Another exciting and surprisingly dry race. Whether it was profitable or not depends upon whether the bet was hedged. If so, a modest profit was had, if not then a modest loss was suffered. Interestingly, the gap between bet-and-forget and hedging is pretty enormous this year (right now you're more than three times better off hedging than not).
Anyway, to the race:
Alonso was very nearly passed off the line by Webber but they managed to retain their positions, with Schumacher keeping third. Vettel had a poor start and ended up behind Massa and Raikkonen, I think. Button had a nice get-away and got to 12th from 16th (he qualified 18th but penalties for Pic and Vergne bumped him up two spots) but that was about the highlight of his race.
Grosjean tagged di Resta, which punctured the unlucky Briton's rear tyre. He got the car back to the pits and went out again but in getting there the first time he'd ruined the floor and had to return to retire.
There was quite a lot of rapid overtaking and the order got jiggled about in the midfield and lower down. At the front Alonso had a distinct but not enormous gap to Webber and both were pulling away from Schumacher, behind whom a small convoy of faster cars had lined up. Eventually he was passed and pitted and spent much of his time seeming to struggle (as did his team mate) with the Mercedes. I wonder if it had a compromise or wet set-up. However, he did pass Hamilton late on to nab 6th.
Massa had a good race, and although he wasn't able to stay ahead of Vettel he wasn't dropped much and scored a very good 4th. The two Lotuses showed good pace, getting 5th and 6th for Raikkonen and Grosjean respectively.
McLaren just weren't fast enough. Button scraped into 10th position, but that's still feeble for a potential title contender. Hamilton was perhaps screwed by a bad strategy. They had him out on the hard tyre initially (not bad) but the middle soft stint was incredibly brief, just about eight laps, and then he was back out on the hard tyre. He was ahead, after the final stop, of Grosjean, but got passed by the Frenchman and then Schumacher to finish a measly 8th.
At the sharp end Ferrari employed the correct strategy most of the time. Going hard-hard-soft made sense because the car seemed much happier on the harder compound (there was surprisingly little performance difference between the two). However, when Webber did his final stop first and started whittling down the 20s gap (15s or so is needed to come out ahead) Alonso pitted at about 19.4s or so. However, whilst the Spaniard could maintain a roughly 5s gap on softs (Webber was on the hard tyre) for a little while once they started to deteriorate Webber gobbled up half a second a lap and passed Alonso with ease. However, Alonso had enough over Vettel to keep second.
Yet again, there was a collision and controversy involving Maldonado. Perez was seeking to pass him on the outside of a corner, and Maldonado either drove into him or cocked up and accidentally collided with the Mexican. Afterwards Perez was very forthright, saying that all drivers were concerned by Maldonado's lack of respect and called on the stewards to punish him properly because otherwise he wouldn't stop his unacceptable behaviour.
Strong words, and I can only agree. Maldonado side-swiped Perez in Monaco practice, he did the same last year to Hamilton at Spa qualifying, he stupidly collided with Hamilton at Valencia and now he's hit Perez. Even if the latest incident were accidental he would need a slap from the stewards.
Although an Alonso win would've been better for me I can't feel grumpy about a green race when it was so very unpredictable.
In terms of the title, Alonso's lead, formerly 20 points, has been trimmed to 'just' 13 (that's still the second biggest lead of the year so far). Importantly, though he lost ground to Webber he extended his advantage over Vettel and Hamilton.
Both Hamilton and Vettel are more than a win (25 points) behind Alonso. But could Webber win? He's qualified well, he's raced very consistently (perhaps most consistently of any driver over the entire season so far) and he's got probably the fastest car. The main reason for saying 'no' would be his team mate. Vettel is tremendously talented, but he doesn't have a God-given right to beat Webber.
Webber's presently 7 with Betfair to take the title, but he's second. Alonso is 3 (about right, I think) and Vettel's 3.35. Hamilton's drifted a smidgen to 5.4. I've put on an extra £1 (because I'm a big time gambler, ahem) on Webber. Now I'll make roughly the same for him, Vettel or Hamilton and a bit more for Alonso.
The next race is Germany in a fortnight. I forget whether it's the turn of Hockenheim or the Nurburgring and, coincidentally, which circuit it is that Vettel really struggles at. I think we had it last year (I think his 4th there was his worst finish in the first half of the season).
Although there's only one week between Germany and Hungary and the latter is followed by a long break I'm going to do the mid-season review between Germany and Hungary. After Germany I plan to introduce my crowd*-sourcing green line to the betting graph (*a crowd meaning Messrs Nigel and Putney, and anyway else who wants to join in). So, tips offered in the comments will also be recorded and we'll see how they stack up against hedging and non-hedging tips.