Saturday, 9 June 2012

Canada: pre-race

Qualifying was surprisingly uncompetitive. Kudos to Mr. Nigel, as Vettel got pole, making the 14.5 on him to get pole and win excellent value. Only an idiot would have hedged that bet at 4 (ahem). Rather obviously, this means that my premature 2.8 tip on Hamilton didn't come off. That'll teach me to bet before P3, which really did change the lie of the land.

Anyway, Vettel was three-tenths up on Hamilton, who beat his team mate (10th) by a whole second. Button's title challenge will be over if he can't improve sharpish. The drop-off in performance lately has been dramatic for the Briton.

Alonso was third, under a tenth behind Hamilton, with Webber two-tenths further back. Then we have Rosberg, Massa and Grosjean, followed by di Resta, Schumacher and Button.

So far this season the races have either been thrilling or in Monaco, and Canada's superb circuit is known for the excellence of its races. Pole is not the be all and end all here, although it is worth noting that this season has seen people who aren't called Hamilton enjoy a very strong record of converting poles to victories. In fact, excluding Hamilton, it might even be a 100% record. That's rather counter-intuitive given how competitive the races have seemed, but there we are.

If you did back the excellent Vettel double tip and want to hedge, lay on the winner market (2.18) rather than the double market (2.26) for a bit extra [obviously check and make sure that's still the case beforehand].

I've got to say that it's very hard to try and find value. I do say that quite often, but Vettel's highly likely to win, though 2.1 is quite short and Alonso/Hamilton will be pushing like crazy. To be honest, if I'd thought of the 14.5/27 tips I'd probably just leave it.

The weather looks like being dry, but one potential area of divergence is strategy. A one-stop strategy is viable, but drop-off in performance can be dramatic (as Raikkonen showed in… Bahrain, I think it was). Strategically, Red Bull and Ferrari have been generally competent and McLaren has not.

Decided to back Alonso to win at 6 (Ladbrokes) with a one stake (that's profit, not liability) hedge at 2 and another one stake hedge at 1.5 (so if he got very close and both hedges got matched but he failed to win you'd be up 2 stakes on Betfair with a liability of 1.5 stakes).

My reasoning, hopefully inspired by Athena rather than Hypnos, is thus:
Hamilton will be hampered in the race. If there's a one-stop strategy he'll probably ruin his tyres more than Alonso/Vettel. If there's a two-stop strategy he'll suffer more from slower stops (and maybe very bad ones). McLaren do have the new funky front jack, but their problems have been not with that but with the wheels.

Alonso sometimes has very good starts and has been driving very well recently.

The Red Bull's relative weakness is top line speed, and Vettel has never won the Canadian Grand Prix.

Have to admit I found it extremely hard to find value, but I do think that the race will probably be a Vettel/Alonso fight. Hamilton's very good, but he has been let down by his team and Alonso was punching above his weight even when his car was a dog.

So, just that single tip: Alonso to win at 6, with hedges split at 2 and 1.5.

Morris Dancer


Morris Dancer said...

I missed some of qualifying because of interruptions, and, having watched the highlights, it seems I either missed some interesting information or the irksome Legard failed to impart it.

Firstly, and counter-intuitively, the Red Bull now seems to be fastest in a straight line. Which is weird, as it wasn't even during its dominant season in 2011.

Secondly, Button qualified on soft tyres (the prime given that the other compound is supersoft). However, he was still 0.3s off of Schumacher in 9th. For those tempted on backing him, 2.5 for a top 6 finish is available with Betfair (NB, not a tip, and I've not backed it myself).

I much prefer Grands Prix that are early rather than late, but there we are. Hopefully Alonso will either win or come so incredibly close both hedges get matched.

Anonymous said...

Morris - thanks for pointing out (but not tipping) the fact that Button is 2.5 (1.5/1) to finish in the top 6. In fact he's 2.8 with Paddy Power (and 2.75 generally elsewhere).
Wow, this is more than double the best odds of 1.83 (5/6) I was able to obtain for the same bet on Tuesday!
Either the bookies are being over-generous or Button is destined to be an also ran this season.
Unlike you, I've taken these odds!

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

I'm not so sure. He was 0.3s off of Schumacher and the difference is reckoned to be around half a second or a little less, so he still would've been near the back of the grid with the supersoft.

I also think the Red Bull and Ferraris are looking strong.

Incidentally, when I add the green line (for comment-based tips) then in a situation like this 2.8 for Button to be top 6 would count as a tip by you (assuming you wanted it to count).

I'd be more tempted by Massa at 2.3 to be top 6, personally. He's got a good car, and I think he could make up ground or at least hold station [again, this is not a tip].

Anonymous said...

Morris - I would be more than happy for my bet on Jenson to count.
He hasn't become a mediocre driver overnight and he likes this circuit. Had I not already bet on him winning and/or gaining a podium position, I would be loading on him finishing top 6 - this looks like real value to me at 1.8/1.
As regards Massa, I'm struggling to understand how he's suddenly found such good form - I'll need him to prove it over several GPs before I become a believer. Btw, he's priced at 2.5 with several bookies - to be fair to yourself you should quote the best odds available in the market (via Oddsckecker), equally Betfair's 5% commission should be deducted from their odds.

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

I think Hungary's the first weekend I'll add the green line. It's just convenient to do it halfway through the season, as I do a mid-season review and separate H1 and H2 graphs anyway.

I agree Button hasn't become rubbish, but the competitive edge McLaren had early on has been eroded, and the field's so competitive that dropping a tenth or two can put you well down. McLaren also suffer strategic and pit stop woe, as well as occasional unreliability.

Not sure about Massa. Ferrari have been continuously updating the car, so it could be that they really help him or that, after Monaco, he's got his head together (or both).

It's always worth remembering that the car matters more than the driver, although when they're so close the driver becomes relatively more important.

I'll try to remember to use Oddschecker a bit more, although I'll use my own results to compile the results (and I only have Ladbrokes/Betfair accounts).

Anonymous said...

Now here's a funny thing - although Massa is much shorter at 2.5 than Button's 2.8 for a top 6 finish, he's much longer at 7/1, compared with Button's 5/1 for a podium place.
I'm trying to get my head round that one!
Qualifying in 6th, Massa is some way from a top 3 finish and would seem to need a couple of Drivers ahead of him on the grid to fail to finish in order to give him a reaistic chance ..... still 7/1 is a big price.

Peter from Putney

Anonymous said...

It's your call of course, but I would say that across the wide and varied range of betting in the UK, there is usually a 10%-20% difference between the best and worst prices on offer, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more, depending on the competitiveness and interest in the particular event.
As far as I'm concerned being able to cherry pick the best odds is the difference between winning and losing since it is very difficult over time to achieve a profit margin of even 6%-8%.
Of course if your betting is restricted to modest stakes every 2 weeks on F1 then plainly it is not worth the hassle of opening multiple accounts, but for those who bet regularly or even occasionally for larger stakes then it's a must, maybe not to the extent of having 10-12 or more accounts, but certainly 5-6 in order to obtain the best or close to the best value.

Peter from Putney.

Morris Dancer said...

That's interesting. I wonder if the wide divergence between Massa and Button for a top 6 and podium finish is due to the underlying assumption that Button will either gain massively through cunning strategy/superior tyre management or just a little.

Nigel said...

Button might struggle in the first stint - he was bemoaning running at all in Q3, as his tyres have already done 6 laps, I think.
Whether he can pull off a one stopper is a bit doubtful given the track temperature (forecast around 40 degrees).

I didn't have time to follow the qualifying closely, so I'm not sure who has what left in terms of tyres, so I'm not sure if anyone could spring a surprise from the second and third rows.
Still, as long as Webber doesn't win (if you optimise everthing, you dilute your profits), I ought to come out pretty well this weekend.