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Qualifying is is difficult to predict compared with the race since all cars start equal unlike the race where you know who is close to the front. Paying attention to the statistics is more important for qualifying than any other bet but usefully the statistics are far clearer for qualifying than other bets.

Four important facts stand out. Red Bull took 87% of pole positions across 2010 and 2011, the majority of which went to Vettel. Hamilton has more polls so far in 2012 than 2010 and 2011 combined. Alonso has only two poll positions in the last two years and both came in the rain. Only three other drivers have taken poll in the last two years, Rosberg, Heidfeld and Schumacher (note that promotion due to penalties are not usually counted by the bookies so Maldonado never took poll in Spain but Schumacher would have been counted as taking pole in Monoco).

Focus on Hamilton and Vettel, comparing their odds, how they perform in the practice sessions, if the car suits the circuit and how they usually perform on the circuit All of this is discussed in pre-qualifying blog post. Webber is also worth a bet now that the Red Bull is showing so much pace and especially on tracks that he does well on. Alonso is always worth a bet if it rains during qualifying so follow the weather or use live betting. Beyond this, never bet on any other car for poll.

Some bookies offer betting on top 3 qualifiers and top 10 qualifiers (who reaches Q3 or Qualifying 3). Webber has been top 3 four times and twice just missed out with a 4th place so this is probably a better bet than poll. For top 10 qualifiers focus on Force India and Maldonado.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Mark Webber - Update after Korea

Update for Korea
Webber
                        2012    
Since 2010
Won
2
7
Pole
2
10
Podium
3
23
Top 6
9
40
Top 10
13
48
Last update: Korea

Webber is usually one of the best value for money drivers. He is generally considered substantially weaker than Vettel but even were this true the fact is that Webber is driving a Red Bull. Reguardless of how many more victories Vettel may have, Webber has a car that can easily reach top 6 if not the podium whilst he is only behind Alonso and Raikkonen for consistency.

Webber has never won from lower than 2nd on the grid so only bet on victory when on he is starting on the front row. Also, Webber has never won a race providing Vettel starts either 1st or 2nd. However, Webber is almost always an excellent bet for victory whenever he qualifies well but Vettel does not make the front row. Vettel has never won from below 3rd and only take victory from 3rd twice yet often Vettel can have lower odds for victory when he qualifies a few places lower than Webber, making Webber excellent value for money in this situation.

With a combination of high consistency and a strong car Webber is an excellent for long term low profit bets. He rarely fails to finish top 6 and has finished top 10 in nearly every race since 2010. Lotus have made top 6 finishes slightly more difficult this year but with the Red Bull currently looking so strong this is a good long term bet. A more risky bet is a podium. Having finished 4th so many times this year Webber has missed out on quite a few podiums this year. A podium is certainly a worth while bet when running well in free practice but focusing on top 6 finishes is usually wiser unless the Red Bull specifically suits the course.

Image © Rich Jones

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Korea Pre-Race Analysis

Red Bulls battle for pole
Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Webber
2nd
Vettel
3rd
Hamilton
4th
Alonso
5th
Raikkonen
6th
Massa
7th
Grosjean
8th
Hulkenberg
9th
Rosberg
10th
Schumacher
11th
Button
12th
Perez
13th
Kobayashi
14th
di Resta
15th
Maldonado
16th
Ricciardo
17th
Vergne
18th
Senna
The second race in a row sees an all Red Bull front row although most usually it is Webber who sits in P1. Despite this, Vettel is considered the favourite, with odds of 21/20 (2.05) from Betfair compared with 7/1 (4.50) for Webber to win from Bet 365. Vettel possibly is more likely to win, he has been slightly ahead of Webber most the rest of the weekend, Webber is renowned for his weak starts and it is conceivable that Webber might even hand Vettel the victory on the final lap to support the team. However, even given these factors Webber is still good value for money. He has only been marginally slower, and there’s no guarantee he will have a bad start or hand victory over. If both Red Bulls are very competitive then victory might be decided by some minor factor like which Red Bull driver stays out longer during pit stops or comes out behind traffic. Betting on both drivers is advised. If betting £10, place £7 on Vettel to win £14.35 and £3 on Webber to win £13.50. Alternative, place £5 on Vettel to break even and £5 on Webber to win £22.50.

No other driver looks like to challenge Red Bulls. They have been slightly behind all weekend. Both Hamilton and Alonso have odds of 5/1 (6.00) for victory from SkyBet which is only slightly behind the substantially faster Webber. Both of them are likely to challenge for the podium position behind the Red Bulls with, both having odds of 1/1 (2.00) from Betfair. Alonso is the better bet given the reliability of the Ferrari and that he was ahead of Hamilton in free practice.

Odds above accurate at Saturday 13th, 23.44 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © nic_r

Friday, 12 October 2012

Korea Pre-Qualifying Analysis

Both the strongest qualifiers top free practice
Free Practice Results
FP1
FP2
Hamilton
Vettel
Alonso
Webber
Webber
Alonso
Massa
Button
Vettel
Schumacher
Schumacher
Massa
Rosberg
Rosberg
Grosjean
Hamilton
di Resta
Hulkenberg
Button
Raikkonen
Raikkonen
Grosjean
Maldonado
Senna
Bianchi
di Resta
Kobayashi
Kobayashi
Perez
Perez
Ricciardo
Vergne
Vergne
Ricciardo
Bottas
Maldonado
Although Hamilton toped FP1, the chances are that Vettel will dominate Korea in 2012. He won in 2011 and was leading the race in 2010 before retirement from mechanical failure. Although he was only 5th in FP1, during the high speed runs both Red Bulls held a good lead over their competitors, with Hamilton only managing 8th. This gives Vettel the substantially lowest odds but this also means Hamilton and Webber have much higher odds. Vettel’s odds of 7/10 (1.70) for pole from Blue Square are not bad but Webber was within a 10th of a second and has odds of 61/10 (7.10) from Betfair for pole. Placing a main bet on Vettel and a back up bet on Webber is advised. If betting £10, place £7 on Vettel to see a return of £12.6 and £2 on Webber to see a return of £14.2. The interesting question is if Hamilton can challenge them but based on the high speed runs in FP2 it looks doubtful. Meanwhile, pole position from anyone else is difficult to imagine.

For some early bets on the race itself it is worth noting that both the Mercedes qualified above both Lotus driver in FP1 and FP2. Mercedes have had some good result in Korea despite a retirement each race, with Schumacher coming 4th in 2010 and Rosberg running 5th before accidentally running wide and coming 8th. Although taking podiums would be highly ambitious, both drivers have very good odds for a top six finish. Rosberg had (4.33) from Paddy Power and Schumacher had (4.50) from Bet 365 , both of which are good value for money.

Odds above accurate at Friday 12th, 20.38 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © Ryosuke Yagi

As the season draws to a close Red Bull find themselves in the paradoxical situation of looking likely to win the driver’s championship after such a long wait this season whilst they are finally facing a strong challenge in the constructors. Their main rivals throughout the season are McLaren but Button had a dreadful run between Bahrain and Silverstone whilst Hamilton was rarely fully on the pace during that period, leaving Red Bull the clear favourites. However, since Germany McLaren have arguably been the fastest car with both Button and Hamilton scoring race wins. Also, Webber has had a run of terrible luck plus a couple of poor performances since since Silverstone.

Going into Korea McLaren are 43 points behind Red Bull. They would have to score an average of 9 points more than Red Bull between both drivers each race to take the constructors championship. If the McLaren is quicker than the Red Bull currently then this is not impossible. Except for Hamilton’s mechanical failure in Singapore, McLaren would have won four of the last five races and if they could do the same in the remaining five races they would take the constructor’s championship. Although Vettel had a very strong result at Japan this might not be reflective of the future races since Hamilton was hampered by a poor mechanical setup the entire weekend. However, it is worth noting that Vettel was extremely dominant in the remaining circuits in 2010 and 2011. Although Red Bull are rightly the firm favourites, odds of 1/4 (1.25) from Blue Square pay off far too low to be worth a bet. McLaren’s odds of 7/2 (4.50) from Bet 365 are considerably better value although placing a large bet down is not advised given that Red Bull are still the most likely to win.

Odds above accurate at October 11th, 15:28 GMT. Click to see live odds.

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