Well, the rain never arrived but I'm still glad I sat out qualifying. I had a number of bets in mind. The ones I would've considered were Hamilton for pole (didn't happen), Massa to make Q3 (did happen) and Grosjean to be top 3 (didn't happen). As Massa was 1.8, that would've been a clear net loss.
As seems to be the norm these days, qualifying was entirely unpredictable.
Q1 saw the relegation of the pointless teams as well as Perez, who lost his no claims bonus with a crash that was happily much less serious than the one he suffered last year.
Q2 saw lots of big names struggling, such as Raikkonen, Button and Vettel. Massa put in the fastest time of this session, impressively. Hulkenberg, Kobayashi and Button were the fastest of those eliminated here, followed by Senna, di Resta, Ricciardo and Vergne.
Q3 was very exciting, largely because lots of chaps who had been expected to challenge for pole (Hamilton, Vettel, Grosjean) really couldn't. Surprisingly, the Silver Arrows were very fast, and Webber was thrashing Vettel. In the end Schumacher got the fastest time, but, instead of being his 68th pole he's got a 5 place grid penalty for ramming Senna last race. This promotes Webber to pole. After Webber is Rosberg, then Hamilton and Grosjean. Alonso is next, starting beside the demoted Schumacher. Massa and Raikkonen follow, and Vettel and Hulkenberg round out the top 10. Maldonado, who would've been 9th, is demoted to 19th for a childish and dangerous swipe on Perez during P3 (similar to but less serious than the move he made on Hamilton in Spa qualifying last year). Being fast is cool, being a cock is not.
I would never have picked Schumacher or Webber for pole, so that was a lucky escape for me. Track position remains critical for Monaco.
Right, so, the race. At this moment in time I was expecting to have a strong Lotus/Hamilton performance in qualifying. Instead we've got Webber, Rosberg and Hamilton with Schumacher fastest but relegated to 6th and Alonso 5th.
Track position is worth a lot in Monaco but it isn't the only thing that matters, given tyre degradation and strategy, as well as the likelihood of a safety car and the possibility of rain.
Alonso has typically done better in races than qualifying (the exception being last time when he held station) and has a recent history of starting well, so I'm going to back him for a podium at 3.25 (Ladbrokes). I'll set up a hedge at 1.4 with Betfair.
I was tempted by all three of those at the very front for the win. Webber has the critical pole position, Rosberg and Hamilton sometimes have very good starts, but I think it's too hard to tell.
So, just the one tip: Alonso, podium, 3.25 (Ladbrokes) hedged at 1.4.