Saturday, 23 March 2013

Malaysia: pre-race

Qualifying was interesting, as the first session and a half was dry, and the latter was wet. Not torrential, but wet enough for intermediates.

Q1 saw the pointless teams depart, although Bianchi seems to really be punching above his weight with the Marussia's times. Bottas and Vergne also left the show at this point.

Q2 began dry and then became wet. Di Resta's team decided against an early banker, and lived to regret it as he lacked the dry track time to make it into the top 10. McLaren were delighted to get both cars into the last session, and Lotus were disappointed Grosjean only managed 11th. There's no tactical advantage to that in the race as Q3 was also wet so every car on the grid can pick and choose their tyres for tomorrow. The Saubers, Maldonado and Ricciardo also failed to reach the top 10.

Q3 was entirely wet, so we got a decent look at the pace on inters. Vettel remained tediously competent and got pole, with Massa again out-qualifying his team mate for the Ferraris to start right behind the German. Hamilton will be happy in 4th, but Webber probably won't be chuffed with 5th, and he starts alongside Rosberg. Raikkonen was slower than expected in 7th (although that's where he started from last week), and is followed by Button, Sutil and Perez.

After the session Raikkonen was given a 3 place grid penalty (so starting 10th) for impeding another driver in qualifying.

Rain is hard to call, but I think it's probably odds-on tomorrow. However, it looks like being wet but not torrential, as per today. If that's the case then the pace in Q3 should provide an approximate guide to race pace when it turns soggy (the track was constantly drying which led to artificially enormous gaps in the times).

Took me a while to come up with something, and ended up backing Massa at 2.64 for a podium. I've set up a hedge at 1.3. The Ferrari looks good wet and dry, and Massa's been driving well. Off the line team orders can't work (if he went slowly to let Alonso past he'd be swamped by a dozen other cars) so that shouldn't be an issue.

So, let's hope Ferrari's form continues.

Morris Dancer


Peter said...

Here are my post-qualification thoughts which I posted earlier today on the main PB site:

Lewis Hamilton finished 4th and will therefore start on the second row of the grid. Although an unlikely winner, the odds of 14/1 on offer from Stan James looked good value especially when combined with an ew bet on him, i.e. achieving a podium finish, paying one fifth of these odds.

In effect this means that should he finish 2nd or 3rd, the bet would return 3.8 units, a 90% profit on the 2.0 units staked.

Morris Dancer said...

Interesting that you mention that, Mr. Putney. I did seriously consider Mercedes to top score at 13. However, I remain concerned by their reliability, and they seem (of the 4 big teams) to wear their tyres out the most swiftly.

Let us hope Hamilton wins and Massa is second.

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Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Webber won't be renewing with Red Bull next year !


Morris Dancer said...

Welcome to pb2, Mr. Pulpstar :)

I'll need to watch the replay, but it sounds pretty blatant favouritism from the radio. Team orders are permitted, so they should either be upfront or perhaps give Vettel a broken gearbox for the next race (as per Massa in the US last year) to slap him into line.

Next article should be up within the hour, just need to walk the hound first.