That was a frustrating race. As a spectator, the first half was pretty good but the latter half less so as substantial gaps opened up at the sharp end (although there was still some action further down the field). As a gambler, I’m also frustrated. Raikkonen had a slightly bad start and that may’ve compromised his victory hopes, but even if he’d started better and still finished second I think he would’ve gotten much closer and the hedge may’ve been matched. On race pace the Ferrari and Lotus were fairly closely matched. Hard to be certain if it was just bad luck or also a misjudgement.
Another red weekend, I’m afraid. Although things appear less topsy-turvy than last year I’ve not been doing all that well. Still, at least I got one qualifying bet right (hedged, anyway) and the result was nice for my title bets (more on that near the end).
The start was almost as bad as it could’ve been for me. Both Vettel and Alonso passed Hamilton, who had an unusually poor start, whereas Raikkonen dropped a place and got trapped behind the slower car for some time. Rosberg, at least, held up Vettel and Alonso initially before beginning an inexorable march backwards.
Button had a bad start, going backwards, and so did Webber (unsurprisingly). Perez leapt forward a few places but it may be Massa who had the best of starts. From 9th (demoted there due to impeding someone in qualifying) he leapt up to about sixth which he briefly duelled over with Perez before securing.
The Mercedes is a strange beast. Untouchable in qualifying, it was appalling in the race. Hamilton despondently muttering on the radio “Now I’ve been passed by a Williams” rather summed it up.
The Ferrari, by contrast, looked extremely nice. Both Alonso and Massa started well and then capitalised upon that, aided by a very fast, reliable car. Lotus is slightly harder to assess because Raikkonen was held up by Hamilton somewhat early on and he ran a different strategy (3 stops rather than 4) compared to the prancing horse. Grosjean’s suspension failed, forcing him to retire and meaning we can’t look at his pace/position for comparison.
The Red Bull was clearly the third best car today. On the same strategy as Raikkonen and with an early advantage due to a better start Vettel ended up some way down the road in 4th.
Mercedes needs to sort their car out. Three poles in a row, the best car in qualifying and just the one podium, with zero wins. It’s not good enough. Rosberg slid from pole to 6th and Hamilton went all the way from 2nd to 12th. Even allowing for a dodgy start that’s atrocious.
Force India had an ok day, with Di Resta finishing 7th, although Sutil was only 13th. McLaren should be fairly happy with 8th and 9th and no on-track fireworks between their drivers and Ricciardo did well to nab the final point.
I feel a bit sorry for Gutierrez, who qualified about 16th and then got a 3 place grid penalty and just missed out on the points in 11th. However, that will encourage him and it’s good to see him showing some pace.
Raikkonen was 9.3s off Alonso at the end. I do feel that he could’ve contested the win but for the poor start, but that sort of thing happens and it’s all part of the game, so there’s no point complaining.
On the plus side, I think it’s bloody mental that he’s still 7.2 for the title. The title now appears to be a 3 horse race. Vettel and Alonso are 2.5 (ish) each. Although already green on Raikkonen I’m going to put a few more quid on him because those odds are stupid. He’s had a win and something like four podiums. Here are the driver standings:
Red Bull 131
I’ve also (previously) backed Ferrari at about 3.9 for the Constructors’. If the price drops a little I’ll see about hedging that.
It’s slightly ironic that the bet I almost didn’t make was the only one that remotely paid off. Right now hedging is still green but (overall) a bet-and-forget approach would put you into the red. Not too pleased with how things are going, but hopefully Monaco can be a little better.
Apparently the third sector of Spain is a great guide for Monaco pace, so that may be useful for qualifying betting. The next race is in a fortnight.