Sunday, 27 May 2012

Monaco: post-race analysis

Boring but profitable would be a reasonable assessment of Monaco. There was some interesting strategy to observe and rain briefly threatening to make it interesting, but otherwise it was mostly a procession.

However, I shall not complain of a green race, even if tipping was like trying to stab a ghost in the dark. It was better not to hedge, obviously, but overall this season it's still slightly more profitable to hedge.

The front row got off the line in formation, but Grosjean (yet again) hit someone (Schumacher). In fairness, it was a racing incident, but put Schumacher down to 8th. The German later suffered tremendously when, from an isolated 7th, he got passed repeatedly and then had to retire, entirely due to a reliability failure.

Alonso quickly got up to 4th, behind Hamilton, with Massa right behind his team mate in the early stages. Indeed, Massa looked rather quicker than Alonso, but this is where his advantage in being the team's number one told.

At the initial pit stops Alonso was able to leapfrog Hamilton to get into 3rd place, which he happily retained until the end.

As Mr. Nigel prophesied in the comments of the previous article both Vettel and Button put on the softs to try and gain an advantage with a late single stop. Button, who lacked pace in qualifying, seemed to have little oomph in the race. However, Vettel drove masterfully, maintaining his tyres for about 40 laps and putting in such quick times that he was able to pass Hamilton in the pit stops to come 4th.

Massa had a very strong race and came 6th, which is a great result for a man who really needed it.

Further down the field Raikkonen ran in 7th for a time, which enabled a long train of cars to build up behind him. His tyres were shot and he eventually ended up 9th, just ahead of Senna. Maldonado had time to look up the word 'karma' in a dictionary after crashing out very early on.

Force India also had a strong race, with di Resta 7th and Hulkenberg 8th.

Toro Rosso cocked it up a bit. Vergne had a good position, running in seventh, when the rain was falling lightly. The team gambled on intermediates, but they were 3s off the pace, he got lapped by the leaders and ended up with fewer points than Engelbert Humperdinck.

Sauber had a bad time of it. Kobayashi had to retire and Perez got a drive-through penalty and finished 11th.

Webber's victory means that he is equal second on points with his team mate (73) and Alonso leads on 76. It's also noteworthy that Button is now in a lowly 7th place with just 45 points.

Alonso: 76
Webber: 73
Vettel: 73
Hamilton: 63
Rosberg: 59
Raikkonen: 51

It also means that we've had six different winners in the first six races, and Hamilton has yet to win. Canada's up next, which is essentially a collection of straight lines, so that might suit the McLaren and Mercedes.

I feel a bit relieved with the result today. Shame the race was tedious, though.

Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton are all roughly 4.2 to get the title, and Webber's around 12. Webber's odds are more tempting than Vettel's, I think. Not sure if I'll bet on them, but I might be able to be all green on the McLaren and Red Bull Drivers, and Alonso. I'm going to consider that, and maybe see what odds Ladbrokes offer (I imagine Vettel's will be shorter but Webber's might be the same or longer).

Anyway, 1 tip offered and it came good, which is nice.

Morris Dancer


Nigel said...

Well done with the Alonso tip.

I was slightly disappointed by Rosberg. I'm not sure he ever had a real chance to get in front, and the early safety car put paid to any two stop strategy, but I had the impression he could have driven into the distance had he ever had the lead.
Still, I managed to lay the bet during the race, so I'm not unhappy.

Alonso was quick when he needed to be, and Hamilton wasn't. For once, the McLaren didn't look particularly racy around Monaco. Vettel did a great job of managing his long first stint and was impressively fast on very old tyres at the end of it.

The real rain came half an hour too late to make the race interesting. With everyone so close at the end, it could have been some race in the wet.

Morris Dancer said...

I saw the post-race press conference and Rosberg suggested Mercedes had the fastest car in both qualifying and the race, which may be true. I hope Schumacher gets a break from the bad luck he's suffered. That's about 3-4 DNFs due to misfortune.

I agree with you about the rain. That could've given Rosberg a chance of victory (or robbed Alonso of his podium).

Who do you see as the leading two title contenders?

Anonymous said...

Morris - many thanks for a great tip and a very welcome 11/4 winner with Alonso's podium finish.
Also my SELL spread bet of Button's season's points at 240 is starting to look seriously profitable with a current mid spread price of around 200 points and probably set to fall further unless his form improves dramatically and soon.
It's not that I wish him ill - of course not, quite the opposite, but I felt that a far more competitive season was in prospect than last year and conequently he was always going to struggle to achieve as many as 240 points - I considered 210-220 was a more realistic target. After 6 races, I'm now reckoning on him reaching around 180-190 points, maybe fewer even. I'd be looking to close my bet at that sort of level to realise a profit of around 50-60 points.

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

Np, Mr. Putney.

It was a sound bet, though I wish the race had been more exciting.

That bet's looking good right now. I'd be wary about taking a poor Button season as nailed on, though. Monaco's a bit of a weird track, although the lacklustre Spanish performance was quite concerning.

The car's good enough to compete higher up the grid, so it's a problem more with Button than McLaren. If he doesn't do rather better at Montreal it won't bode well for him.

My title bet on Lotus is looking a bit stupid right now, but we'll have to wait and see. On the plus side, being green on Alonso and Hamilton for the title is nice, for now at least.

Morris Dancer said...

Oh, and if you want a kind of covering bet you might want to consider McLaren for the Constructors' at 2.5.

Anonymous said...

Morris -

Judging by Lewis Hamilton's comments after the race, I'm not sure it's more a problem with Button than McLaren as you suggest - certainly his team mate seems to be pointing the finger at McLaren:

"The team have definitely got some work to do because we are falling behind race by race," said Hamilton.
"The others are picking up serious pace. If we are not lucky then it will fall away from us too quickly."

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

I'd not heard that.

It's both interesting and surprising. Hmm.

I might back Vettel/Webber and/or lay Hamilton a bit more if that seems to be the case in Canada.

Nigel said...

The McLaren was probably the slowest of the leading four teams round Monaco - though it's a bit difficult to tell, as apart from a few laps near the pitstops (Alonso & Vettel, for instance) no one was driving as fast as they could.

That could just be Monaco, though. The Mclaren was particularly poor out of the profusion of slow corners - where even Kovalainen's Caterham was clearly faster than Button.

More concerning is that the team is continuing to make mistakes. Alonso was probably always going to pass at the first stop, but if the team had alerted Hamilton better, he'd easily have gained the extra half second he needed to stay ahead of Vettel at his stop.
Hamilton also claimed to have been told by the team to change his clutch settings on the formation lap. Whether this explains his poor start, I don't know, but he didn't sound happy.
Pit stop was slow compared to the other leaders, too.

In contrast, Webber & the team did a brilliant job of backing up the leaders just enough to allow Vettel to gain a couple of positions without compromising his own race.

Don't know about the constructor's yet.
I laid my McLaren bet a couple of weeks back, and have been sitting on my hands. I'm quite tempted to lay Red Bull, as their odds are now very narrow, and I expect more swings in form over the next couple of races.

Morris Dancer said...

Monaco is a bit of a special, one-off circuit (even for street circuits it's hard to overtake on).

Hard to say if the McLaren was faster or slower than the Ferrari, but the Mercedes appeared to be the fastest, closely followed by the Red Bull.

McLaren's advantage/disadvantage this year is that many teams are competitive. This'll probably stop anyone running away with it whilst they take a refresher course on pit stops, but it'll also make it harder to claw points back against so many opponents.

Incidentally, Monaco marked a return to form for the so-called Big Four.

Anonymous said...

24 hours after the Monaco Grand Prix and neither Sporting nor Spreadex have yet posted up their spread prices, reflecting the result. Are they scared of each other's shadows or what? The very essence of spread-betting is supposed to be that one can trade 24/7 - especially as regards closing a position ..... pathetic!

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

Is that delay usual?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely not - there should be prices to access thereby enabling one to deal 24/7.
Sporting have now put up their Season's Drivers' Points Spreads where Button is shown as being 178 to sell and 186 to buy, a very tasty profit on my £10 per point sell bet at 240 points which I placed just before the start of the season.
Spreadex is yet to post up its spread prices now a full 48 hours since the Monaco GP was run, but are certain to show similar figures, assuming they ever get around to it.

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

Are you going to sell, or hang onto your bet?

Anonymous said...

Morris - I'm intending to set and religiously stick to a worst case exit price of 200 points which, incidentally, the arithmetic suggests would be approximately Jenson's points spread price were he to win the next Grand Prix (a big ask for sure), i.e. 20/7x(45+25) = 200 points.
This minimum target would ensure me a profit from this bet of £400, i.e. £10x(240-200).
Should Jenson's and Mclaren's form continue to disappoint, I believe a final tally of around 170-180 could be on the cards, which would be worth another £200-£300 to yours truly so I'm not in any hurry to cash in just yet.

Peter from Putney