Saturday, 8 September 2012

Italy: pre-qualifying

As last week, tyre compounds are medium and hard (white and invisible silver). Grosjean serves his one race ban and is replaced by the Belgian Jerome d'Ambrosio. Ma Qing Hua becomes the first Chinese driver, as he replaces Karthikeyan in the HRT during P1. Maldonado serves a 10 place (well, two 5 place) grid penalty for jumping the start at Spa and hitting Glock in the race.

Degradation does appear to be low, suggesting a one-stopper as standard.

Lotus' DDRS, which I'm beginning to think is being tested by unicorns at the test track in Narnia, will not be appearing and won't before Suzuka.

Happily P1 was dry. Schumacher was fastest, ahead of Button, Rosberg, Alonso and Massa. Hamilton was sixth, and was followed by Raikkonen, Perez, Webber and Maldonado.

In P2 Schumacher's RFA (rear flap adjuster/DRS) was broken, so his pace will suffer accordingly (and the DRS is particularly handy around Monza). Rosberg also appeared to have a similar issue. Button's engineer reckoned that pace was good and that degradation for McLaren (his, at least) was excellent. Bodes well for the race.

The P2 running order was Hamilton, Button, Alonso and Massa. That top four were covered by barely a tenth of a second and the top three were covered by half a tenth. Rosberg was fifth, followed by Raikkonen, Di Resta, Hulkenberg, Perez and Schumacher.

After the first two practice sessions, of which I heard a little, it sounds like McLaren will be the team to beat with Alonso also in the mix. Red Bull seem to be a little off the pace at the end of Saturday. However, the margins generally are very tight.

Computer issues meant that I only got to hear about 10 minutes of P3, unfortunately. In the final few minutes Vettel suffered a battery failure, which seems similar to what happened (with the alternator) in Valencia, which also (then) afflicted a Lotus (both use Renault engines).

The top 10 of P3 were Hamilton, a thousandth ahead of Alonso, with Di Resta third then Massa, Button, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Perez and Maldonado. Vettel and Webber were 11th and 12th respectively.

The bets I had in mind after P3 were to lay Vettel or Webber for Q3 and perhaps Hamilton for pole. Very hard to tell whether Hamilton or Alonso will get pole.

Irritatingly, the odds to lay Vettel or Webber for Q3 are rubbish (evens). I'd waited a little while hoping the market might shift, but it hasn't.

So, what I'm counting as a single tip is as follows: Hamilton for pole at 2.54 and Alonso for pole at 4.7 (to get a roughly even profit split that's a third of a stake on Hamilton and two-thirds on Alonso). No hedging. If Alonso had been a bit longer (he was 5.2 not so long ago) I might've gone for a single bet with a hedge, but there we are.

No rain is forecast, and although Button could upset things I do expect a Hamilton-Alonso duel for pole.

Morris Dancer


Nigel said...

P3 was very interesting.
Alonso and Massa practiced slipstreaming each other in order to get a better one lap time, and Alonso set his best time on the hard tyre.
In actual qualifying, I think this can only work to the benefit of one driver, and co-ordinating it for both during the melee would be impossible. Clearly that's not a difficult decision for Ferrari.
(Though of course, it does require Massa getting through to Q3.)

This is just enough of a wildcard for me not to be tempted by the odds on Hamilton, especially since I have existing race bets on Hamilton at 4.3 and Button at 7.4.

Morris Dancer said...

Incidentally, I've decided to include your 7.4 Button tip (made last week).

For the future: I'll count any tips offered, even if a week or a year beforehand.

Nigel said...

Nice call on Alonso.

You could lay quite profitably now.

Nigel said...

"You could lay quite profitably now."

End of Q1, 2.86 available...

Nigel said...

Q3 straight fight between Alonso and the Mclarens.

Massa in Q3 ... to provide slipstream for Alonso. ?

Vettel squeaks in to Q3, but I think Webber might actually have a chance of doing better in the race by starting 11th on new tyres.

Nigel said...

Could lay Ham @ 1.4, too.

Nigel said...

McLaren 1-2 !!

Good news for championship (& not bad for my position, either :) ).

Ferrari's cunning plan had seriously unintended consequences.

Morris Dancer said...

I didn't do any hedging, and am quite pleased with the modest profit realised.

Your 7.4 on Button looks good.

The race is nicely set up, I think. Have to see how the markets look before tipping/betting.

A strong Alonso performance would've suited me better, but the grid's still pretty good regarding title bets.

Nigel said...

Apparently Hamilton looked less than delighted after qualifying. Any thoughts ?

For the record, I'm laying my Hamilton and Button bets at 1.96 and 3.9 respectively.
I can follow the GP live tomorrow, as I'm busy with other stuff, & would hate to get caught out.
Very slightly overdone it, so if both crash (or overcook their tyres), I'm 2 quid to the good.

Going to take a look at the podium/top 6 markets now.

Nigel said...

(Edit) Can't follow the GP tomorrow...

Morris Dancer said...

It might be off-track issues. He also looked downcast last year sometimes when he was having difficulties with his lady friend.

I'm going to leave it a little while before checking for bets, but my early thoughts are on what Vettel and Alonso can do from their positions, and possibly Maldonado/Hulkenberg too.

Massa must be on orders to try and jump the McLarens and either slow them down or deprive them of the 25 points, if possible.

Nigel said...

'Massa must be on orders"

So long as they don't involve a collision at the first corner, I'm fine with that.