Saturday, 16 March 2013

Australia: pre-race

Well, this is less than ideal.

After already inconveniencing us all with its awkward time zone, Australia then decided to import some British style rain. So, a soggy Q1 went ahead (delayed) and Q2 and Q3 got pushed back to 11am Sunday (Oz time) or midnight in Blighty.

I'm loathe to bet on the race after staying up for Q2 and Q3. No, midnight isn't all that late, but it'll be 1am, or slightly earlier, before the markets get going and I'd rather not try tipping at that time (especially as this is the first race of the season).

A quick check has discovered that the last time I offered no tip for an entire race weekend was the European Grand Prix of 2009.

Anyway, here's a quick rundown of Q1:
It was very rainy, and almost everyone was on wet tyres throughout. It was briefly better (but by a significant time) to be on intermediates.

As well as the predictable demise of the Caterhams and Marussias (Chilton coming last) Gutierrez was a slight surprise, and Maldonado a more significant one. Bottas made it through in 15th and will be pleased to have beaten his team mate, and Hulkenberg was 13th. [Remember, kids, that because we only have 22 cars this year 6, rather than 7, get eliminated in Q1 and Q2].

P3 was also wet, and it looks like Grosjean and the Ferraris quite like the rain.

I looked at a few potential bets. Alonso for a podium was my favourite, but 1.6 is very short and reliability or bad luck could easily ruin it. Likewise Vettel for pole.

Raikkonen (I could've sworn it was single K double [triple, but not together] N last season…) at 2.75 for a podium also tempted me. However, reliability and Grosjean's strong pace put me off.

In the end I opted for Ferrari to top score (Ladbrokes) at 5.5. No hedging, obviously. My reasoning is thus: I expect both cars to be top 6, and quite possibly top 4, on the grid. Alonso especially has a record of good starts, and Webber quite the reverse. I can see Webber finishing behind enough cars for Ferrari to get this even if Vettel wins. If Alonso starts second he could well take Vettel off the line.

So, although I think the Red Bull is a better car I think that Massa's returned to form, Alonso starts well and Webber poorly, hence the tip.

It should be noted that there is a Morris Dancer tradition of starting new seasons badly, so (as always) do at your own risk.

Let's hope the Prancing Horse trumps the Red Bull.

Qualifying resumes at midnight UK time, and the race is from 6am.

Morris Dancer


Anonymous said...

I just don't see you landing that bet Morris. Although the odds appear reasonably attractive, you are doubly defying logic by preferring Alonso to Vettel and Massa to Webber (at the latter's home GP to boot).

I shall bow before you as the Maestro should you be prove to be correct.

I'd rather back Webber to win at far superior odds of 12 with Hills; he is after all in a significantly better car than the Ferrari.

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

No, I think Vettel will probably beat Alonso, but I think Massa will be much better than last year. Webber has poor starts, often, and sometimes has more tyre degradation than others.

Home advantage doesn't always work in F1 (cf Barrichello in Brazil).

I must say it was difficult trying to find a good bet. As you know, I focus on P3 for qualifying and qualifying for the race. Anyway, we shall see.

Is that a tip on Webber?

Anonymous said...

No, it's not a tip - although I've had a few bob on Webber winning, this is based solely on what I see as being great value - one cannot realistically expect to land 11/1 shots.
My ideas for having a proper structured plan for suggesting and staking bets fell on deaf ears and therefore I won't be putting forward betting suggestions as such, but merely commenting on my own punts from time to time.
It's a pity there aren't more posters commenting here.
I feel sure there are any number of lurkers, but we need more input of F1 fans' knowledge, ideas and yes, betting hunches be they short or longer term.

Peter from Putney

Morris Dancer said...

I just don't want to impose rules on people who wish to offer tips.

I'd be amused if Webber wins, the Ferraris are 2 and 3 and Vettel fails to finish.

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Nigel said...

I quite like Lotus for a podium, but neither of the driver's odds on offer are good enough to tempt me.

As for your race bet, Mercedes or Lotus have a pretty good chance of messing things up for Ferrari, so I don't see that one coming off either, assuming Vettel wins.

We really haven't seen enough to separate the three teams on race performance yet, and they all have very strong driver lineups.

One other unknown is the Red Bull race pace, which I'm not sure was fully demonstrated in practice.

Morris Dancer said...

I think Mercedes and/or Lotus could suffer reliability issues.

I'm hoping that we get a clearer picture after the race weekend. Right now it's still quite hard to sort a pecking order.

Anonymous said...

As you say, very hard to predict. If quali is dry tomorrow/today, I would put some money on Mercedes for both cars to be in the top 6. Ferrari aren't as strong as I thought they would be so far, but I am yet to believe that anyone has revealed their true pace. Red Bull (as always) would be a safe bet...

Let's wait and see!

Nigel said...

I'm really surprised that everyone ran in Q3.

As Gary Anderson pointed out, the fresh medium tyres are much quicker than worn supersofts (and the track is likely to be cold) - and last twice as long.
Running two stints on the new mediums, and a short final stint on new supersofts might be as much as 20 seconds quicker over the course of the race.

Lotus especially might have gambled on that strategy for one of their drivers at least, since their race pace continues to be better than their qualifying.

And Hulkenberg in P11 on new primes ought to have an interesting few laps at the start.

Good efforts by Massa and Di Resta (who has also come in for a lot of criticism recently).