Monday, 15 April 2013

Bahrain: early discussion

Yes, the Chinese Grand Prix was only yesterday but Bahrain is only a few days away, so the discussion starts now. After Bahrain there's a bit of a break to the European season, and in that gap I'll write a brief review of the season so far (as usual).

For what it's worth, here's my approximate running order for the teams:
Mercedes-Red Bull

Red Bull-Lotus

However, it's fair to say it's very tight, and that I could've written 'Raikkonen' instead of 'Lotus'. Grosjean needs to hurry up.

Bahrain is amongst the most boring of circuits and, without checking, I think it might've been the only race last year that was properly tedious. Cars tend to get spaced out very quickly, probably due to bad circuit design, and overtaking is harder than a man trapped in a lift with the Promiscuous Liaison Committee of the Swedish Nymphomaniac Association.

Historically it's been good for Ferrari (Massa especially) although recently, possibly due to the Prancing Horse being a bit lame, this has not been quite the case. They have a better car now, though. Upgrades will be minimal from China so pace should be the same, but the circuit works the rears more than the front tyres, the opposite of Shanghai (which is peculiar in this regard).

Anyway, time for me to stop rambling. Comments, insights, tips and guessing how Webber's car will mysteriously fail to finish the race are all welcome.

Morris Dancer


Peter said...

Good stuff Morris and I enjoyed your little joke about the Swedish nymphos ..... keep 'em coming if you'll pardon the expression.

And what's all this about "guessing how Webber's car will mysteriously fail to finish the race" in Bahrain? Are we becoming a little cynical in our old age?

For any lurkers on here who are interested - just to round off the updated position as regards my spread bet on Ricciardo's Season's Points, where I BOUGHT him prior to the Chinese GP at 18 points - I was pleasantly surprised that despite his 6 points yesterday (incidentally finishing only 7 seconds behind 5th placed Button who thereby earned 10 points), Sporting Index sportingly lifted his BUY price only modestly to 23 points (I had been expecting something closer to 30 points) In effect this means that he only has to average 1 point for each of the 16 remaining races to break even or thereabouts.

Compare and contrast this with, say di Resta who they have priced on 64 points or Sutil who is currently on 62 points - in both cases almost three times Sporting's anticipated points tally for Ricciardo.

After considering his prospects for all of a couple of nanoseconds, I decided to double my bet and as a result my average BUY price is therefore 20.5 points.

Anyone thinking of following me in should do their own careful research.

Wish me luck!

Morris Dancer said...

Ha, no, I don't buy into the conspiracy theorist view about Webber. Red Bull may be partisan but they still want both titles and can't get that without Webber.

Good luck with Ricciardo.

I expect Ferrari to be top dog in Bahrain, but (if so) it'll be interesting to see who's second.

Also, the varying winners may help McLaren if they get their arse in gear. However, the podium is less variable. Vettel's had two, Alonso's had two (from two finishes), Raikkonen's had two and Hamilton's had two.

Nigel said...

Bahrain will be much hotter - we'll have to see who gets the tyres to work in those conditions.
I'm guessing Red Bull might benefit.

Morris Dancer said...

That's a good point, but it's worth also noting that the soft compound likes hotter temperatures and the prime will be the hard tyre.

I'm not so sure about Red Bull. They were not as fast in the race as they would've liked to have been (in China). We'll have to wait and see.

Peter said...

For the early birds, I suggest a top 6 finish for Nico Rosberg, generously priced in my opinion by Ladbrokes at 2.375 decimal or 11/8 in old money. That's about 40% more than the odds offered by most other bookies.

Morris Dancer said...

Not so sure, Mr. Putney. Rosberg has had two reliability failures so far, and I'm not sure he would've gotten top 6 in China had he finished.

On tyres: Pirelli have changed their mind. Instead of soft/hard the tyres will be medium/hard.

I hope this isn't a mistake. The last thing a dog of a track like Bahrain needs is tyres that last too long.

Peter said...

Sorry to state the obvious but odds of 11/8 suggest that Rosberg has a 57.9% of not finishing in the top 6 and a 42.1% chance of doing so.

Looking for example at Sporting Index's Season Points for the various drivers, they place Rosberg in joint 5th place with Webber, just ahead of Massa. Points wise, they have him winning 124 more points from 16 Grand Prix, equivalent to 7.75 points per race, which is just shy of the 8 points he would collect by finishing 6th in each race.

These stats suggest that in the absence of any special factors relating to Bahrain, etc he should be priced at around evens. Therefore by my reckoning 11/8 represents decent value and this is reflected in the disparity between Ladbrokes' odds and those offered by other bookies All that said, you may well of course prove to be correct!

Peter said...

Oops, my previous post - 2nd para first line - should read Rosberg & Webber are placed in 6th (not 5th) place by Sporting Index.

The main purpose of my original post was to highlight the significant variation in odds, in this case between Laddies and the other bookies. This often indicates enhanced value and for me betting is ALL about obtaining value (please excuse me while I yawn).

Peter said...

Speaking of value, I was amazed to discover Mark Webber on offer at 26 with Betfair (23.75/1 net in real money) barely 3 weeks after having had the Malaysian GP nicked off him.

OK, he may not be in the best frame of mind to challenge this weekend, but as one of the very best drivers in one of the best if not the best car, there's simply no way his price should be anywhere near this level and I've had a modest wager accordingly.

Morris Dancer said...

Incidentally, those after a technical look of the sport should have a look here:

Those odds are pretty damned long. May have a quick nibble myself.

Peter said...

OK, he has a three place penalty from his indiscretions at the Chinese GP, but quite frankly this has a wrist-slapping feel to it.

If he can qualify in the first 3 or 4, his odds should shorten sufficiently to provide a profitable trading opportunity.

Morris Dancer said...

Discounting China for obvious reasons his qualifying this year has been 2nd to 5th.

Red Bull do seem to lose a bit of pace in the race relative to qualifying, but it was from his 5th place start that he should've won Malaysia.

I've put on a small sum.

Peter said...

In probably my final pre- qualification comment, I return to that rapidly rising star among the younger GP drivers by which I refer of course to my current favourite Aussie Daniel Ricciardo.

For my money he (and his car) are on the fringe of becoming top 10, by which I mean I expect him to finish between 9th and 12th depending on the attrition rate of the higher rated drivers in each particular race.

On this basis I reckon he has an evens chance of finishing in the top 10 at Bahrain (i.e. being a points scorer in betting parlance). I therefore rate as good value the odds of 2.75 decimal (7/4) on offer from Bet365 and Wm. Hill on him achieving just such a finish.

I suspect that by the end of the season McLaren will be wishing they had snapped him up.

Morris Dancer said...

Don't get too carried away. The Toro Rosso seems better than the Williams for certain and at least comparable to the Sauber and Force India but it's not on a par with the big four, and perhaps not the McLaren.

Peter said...

Morris - I certainly wouldn't argue with that, Toro Rosso is behind the Big 5 teams as I would refer to them. Hence my reference to Ricciardo needing some degree of attrition ahead of him to finish top 10. Unless of course Perez is having just another bad day at the office.

Those odds on offer of 7/4 suggest that he has only a 36% chance of finishing in the top 10, hardly a likelihood as such. I'm not therefore getting "carried away" .... I simply rate his chances as being somewhat better than that, i.e. closer to 50% I would suggest, particularly after his very good showing in China last weekend.

Nigel said...

Sorry I missed the Webber bet - nice call.

Meanwhile, Gary Anderson weighs in on the tyre debate, and I have to say I agree with every word:

Morris Dancer said...

As do I.

It looks like they've caved into pressure.

Peter said...

"The Pirelli tyres do not like to brake and turn at the same time. Vettel comes into the corner on the brakes, which generates understeer on entry because of the tyres. Then he comes off the brakes, which generates a lot of front grip and makes the rear end nervous, and gets back on the throttle, using the downforce from the exhaust gases to keep the rear stable.
That technique works particularly well on 90-degree corners, such as the ones which abound at this weekend's race in Bahrain"

Interesting .... particularly the final nose-tapping paragraph from Gary Anderson, which makes one think that Vettel has an outstanding chance of winning this weekend, and consequently I've taken Betfair's stand-out odds of their 2.8/1 net (3.95 decimal pre-comm'n) Some bookies are actually offering less than 2/1).

Morris Dancer said...

I think Vettel has a strong chance of victory. But, it's not a forgone conclusion. Very tight at the top.

Peter said...

Certainly not foregone, but considerably better than a 26.3% chance of winning in my opinion which is what is implied by odds of 2.8/1.