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German Grand Prix

Thursday, 11 October 2012, by

Japan Pre-Race Analysis

First Red Bull front row in 2012
Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Vettel
2nd
Webber
3rd
Kobayashi
4th
Grosjean
5th
Perez
6th
Alonso
6th
Raikkonen
8th
Button
9th
Hamilton
10th
Massa
11th
di Resta
12th
Maldonado
13th
Rosberg
14th
Ricciardo
15th
Hulkenberg
16th
Senna
17th
Kovalainen
18th
Glock

The Red Bulls look like the only serious contenders for victory at Suzuka this year. Vettel was almost a second quicker than the 3rd place man and Webber was not far behind at 0.7 of a second faster than Button. The Red Bull’s also showed strong race pace during the practise sessions and the nearest driver in a McLaren or a Ferrari is a further four places behind Webber. It is very difficult to see how Alonso, Button or Hamilton could challenge for victory. The biggest danger the Red Bulls face is the temperamental nature of both Sauber and Lotus. They show much more variation than most teams, with some tracks that the car seems perfect on and other it simply struggles on. If either team finds that Japan is one of their preferred circuits then either could pull off a surprise victory. However, with passing so difficult at Suzuka should also the Red Bulls to fend off Lotus and Sauber if either has superior pace although they are certainly worth watching for live betting.

Vettel is the firm favourite of the Red Bulls at 53/100 (1.53) from Blue Square whilst Webber has odds of 13/2 (7.50) from Betfair. Whilst Vettel is rightly the favourite, Webber should not be completely ruled out. Vettel seems prone to mechanical failure so Webber is a good back up bet. Also, high tire degradation could leave opportunities open for Webber if Vettel misjudges when to come in and of course Webber could challenge on his own merits. Spreading bets on race winner across both Vettel and Webber is wise. If betting £10, place £8 on Vettel to win £12.24 and £2 on Webber to win £15 whilst losing £10 if anyone else wins.

Both Vettel and Webber are likely to take the podium but with so many other strong cars behind them deciding who takes 3rd place is difficult and so betting on podium finishes is probably bet avoided. Top six finishes are a more interesting bet. Three of the cars in the top six all have usually high odds, with Kobayashi at59/50 (2.18) from Betfair, Grosjean at 63/100 (1.63) from Bet 365 and Perez at 4/5 (1.80) from SkyBet. These odds are usually low since Alonso, Raikkonen, Button and Hamilton are directly behind them. However, of those four drivers only Button is out of place after the grid penalty, the others genuinely seemed to lack race pace. Starting in 3rd Kobayashi seems an excellent bet, Perez not a bad one but the crash prone Grosjean needs higher odds to be worthwhile.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 07th, 01.15 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © Ryosuke Yagi

Thursday, 11 October 2012, by

Japanese Pre-Weekend Analysis

The 15th Race of 2012, Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Previous Winners
2011
Button
2010
Vettel
2009
Vettel
2008
Alonso
2007
Hamilton
2006
Alonso
2005
Raikkonen
2004
Schumacher
2003
Barrichello
2002
Schumacher
Hamilton is still the favorite for Japan despite Vettel's win in Singapore. With four pole positions in four races for McLaren, they would have almost certainly had four wins also were it not for Hamilton's gearbox. He kept an steady gap to Vettel throughout the race and the safety car would have prevented Vettel's extremely slim chance of jumping Hamilton in the second round of pitstops. Victory is by no means guaranteed for Hamilton but he currently looks almost as strong as Vettel did in 2011.

Suzuka has seen many victories from pole, however, unlike many circuits victories has often come from much further down the field. On this basis betting on someone who qualifies outside the top three could yield a substantial profit. It does not seem likely that anyone could start lower down the field and also beat Hamilton but podiums will certainly be possible for low qualifiers. Raikkonen especially should be watched closely given his poor qualifying but excellent race pace.

Button could be an interesting wild card. Considerably weaker at qualifying than Hamilton he usually will have difficulty beating his team mate. However, with Japan having so much opportunity for weaker qualifiers this could be one of his better opportunity to take victory. There is, however, a concern that he will move over and give Hamiliton victory if Button is first and Hamilton second.

Odds above accurate at Friday 6th of October, 01.02 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Grid position of race winner since 2008
Grid Position
Number of times
1st
6
2nd
1
5th
1
17th
1
Image © nhayashida

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