Saturday, 6 November 2010

Interlagos: pre-race

Blimey. The most surprising qualifying session this year, in terms of pole position. Hulkenberg came from nowhere to not only claim pole but slaughter the opposition. He beat 2nd-placed Vettel by over a second. Amazing. His odds were as long as 400/1 to get pole. Absolutely astounding performance. But will he be able to hold on during the race?

The closest comparable event is, I think, Fisichella’s Spa pole in 2009 for Force India. At the time, I suspected he would spend the race going backwards, and so he did, only to second and he was always close to eventual race winner Raikonnen.

Hulkenberg has a bigger problem, though. We are at the sharp end of a title race with four serious contenders, every one of which is immediately behind him. At the same time, there is a lot of speculation he’ll be axed by Williams and replaced by a driver with a lot of cash. Glory aside, he has a huge reason to do well.

After The Hulk, we have Vettel and Webber, then Hamilton and Alonso. After these title contenders are Barrichello and Kubica, Schumacher, Massa and Petrov. Interestingly, the best placed team after Red Bull is Williams, suggesting that whilst Hulkenberg was spectacular in qualifying, the car itself is performing nicely at Interlagos.

Just checking odds to get an idea of possible bets, and seen Hulkenberg is 33/1 for the win. From pole. This must be a record. Given the reliability issues of Red Bull I am seriously tempted by this. Recent precedents for this include the Fisichella drive at Spa last year and the Toro Rosso victory of Vettel [slightly different, as it happened in the rain]. In fact, every one of the four drivers immediately behind him are shorter (Alonso’s odds are just 10/1).

33/1 is ridiculous for a chap on pole. Yes, the odds are against him, but not that much. I’ve got to back him.

At the same time, I’ve laid him at 1.99 [not much available, but hopefully there will be] to lead lap 1. If he can stay ahead for much longer than that his victory odds ought to tighten substantially.

Update: there’s now £1,900 to lay at 1.91.

Anyway, it’s a bit late and that’s all I’ve got to offer. Tomorrow is all about The Hulk.

Morris Dancer


Wight Tory said...

what odds on Vettel getting past him and being left to "race" Webber? Being the Patsy and improving his career prospects would suit Red Bull very much...

Lucian Fletcher said...

I've taken some of the 33s. How about Hulk for fastest lap?

Morris Dancer said...

Not sure that's feasible, Mr. Tory. Cunning, but it would almost certainly require Hulkenberg to have already been in touch with Red Bull, which I think unlikely.

Mr. Fletcher, I'd personally be disinclined to back the fastest lap. It will only occur late on in the race (in all probability) and if Hulkenberg's in traffic he won't get it. If he's leading or close to it the win bet should be eminently layable. 38 is a nice number, though, and I might've gone for it had I not backed the winner's market already.

Omnium said...

Can't quite bring myself to back Hulk for the win. Have backed him in a small way for a podium finish though. (5.8/5.7 on bf)

Had a little on Rubens at 190. In 6th and if the car is good he shouldn't be ruled out, especially at Interlagos.

Small bet on Webber for fastest lap on the basis he's really going to be trying, and finally a little on Rosberg to finish in the points.

Can't watch race tomorrow, hence the limited amounts.

Peter from Putney said...

Betfair's "Market Information" shows that £1 was traded at 1000, equivalent to odds of 949/1 in real money.

Morris Dancer said...

Could be wrong, but doesn't Barrichello have bad luck at Interlagos?

Thanks for that, Mr. Putney. I wonder if the punter is kicking himself he didn't back more, or thrilled such a longshot came off.

Morris Dancer said...

Hmm. The podium bet is tempting. I'm hoping my bases are mostly covered with a laid lap 1 leader and 33/1 for the win.

Omnium said...

Yes you're right about Rubens not having had a great deal of luck in Brazil, but he's certainly going to be trying is my point. On a good day he can be really competitive.

Actually I quite like the laying 1st lap winner and the 33/1 I may do some of that.

Morris Dancer said...

I agree that Barrichello can be very quick and the Williams is obviously racey here. The problem he faces is that he's right behind four chaps fighting it out for the title.

190 is very long... but I don't have enough cash/confidence to back a pair of super long shots.

Anyway, this race is already building up to be one of the most exciting for some time. Let's hope The Hulk can hold on.

Wight Tory said...

Mr Dancer, I wouldn't expect there to have been contact between the driver and Red Bull. I'm thinking that the drivers future drives are uncertain and he's in a position to "influence" the outcome. Doing the "implied" top driver of a certain team a favour, may be seen in a good light, for a team looking for a No.2 driver next season, particularly if that driver would be happy in that role.

I'm pretty sure that Webber initially was happy with that position himself. It was only when the reckless Vettal started to shoot himself in the foot, by not taking the points on the board in exchange for gamble's that fell flat and the break-downs that allowed the Aussie to not only pick up points that by and large were lost by his team-mate that his title hopes were raised. Having parity in the points totals, coupled with the media interest, has made Webber a contender. In all probability that team would rather there was an implied team hierarchy such as that displayed at Ferrari.

Morris Dancer said...

That is a possibility. The problem is that letting a chap past can only be done safely if there's a gap between 2nd and 3rd, and if done too early Hulkenberg might fall victim to everyone down to Alonso.

Hmm. It would be a cunning plan, though, especially given rumours Webber could leave the team at the end of the season.

Omnium said...

The four chaps fighting for the title in front could also work in the favour of the outsiders in that they may take one another off.

Really wish I could watch this one (and bet in-running!) promises to be a really interesting race.

Had a further small bet in laying Vettel for a podium finish. A decent chance that his impetuosity or reliability may get the bettr of him.

Now have the sort of mixed and complicated position that I usually try to avoid at all costs :)

Nigel said...

>>Doing the "implied" top driver of a certain team a favour, may be seen in a good light,<<

If Hulkenberg has anything about him, and I think he does, then I'm sure he wouldn't even consider such a scheme.

In any event, there's no guarantee of either Red Bull being alongside him going in to the first corner - though if one is, I can't see him forcing a championship contender off the track in the penultimate race of the season.

I've laid him as first lap leader, too.
Can't see him winning unless Webber, Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso have a spectacular pile up at the first corner. At least one of them will be able to pass him come the tyre changes, if not on the track - and it's not going to rain either.

Morris Dancer said...

A problem I, and probably most others, face is the strangeness of trying to predict the race results based on a totally unexpected grid. As I wrote in the article, the only comparable situation I can think of is Fisichella at Spa last year.

The start will, as always, be most important.

jamei said...

I've pretty much discounted Hulkenberg when looking at the race result. Consider 2nd practice, the last dry practice when teams were testing their dry race setup. Here we have Vettel and Webber on top, setting the fastest times of the weekend so far, with Alonso and Hamilton predictability coming in third and fourth. Hulkenberg is in season-typical 12th.

This is what the race will be like IMO (if dry of course) the only added uncertainty being who might crash into who when they all try and overtake Hulkenberg.