I was going to write a quick post looking back at the first two races to analyse why I’d gotten things wrong (zero from two tips), but soon realised there’d be little point. Neither tip may’ve come off with better luck, but we’ll never know. Schumacher’s gearbox problem was unforeseeable and wrecked his chances, and Button’s HRT problem and subsequent bad tyres were also just bad luck. I’m not happy with how things have gone, but I think Button stood a good chance of victory if he hadn’t made that slight mistake and Schumacher had an outside chance in Australia.
I caught the last 30 minutes of P2 and found out quite a few interesting snippets. For a start, the Mercedes is extremely tasty over one lap, but as China has many straights its super DRS system will give it a qualifying advantage that won’t recur in the race. Hamilton is quick, and seems substantially more comfortable than Button (NB Hamilton is taking a 5 place grid penalty due to a gearbox change). Raikkonen/Lotus seem to be having some difficulty with setup, largely because the circuit’s just 15 Celsius and therefore much cooler than expected. There’s also a lot of tyre degradation, the same compounds (medium/soft) as Australia and a heavy fuel effect (ie more fuel slows the cars down more significantly than at other circuits). Ferrari also appears to be off the ball.
My present thinking is to not bet on qualifying, but to think about backing Hamilton for a podium or win (depending on the odds and his starting position), and perhaps laying Schumacher or Button for a podium, depending on where they start. We’ll have to wait and see how the grid stacks up.
Here’s the rundown from P1: Hamilton was fastest by over a second, and he was followed by Rosberg who was two-tenths up on his team mate. Then Perez led Kobayashi, with Webber, Vettel and Button next. The top 10 was rounded out by and Ricciardo and Vergne.
In P2 Schumacher was fastest with Hamilton seventeen-hundredths behind him and Vettel one-hundredth behind the Briton. Webber was three-tenths down the road, followed by Rosberg, Button and Kobayashi. Di Resta was eighth, over two-tenths ahead of Hulkenberg, with Alonso 10th.
Unexpectedly, I am actually offering a tip now, but it’s not for the race. There have been 3 of the last 8 races with safety cars, and rain played a part in one race (there were two safety car periods during it but the second may’ve been due in part to residual water). The weather forecast is for it to be dry, so that’s 2.5 from 8 races (calling the wet one a half), or 5/16. However, the odds on No Safety Car are 2.08, which is what I’m tipping.
So, one tip: No Safety Car at 2.08 (no hedging).