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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Sunday, 4 November 2012, by

Abu Dhabi Pre Race Analysis

Championship open after Vettel sent to back of grid
Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Hamilton
2nd
Webber
3rd
Maldonado
4th
Raikkonen
5th
Button
6th
Alonso
7th
Rosberg
8th
Massa
9th
Grosjean
10th
Hulkenberg
11th
Perez
12th
di Resta
13th
Schumacher
14th
Senna
15th
Kobayashi
16th
Ricciardo
17th
Vergne
18th
Kovalainen
Hamilton and Vettel looked equal throughout the weekend and although they would have had Webber between them it looked as though race day would see them closely duel. However, Vettel has been demoted to the back of grid for being unable to provide a one litre fuel sample. This shakes up both the race and the championship.

Hamilton is the clear favourite to win with odds of 14/25 (1.57) from Blue Square. Certainly Hamilton looks very strong but far from invincible. During free practise two Vettel was quicker and crucially free practice occurs in the same conditions as the race, unlike the other free practice sessions. Webber came 4th in FP2 but appeared to have a cooling issue so should be quicker during the race. With odds of 22/5 (5.40) from Betfair Webber is reasonable odds, having a very competitive car and with the McLaren being quite prone to mechanical failure. For an outside bet, Raikkonen has odds of 31/1 (32.00) from Betfair. 4th is the joint highest he has qualified this year and generally the Lotus is faster during the race than in qualifying. Also, the Lotus usually performs well in warm weather. A comparison could be made with Hungary, also a very warm track that is also resembles a street circuit; Hamilton looked dominant the entire weekend yet both Lotus drivers came very close to winning. A small bet on Raikkonen for victory is unlikely to pay out but would yield a nice profit if it did.

Raikkonen also looks good for a podium with odds of 2/1 (3.00) from Blue Square. Alonso has odds of 1/1 for a podium from Paddy Power but with Yas Marina being such a difficult course to pass on this is only likely if he gets a good start so probably best watch him for live betting.

Finally, after this race Alonso and Vettel will probably be on about the same number of points. Although Vettel is probably more likely to score higher in the final two races, Alonso’s odds of 9/4 (3.25) from Paddy Power are good value for money given Alonso’s near perfect reliability and ability to score well every race.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 04th, 10.55 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © JiteshJagadish

Saturday, 3 November 2012, by

Abu Dhabi Pre-Qualifying Analysis

Vettel faces a challenge.
FP3 Results
Starting Position
1st
Hamilton
2nd
Button
3rd
Vettel
4th
Webber
5th
Hulkenberg
6th
Grosjean
7th
Maldonado
8th
Alonso
9th
Raikkonen
10th
di Resta
11th
Massa
12th
Perez
13th
Rosberg
14th
Schumacher
15th
Kobayashi
16th
Vergne
17th
Senna
18th
Ricciardo
In an interesting turn around after the last few races Hamilton has similar odds for pole as Vettel has. Both drivers have around 1/1 (2.00) for victory. This is mainly due to an unusual free practise three. During the second free practice Vettel was fastest with a 0.2 second lead over Hamilton in 2nd. However, in third practise Vettel suffered from some mechanical difficulties and only started doing quick laps with about five minutes remaining on the clock. For almost the entire session Hamilton was over a second quicker than everyone but his team mate and by the end Vettel was half a second off.

FP3 is usually a good indication of qualifying pace so this would suggest Hamilton is best for pole. However, it is unclear how what time Vettel might have put in had he had no mechanical issues. Webber has usually been within a tenth of a second of Vettel so is a good indication of Vettel’s likely performance. Given that Webber was still half a second behind Hamilton this suggests Vettel lacks pace. However, the free practise sessions should be assessed differently at Abu Dhabi. Since qualifying and the race start just before dusk and goes into the night, the closest conditions to qualifying are FP2 and not FP3. On this basis missing out on most of FP3 was not a huge disadvantage for Vettel. Since was quicker than Hamilton in FP2 it looks like Vettel is the better bet. With so much uncertainty though it is probably wiser to avoid betting on qualifying and wait until the results are before betting on the race.

Odds above accurate at Saturday 3rd, 11.54 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © JiteshJagadish