Friday, 12 October 2012

Korea: pre-qualifying

From last year's Korean post (just 1 post per weekend last year):
"The race start was unusual as everyone predicted the dirty (even) side of the track would be severely disadvantaged. In truth, there was no difference whatsoever, and the long McLaren first gear didn’t hamper them at all either. Infuriatingly, Vettel did pass Hamilton on lap 1, using the very long straights to get a great slipstream, pass him and then be in the lead in the twisty section where passing is very hard. [Hopefully I’ll remember this for next year]."

So, I'll wait and see who the top two are (given Grosjean and Maldonado have a habit of crashing they might put me off) and consider this bet after qualifying.

In other news, Lotus have brought swanky new exhausts (actually, they're just catching up with the other top teams but it could help them a bit and will hopefully assist Raikkonen in staying in the top three):

The Korean tyres are soft and supersoft. The supersoft may not last long at all in the race (maybe 8 laps on the first stint, though 12 or so seems possible).

Due to being asleep I missed all of P1 and most of P2, but I did catch some interesting snippets at the end.

In P1 the top 10 were: Hamilton, Alonso, Webber, Massa, Vettel, Schumacher, Rosberg, Grosjean, Di Resta and Button.

P2 was led by the Red Bulls, Vettel and Webber, then came Alonso, Button and Schumacher. Sixth was Massa, followed by Rosberg, Hamilton, Hulkenberg and Raikkonen.

The Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris are all very similar on long run pace. Massa also looked good on the soft, but as everyone else was on the supersoft and fuel weights are unknown it's hard to read much into that. Button seemed happy with his setup and the gap between Vettel and Webber on both low and high fuel was around 0.03s (sod all, essentially). Whilst all eyes will be on Vettel and Hamilton for the pole fight I think Webber should not be counted out.

There was a little bit of money for Webber at 8 on Betfair, but not enough to be tipped. Not sure if I would've done so (I dislike early tipping), but 7/1 seems longer than it should be to me.

So, no tip for qualifying. It could be a very tight battle, and I hope it sets up for the grid nicely, as the race itself could be highly competitive. Whilst Vettel was unmatched in Suzuka it's worth recalling he was similarly dominant in Valencia, but at the subsequent race he finished third.

Morris Dancer


Nigel said...

"The Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris are all very similar on long run pace"

The McLaren and Ferrari actually looked faster (though who knows what fuel was onboard).

Depending on how long the option lasts, it could be a good tyre to run in the second stint if you're not on pole. Red Bull may lock out the front row, but a smart strategy could beat them in the race.

Hamilton looks to be having setup problems again, so I'm not having a punt on him for now. Alonso might be interesting for the win at 8.

Morris Dancer said...

I think Ferrari may struggle in qualifying, so Alonso's odds may lengthen.

Apparently the clever-rear wing [there are too many rear wing variants] of the Red Bull which channels air down to the lower rear wing to increase downforce is simple and adds speed, but only works properly if you're out in front (must get messed up by dirty air). If Red Bull don't start near the front they *may* end up going backwards (especially if you're right about McLaren and Ferrari).

Hamilton does appear to have cocked up second practice, but there's still P3 to go.

Nigel said...

Vettel looks nailed on for pole, half a second faster than the rest (Webber didn't get a run on the softs, with some car problem). Fastest laps were set after running quick lap, backing off a lap, and running again.

Hamilton sorted his setup, & was best of the rest. Put a bit of cash on him at 7.6 for the race (though the Red Bull might prove unbeatable).

Now back to sleep.

Anonymous said...

I've lost confidence recently in not being able to spot F1 winning bets so for now I'm concentrating solely on value.

Webber looks big value at 12/1 with sportingbet to win the race. He's around 9/1 on average elsewhere and currently only 7.6/1 net (aka 9 decimal gross) with Betfair.

Peter from Putney

Nigel said...

Hope you took that Webber bet ?

I'd lay it for a profit, as team orders may well intervene - Webber's determination notwithstanding.

(I've laid my Hamilton bet at around 6.)

Morris Dancer said...

Blimey, that looks like a great tip now, Mr. Putney.

I concur with Mr. Nigel. Not only might team orders come into play, both the McLarens and Ferraris are looking strong on race pace and the early long straights make a slipstream pass a distinct possibility on lap 1.

Morris Dancer said...

By the way, I don't usually count hedges (because for my own tips I have two separate columns for hedged and non-hedged) so if you want a green line hedge to be recorded, please specify that.

Nigel said...

Strategy will be interesting.
I think the option might last longer than expected if well managed - good for Button, who has at least one new set. If Button were to run a middle stint on fresh options, he might make up quite a few spaces.

Will one stopping really be as fast as two ?
I'm skeptical.

Also we've yet to see how effective the new DRS zone is - overtaking isn't easy here.

Scratch my Hamilton tip - I've hedged it already for a small profit, and the odds were only available if you were awake at 4am, so it's a bit pointless for anyone else.

Morris Dancer said...

Ok, I shall commence damnatio memoriae of your tip.

Overtaking may be (more) possible during pit stop changes (I mean on-track but immediately after pit stops) due to tyre differences. I think Red Bull will struggle more to carve their way through traffic, but if they can run away and build a gap they'll be harder to stop.