettel had half a second on Webber and Hamilton, and was a full second ahead of 4th-placed Button, who was followed by Kubica, Rosberg, Barrichello, Schumacher, Sutil and Heidfeld. The Ferraris seem to have been dicking about in this session.
P2 saw a similar but less pronounced result. Vettel was a tenth up on Webber and three-tenths ahead of Alonso, who was a similar margin ahead of Hamilton (closely followed by Massa). After Massa was Kubica, Button, Heidfeld, Rosberg and Schumacher.
From this point, it looks like Vettel’s pole to lose [then again, it was in Singapore and he lost it]. Rain is slightly probable for qualifying. Last year, bad luck and dire weather terminated Vettel’s title hopes as the qualifying Wunderkind suffered a calamitous Q1 dropout. Rain this year could massively jumble things up.
I won’t bore you with all the permutations of the race and what it means for the title, but here are some basics to watch out for:
Vettel must beat Alonso, or his challenge is over.
Hamilton beating Alonso is almost as good for Red Bull as it is for himself.
Button pretty much needs to win to have any hope of keeping the title.
Glad I don’t have to call this. If I did, I’d perhaps back Alonso at 8.6. Vettel’s 2.4 is tempting, Webber’s 3.7 isn’t particularly. Hamilton stands an outside shot.
My forecast is for a Red Bull front row lockout, with Alonso and Hamilton on row 2. Watch out for Kubica, Button and Massa trying to get in the way. Massa especially has a point to prove.
The pre-race piece will also be late, as I’m out for most of Saturday.