Sunday, 14 October 2012

Korea: post-race analysis

Well, that was a bad race from a betting perspective. Alonso could've been anywhere from about second to fifth after the first few corners, so third was not too bad, but after that he simply lacked the pace to compete with the Red Bulls. Although Red Bull was clearly top dog the margin if victory was smaller than the ultra-dominant race in Japan.

So, the bet failed due to a misjudgement on my part. Slightly annoyingly, 2/3 of things I considered (the 8 Webber pole bet, a Safety car appearance and laying Webber to lead lap 1) did come off, but that's also just a case of misjudgement on my part.

Not sure how the green line turned out, it depends on the stake and whether it was matched to lay Webber at 3.5 for the win (might've been matched late on when Vettel's engineer was very worried about his tyres going). The Button to be top 6 tip obviously didn't come off, but I think it stood a strong chance of having doing so were it not for sheer bad luck.

At the sharp end, save for the final few laps and the start, it was quite dull. Vettel nabbed the start (I should've listened to myself from a year ago and laid the pole-sitter to lead lap 1) and Alonso rose to third, with Webber in second. The three men held those positions essentially throughout the race (save for pit stops mixing the order briefly).

However, there was more excitement further down the order.

Button and Rosberg were both struck by Kobayashi and had to retire, as the Japanese driver himself later did. This won't help his prospects of a drive next year.

Hamilton seemed to suffer some sort of mechanical issue and a bad set of tyres, meaning he pitted thrice, once more than most others. Tragedy became farce late on when his car acquired an astroturf scarf, and he just about held off Perez to claim the final point on offer.

Massa was very racy today. In fact, he was often the fastest man on the track and could've passed Alonso, were he not the clear number two driver. In retrospect, Ferrari made a mistake by not letting him past as I believe he would've stood a strong chance of passing Webber and Vettel late on. The German's engineer was increasing stressed about high tyre wear and the gap from him to Webber fell by about 4s in the last couple of laps as he was forced to take it easy. A Massa win would've cut Alonso's points haul by 3, but Vettel's by 7. The Brazilian really does seem to have rediscovered his form lately. This could help Alonso, if his team mate can either act as a rear gunner or by jumping ahead of his rivals and robbing them of victories/podium places.

There was a nice, and prolonged, Di Resta/Schumacher duel for honour only, which the Scot won. Toro Rosso had a cracking race, with a double points finish in 8th and 9th.

Raikkonen was solid but unspectacular in 5th, Hulkenberg had another strong finish in 6th and Grosjean, who diligently stayed out of trouble on lap 1, got 7th.

Williams were notably poor in 14th and 15th. Senna lacked speed and Maldonado's attempt at a one-stop really didn't work.

So, it was a little bit boring at the sharp end, and unprofitable. Mr. Putney's Button tip was shot by bad luck and my own Alonso tip was just plain wrong.

It's two weeks to India, do I might do a post considering recent bets and the state of play. I've had a bad run of late (the Japanese Alonso tip was ruined by bad luck, but otherwise I've just been misjudging things) and it might help.

At the moment Red Bull are clearly top dog. Second is harder to assess. Ferrari is the obvious answer after today but Hamilton had some sort of car issue and Button was taken out early on, so it might not be that clear-cut. Lotus, Mercedes and Sauber seem to have fallen back a little.

After the race today the drivers' title looks like this:
Vettel 215
Alonso 209
Raikkonen 167
Hamilton 153
Webber 152

Still very much a race between a prancing horse and a red bull. Alonso needs just a bit more raw pace, otherwise the title will slip from his grasp before Interlagos (the final race).

In the battle for the third spot (I've backed Raikkonen for that) this was a good race, and Raikkonen's reliability (only chap to finish all races this year to date) and Webber/Hamilton taking points off of each other may help the Finn keep the third spot.

The Constructors' is as follows:

Red Bull 367
Ferrari 290
McLaren 284

McLaren have absolutely blown the Constructors. They had a massive speed advantage for several races but coupled it with shoddy reliability, and early in the season almost comedic pit stops cost them a slew of points. I was expecting to write "Ferrari could yet overhaul them…" but it turns out they have already. They're still in contention for second, but the win is effectively Red Bull's already.

So, race bets didn't go well (partly contingent on Mr. Putney's hedge getting matched and what stake he used). I must admit I finish the weekend slightly ahead due to getting a few pounds on Webber at 8 for pole (most untipped bets are due to lack of money available or them being early, or both in this case, and I typically make a loss).

In terms of title bets, I'm all-green whatever happens with the drivers', laying Red Bull for the Constructors' now looks moronic and I'm somewhat hopeful Raikkonen can retain third position.

Not sure if I'll offer a pre-qualifying tip for India, as P3 ends at 7.30am.

Morris Dancer


Anonymous said...

Another miserable result as regards my two bets and my attempted lay of a Webber victory failed to get matched.

Button was again desperately unlikely in being forced out, the more so considering his very good start.

The only saving grace was the benefit to my £10 per point SELL spread bet on his season's points - with just 4 GPs remaining, I expect his price post-Korea to be around 170-175 points, or 65-70 points below my 240 points sell price at the start of the season. I'm very tempted to take my £650-£700 profit (especially as I'm currently losing around £200 on a spread bet on the U.S. POTUS election).
I'm just wondering whether he's now out of things for this season, Jenson might just lose heart and therefore not push things to the limit in the remaining races.

Peter from Putney.

Anonymous said...

Above 2nd para:

"unlikely" should read unlucky.

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

Bad luck, Mr. Putney.

I don't think Button's motivation will suffer too much. He's known he's a long shot to take the title for a while, and he'll want to finish the season ahead of Hamilton, which is still possible. The team will also be keen to beat Ferrari in the Constructors'.

However, with Red Bull the fastest and Ferrari seemingly in second place he might struggle to score big points.

Try not to lose heart. A few red races in a row is disappointing, as I know, having had seven of them in the latter half of 2010. There are still four races to go.

Nigel said...

No, Button and Hamilton will fight for every point, I think. Neither give the impression of being quitters, and second place in the constructors is worth a lot of cash for the team.

I was most impressed by the latter's commitment in what looked to be an almost undriveable car, at the fag end of a season, all hopes of the championship gone, and for a team he's leaving.

Button had some harsh words for his new team mate...

Nigel said...

Watching the replay of the first few laps, the marshals robbed us of a decent race. If they'd cleared Rosberg's car quickly, Webber and one or two others would still have been in DRS range when it was re-enabled.

That & the astroturf suggest Korea isn't really ready for F1.