Saturday, 9 June 2012

Canada: pre-qualifying

The tyres are soft and supersoft, as per Monaco, but because Montreal's more like a normal circuit (and there probably won't be a helpful safety car in the first few laps) a one-stop strategy is less likely (but is still viable).

There's just the one DRS zone this year, and it's been shortened somewhat.

Sadly, disruption is a possibility due to some protestors being against the Canadian Government for one reason or another, and suggesting that they may target the Grand Prix. Let's hope they don't disturb the race or qualifying.

The first practice session saw Hamilton fastest, a tenth ahead of Vettel. Rosberg and Alonso were third and fourth, followed by Webber. Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Perez, Schumacher and Button finished off the top 10.

In P2 Hamilton was again fastest, half a tenth only ahead of Alonso. If that's a true reflection of pace then Ferrari might be looking good for the title. Massa was also half a tenth behind Alonso, pointing to both decent pace and the continuation of the Brazilian's good form in Monaco. Vettel, Kobayashi and di Resta filled slots four to six, and were followed by Schumacher, Hulkenberg, Button and Rosberg.

It's worth pointing out that Button had very limited running in these sessions due to a gearbox problem/oil leak. However, Gary Anderson (BBC technical chap who is well worth listening to) was flabbergasted that it took 3 hours and 45 minutes for a change he reckoned should take 30 minutes. Radio analyst Jaime Alguesuari agreed that the length of time taken was ridiculous.

P3 was tremendously close, making me rather nervous and wondering if I should've sat qualifying betting out. At one point 15 cars were covered by 1 second. Vettel was fastest, six one-thousandths of a second ahead of Alonso who was three-tenths up on Hamilton. Webber was fourth, followed by Maldonado, Massa and Schumacher. Grosjean, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg round out the top 10.

Pre-P3 I tipped Hamilton at 2.8 for pole, with a hedge at 1.3. However, I would not advocate backing that now (it's now stretched to 3.85, with Vettel at 4.6 and Alonso 5.8). It's very hard to tell whether Hamilton, Vettel or maybe even Alonso will get pole. I still hope Hamilton will get it, but I'm not tipping anything else.  

On the main site regular commenter Nigel spotted that the double (qualifying/winner) market was out of kilter with the qualifying winner, with Alonso/Alonso 27 and Vettel 14.5. Might've shortened since but there could still be value there.

Brief moment of plugging: I've got a book out, a stand-alone fantasy novel which is available for a very reasonable $0.99. I hope readers give Bane of Souls a go, or check the sample to see if it's their sort of thing.

On a related note, I've occasionally thought of writing a non-fiction book about F1 and betting. I do like the idea, but right now I'm not sure that I either have the time or the experience to do the subject justice. I would be interested to know whether (in the future) people would like the idea of such a book.

I'm also unsure if I've ever actually mentioned that I do have a Twitter account. I only made it because I opted for that route to sign in to, but I do post tips on it as well. The address is:

Morris Dancer


Nigel said...

Hope you got some of the Alonso Q/W double at 27. Outstanding value, I think, as the car looks fast, and anything's possible with the track evolution.

I think it will be between Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel for pole, though it's just possible that the Mercedes might surprise us.
Hamilton is probably still the favourite, but I wouldn't read too much into yesterday's running, as the track temperature is way higher today (& will be for the race as well).

Bit harsh of Gary Anderson - I'm not sure they were changing the gearbox. It sounds to me as though they were fixing two separate problems to avoid having to change the box and thereby take a penalty.

Morris Dancer said...

Aye, I managed to get a few pounds on that and a little more on Vettel. Very good spot, Mr. Nigel, and I'll try to remember to bear that discrepancy in mind if there's a surprise in P3 which sees the pole market shift substantially in the future.

Pre-practice I thought the Mercedes stood a realistic prospect of battling for pole and podiums but it's looking a bit lacklustre right now. That said, nobody predicted Schumacher getting the Monaco fastest time either.

There was a suggestion it was a gearbox issue and an oil leak, but McLaren is extremely well-resourced and Button missing almost all of P1 and P2 will make setting up the car for qualifying and race harder, and he really needs a decent result this weekend. I think he's only got 2 points from the last 3 races, and that really isn't good enough.

Nigel said...

Well done getting on those. Nice hedge for your Hamilton bet - especially if you managed to lay them.

A substandard preparation for Button is still preferable to a gearbox failure which could cost a penalty or even retirement.
I'm inclined to give the team the benefit of the doubt on this one, notwithstanding its heinous pitstop and strategy errors over the last few races.

Couple of interesting pointers from the practice times...
The (unexpectedly small) speed differential between the prime and the option means the leading teams ought all to be able to run the prime in Q1, which helps preserve a clean set of options for the race.
The option again looks surprisingly durable in race setup.

Pole isn't particularly important here. The ease of overtaking means there have been plenty of winners from behind on the grid.
That said, the pole sitter ought to be looking good for the win this weekend, providing they don't burn through all their supersofts getting to P1. The fastest race strategy, by a healthy margin, looks to be a two stopper, and the faster cars don't seem to be chewing up their tyres on the long runs, so the pole sitter ought to be able to make his speed count.

Anonymous said...

Earlier this week and anticipating a marked improvement in Jenson Button's recent form on a track where he was victorious last year, my modest betting strategy on him tomorrow is as follows:

Win: £1.12 at 12/1
Podium finish: £3.88 at 2.75/1
Top 6 finish: £6.00 at 0.83/1
Total invested: £11.00 with Sky on 04.06.12.
Possible outcomes:
Win: Profit £29.11
2nd-3rd place: Profit £14.55
4th-6th place: Break-even
7th place or lower: Loss £11.00 - this would be more than compensated for by the resulting increased profit position of between £40-£80 on my SELL spread bet on Button's total season's points. Although this outcome would therefore benefit me most, I genuinely hope Jenson achieves at least a podium position and I feel confident he will.

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

Mr. Putney, I'm not so sure. The Ferrari and Red Bull are looking very competitive, and the Mercedes could also best Button.

Of course, it's just Q2 at the time of writing, so I might look moronic in 22 minutes' time.

Anonymous said...

It looks very much like I've waved goodbye to the £11 worth of bets I placed on Button last Tuesday, but at the same time profited my SELL spread bet on his season's points.
Incrediby his odds against winning tomorrow have lengthened to as much as 40/1 - how are the mighty fallen.

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

It is quite curious. I think it might be attributed to the incredibly tight nature of F1 this season. If you're a bit off the pace you can look rather rubbish rather easily.

That said, he was over a second behind Hamilton.

Anyway, going to see about doing the pre-race article now.

Morris Dancer said...


Can't find value anywhere.

I'll try again a bit later, or maybe in the morning.

2.1 for Vettel is too short (especially as I'm green already for that) but I do think he's got a great shot at victory.