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A very unusual qualifying session.
Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Button
2nd
Kobyashi
3rd
Maldonado*
4th
Raikkonen
5th
Perez
6th
Alonso
6th
Webber*
8th
Hamilton
9th
Grosjean
10th
di Resta
11th
Vettel
12th
Hulkenberg
13th
Schumacher
14th
Massa
15th
Vergne
16th
Ricciardo
17th
Senna
18th
Rosberg
*Maldonado – 3 place penalty.
*Webber – 5 place penalty.

Button takes his first poll position in two years during one of t strangest qualifying results in the last few seasons. Both Saubers achieved their best qualifying position with Kobayashi 2nd and Perez 5th. Raikkonen also had best qualifying of the year by coming in 4th. Maldonado's excellent 3rd was demoted to 6th after blocking a car in the pitlane (see Planet F1), promoting Raikkonen, Perez and Alonso.

There is no obvious reason why so many drivers who are relatively weak at qualifying have taken substantially higher grid positions than the Red Bulls or Hamilton. Since it is unclear why this happened it is also unclear if those who qualified well will be able to retain pace during the race. Caution is heavily advised for betting on Spa this year.

Jenson Button is the favourite to win with odds of 7/5 (2.40) from Paddy Power. The McLaren generally does not suit Spa that well and there is speculation that Button was so much quicker than Hamilton because his car was set up for qualifying so these odds are not brilliant. Raikkonen is second favourite with 7/2 (4.50) from Bet 365. Raikkonen almost always does better in the race than qualifying, the Lotus having arguably the best race pace of any car in the field. Having won here four times, Raikkonen has an excellent chance of taking a fifth victory at Spa from 3rd on the grid. 7/2 (4.50) is good odds though also placing a equally sized bet on Button would ensure a profit whichever wins would be wise.

The big uncertainty are Sauber. They usually do well in high speed tracks in colder weather which puts them at home in Belgium. In the correct conditions the Sauber often show massive race pace and can often finish far ahead of where they qualify, Perez taking podiums from 10th and 15th on the grid. If Spa is one of the courses that maximises their potential pace – and qualifying suggests that it is – then a win cannot be discounted. 113/10 (14.3) from Betfair for Kobayashi and 83/5 (17.60) from Betfair for Perez are both worth at least a small bet. If victory sounds ambitious then podiums at 57/25 (3.28) from Betfair for Kobayashi and 7/2 (4.50) from SkyBet for Perez seem good value given that the Saubers usually finishing higher than they qualify. The Saubers may split their strategy, with Kobayashi covering the leaders whilst Perez tries his own strategy which he has so masterfully pulled of in the past so hopefully at least one Sauber will find the best strategy and take the podium. Top 6 are also good odds at 67/100 (1.67) from Blue Square for Kobayashi and 1/1 (2.00) from Blue Square for Perez.

The best strategy would be betting on all the top four for victory, trying to break even on a Button victory and profit for the other four. As a rough approximate example, betting £30 with £12 on Button, £14 on Raikkonen, £3 on Kobayashi and £2 on Perez would yield £1 profit if Button wins, £14 if Raikkonen wins, £12 if Kobayashi wins and £10 if Perez wins. The major challenge to this plan is Alonso in 5th. Maldonado should hold up many of the pack who lacked pace in qualifying and additionally di Resta might hold up Vettel in 11th and a demoted Webber in 12th (see ESPN.). Alonso's relentless nature is renowned but his win's at Malyasia and Valencia were dependent upon a car higher up the field having a slow pit stop or retiring . Since Alonso free admits his car is weaker than the Lotus and the McLaren it is difficult to imagine him taking victory without luck coming his way (see ESPN). Overall though, with so many uncertainties after such a bizarre qualifying it is very difficult to guess what race pace each car will approximately have so live betting or simply avoiding betting on Spa this year might ultimately prove wisest.

Odds above accurate at Saturday 2nd, 01.02 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Image © samarvid

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 poll 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 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 often has odds that are worth an outside bet but only on course he usually does well on. Alonso is always worth a bet if it rains during qualifying so follow the weather or use live betting. Mercedes are high odds, high pay off bets but there a substantial chance they will see no more poll positions this season. 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). With three 3rd positions and a poll from qualifying, this is a good bet for Schumacher. 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 cars who have to fight to make it into Q3 such as William, Sauber and Force India. Maldonado and Hulkenberg have been most successful, both reaching Q3 five times this season.

Placed Gained (+) or Lost (-) from Grid Position in 2012 Races

Australia
Malaysia
China
Bahrain
Spainish
Monoco
Canada
Valencia
British
Germany
Hamilton
-2
-2
-1
-6
+1
-1
+1
DNF
None
DNF
Button
+1
-12
+4
-14
+2
-3
-6
+1
+8
+5
Vettel
+4
-5
+6
None
+2
+6
-3
DNF
+1
None
Webber
-1
None
+3
-1
+1
+1
-3
+15
+1
-5
Alonso
+7
+8
None
+2
+1
+3
-2
+10
-1
None
Massa
DNF
-3
-1
+5
-2
+1
-4
-3
+1
+2
Raikkonen
+11
None
-9
+9
+2
-1
+4
+3
+1
+6
Grosjean
DNF
DNF
+4
+4
None
DNF
+5
DNF
+4
-3
Schumacher
DNF
-7
DNF
+8
DNF
DNF
DNF
+9
-4
-3
Rosberg
-5
-6
None
None
None
+1
-1
None
-2
+7
Perez
+9
+8
-3
-3
DNF
+13
+12
+6
DNF
+7
Kobayashi
+7
DNF
-6
-1
+5
DNF
+2
DNF
+1
+8
Di Resta
+5
+7
+3
+4
-1
+8
-3
+3
DNF
-2
Hulkenberg
DNF
+5
+1
+1
+4
+3
+1
+3
-3
-7
Senna
-2
+7
+7
-7
DNF
+4
-1
+4
+6
-11
Maldonado
-5
-8
+6
DNF
None
DNF
+4
+1
-9
+1
Hungary
Belgium
Italy
Singapore
Japan
Korea
India
Abu Dhabi
USA
Brazil
Hamilton
None
DNF
None
DNF
+4
-7
-1
DNF
+1
DNF
Button
-2
None
DNF
+2
-1
DNF
-1
+1
+7
+1
Vettel
-1
+10
DNF
+2
None
+1
None
+21
-1
-2
Webber
+3
+6
DNF
-4
DNF
-1
-1
DNF
DNF
-1
Alonso
+1
DNF
None
+2
DNF
+1
+3
+3
+6
+6
Massa
-2
+9
-1
+5
+9
+2
None
None
+3
+2
Raikkonen
+3
None
+3
+6
+2
None
None
+3
Grosjean
-1
DNF
DSQ
+1
DNF
None
+2
DNF
-3
DNF
Schumacher
DNF
+6
-1
DNF
+2
-3
DNF
+1
-10
+7
Rosberg
+3
+7
None
+5
DNF
DNF
-1
DNF
+4
-5
Perez
None
DNF
+11
-6
DNF
+1
DNF
-5
+4
DNF
Kobayashi
-3
DNF
None
+5
+1
DNF
+3
+8
+2
+6
Di Resta
None
None
-4
+2
None
-2
+4
+2
-2
-8
Hulkenberg
+1
+8
DNF
+3
+3
+2
+4
DNF
None
+2
Senna
+1
-5
+4
DNF
+4
+3
+3
+5
+1
DNF
Maldonado
-4
DNF
+1
DNF
+6
+1
-5
-2
+1
DNF

 

Qualifying position for race wins since 2010

Vettel
Qualifying position
Number of times
1st
16
2nd
3
3rd
2

Webber
Qualifying position
Number of times
1st
3
2nd
4

Hamilton
Qualifying position
Number of times
1st
3
2nd
6
3rd
1

Button
Qualifying position
Number of times
1st
1
2nd
3
3rd
1
4th
1
5th
2

Alonso
Qualifying position
Number of times
1st
3
2nd
1
3rd
3
9th
1
11th
1

Only three other drivers have won in the last three seasons. Rosberg and Maldonado, took their victory from pole whilst Raikkonen won from 4th.

 

Number and percentage of times qualifying position yields win since 2010

Qualifying position
Number of victories
Percent of victories
1st
26
44%
2nd
17
29%
3rd
7
12%
4th
3
5%
5th
3
5%

Alonso's wins from 9th and 11th form 1% each of the total wins.

 

Race Results 2012

Australia
Malaysia
China
Bahrain
Spainish
Monoco
Canada
Valencia
British
Germany
Hamilton
3rd
3rd
3rd
8th
8th
5th
1st
Ret
8th
Ret
Button
1st
14th
2nd
18th
9th
16th
16th
8th
10th
2nd
Vettel
2nd
11th
5th
1st
6th
4th
4th
DNF
3rd
2nd
Webber
4th
4th
4th
4th
11th
1st
7th
4th
1st
8th
Alonso
5th
1st
9th
7th
2nd
3rd
5th
1st
2nd
1st
Massa
DNF
15th
13th
9th
15th
6th
10th
16th
4th
12th
Raikkonen
7th
5th
14th
2nd
3rd
9th
8th
2nd
5th
4th
Grosjean
DNF
DNF
6th
3rd
4th
DNF
2nd
DNF
6th
18th
Schumacher
DNF
10th
DNF
10th
DNF
DNF
DNF
3rd
7th
7th
Rosberg
12th
13th
1st
5th
7th
2nd
6th
6th
15th
10th
Perez
8th
2nd
11th
11th
DNF
11th
3rd
9th
DNF
5th
Kobayashi
6th
DNF
10th
13th
5th
DNF
9th
DNF
11th
5th
Di Resta
10th
7th
12th
6th
14th
7th
11th
7th
DNF
11th
Hulkenberg
DNF
9th
15th
12th
10th
8th
12th
5th
12th
12th
Senna
16th
6th
7th
22nd
DNF
10th
17th
10th
9th
17th
Maldonado
13th
19th
8th
DNF
1st
DNF
13th
12th
16th
15th
Hungary
Belgium
Italy
Singapore
Japan
Korea
India
Abu Dhabi
USA
Brazil
Hamilton
1st
DNF
1st
DNF
5th
10th
4th
DNF
1st
Ret
Button
6th
1st
DNF
2nd
4th
DNF
5th
4th
5th
1st
Vettel
4th
2nd
DNF
1st
1st
1st
1st
3rd
2nd
6th
Webber
8th
6th
DNF
11th
DNF
2nd
3rd
DNF
Ret
4th
Alonso
5th
DNF
3rd
3rd
DNF
3rd
2nd
2nd
3rd
2nd
Massa
9th
5th
4th
8th
2nd
4th
6th
7th
4th
3rd
Raikkonen
2nd
3rd
5th
6th
6th
5th
7th
1st
6th
10th
Grosjean
3rd
DNF
DSQ
7th
DNF
7th
9th
DNF
7th
Ret
Schumacher
DNF
7th
6th
DNF
11th
13th
DNF
11th
16th
7th
Rosberg
10th
11th
7th
5th
DNF
DNF
11th
DNF
13th
15th
Perez
14th
DNF
2nd
10th
DNF
11th
DNF
15th
11th
Ret
Kobayashi
18th
DNF
9th
13th
3rd
DNF
14th
6th
14th
9th
Di Resta
12th
10th
8th
4th
12th
12th
12th
9th
15th
19th
Hulkenberg
11th
4th
DNF
14th
7th
6th
8th
DNF
8th
5th
Senna
7th
12th
10th
DNF
14th
15th
10th
8th
10th
Ret
Maldonado
13th
DNF
11th
DNF
8th
14th
16th
5th
9th
Ret

 

Qualifying Results 2012

Australia
Malaysia
China
Bahrain
Spainish
Monoco
Canada
Valencia
British
Germany
Hamilton
DNF
1st
2nd
2nd
1st
4th
2nd
2nd
8th
8th
Button
2nd
2nd
6th
4th
11th
13th
10th
9th
18th
7th
Vettel
6th
6th
11th
1st
8th
10th
1st
1st
4th
2nd
Webber
5th
4th
7th
3rd
12th
2nd
4th
19th
2st
3rd
Alonso
12th
9th
9th
9th
3rd
6th
3rd
11th
1st
1st
Massa
16th
12th
12th
14th
17th
7th
6th
13th
5th
14th
Raikkonen
18th
5th
5th
11th
5th
8th
12th
5th
6th
10th
Grosjean
3rd
7th
10th
7th
4th
5th
7th
4th
10th
15th
Schumacher
4th
3rd
3rd
18th
9th
1st
9th
12th
3rd
4th
Rosberg
7th
7th
1st
5th
7th
3rd
5th
6th
13th
17th
Perez
17th
10th
8th
8th
6th
24th
15th
15th
17th
12th
Kobayashi
13th
17th
4th
12th
10th
12th
11th
7th
12th
13th
Di Resta
15th
14th
15th
10th
13th
15th
8th
10th
11th
9th
Hulkenberg
9th
16th
16th
13th
14th
11th
13th
8th
9th
5th
Senna
14th
13th
13th
15nd
18th
14th
16th
14th
15th
6th
Maldonado
8th
11th
14th
17th
2nd
9th
17th
13th
7th
16h
Hungary
Belgium
Italy
Singapore
Japan
Korea
India
Abu Dhabi
USA
Brazil
Hamilton
1st
8th
1st
1st
9th
3rd
3rd
1st
2nd
1st
Button
4th
1st
2nd
4th
3rd
11th
4th
5th
12th
2nd
Vettel
3rd
11th
6th
3rd
1st
2nd
1st
24th
1st
4th
Webber
11th
7th
11th
7th
2nd
1st
2nd
2nd
3rd
3rd
Alonso
6th
6th
10th
5th
7th
4th
5th
5th
9th
8th
Massa
7th
14th
3rd
13th
11th
6th
6th
7th
7th
5th
Raikkonen
5th
4th
8th
12th
8th
5th
7th
4th
5th
9th
Grosjean
2nd
9th
DSQ
8th
5th
7th
11th
8th
4th
18th
Schumacher
17th
13th
5th
9th
13th
10th
14th
12th
6th
14th
Rosberg
13th
18th
7th
10th
15th
9th
10th
6th
17th
10th
Perez
14th
5th
13th
14th
6th
12th
8th
10th
15th
13th
Kobayashi
15th
2nd
9th
18th
4th
13th
17th
14th
16th
15th
Di Resta
12th
10th
4th
6th
12th
14th
16th
11th
13th
11th
Hulkenberg
10th
12th
DNQ
11th
10th
8th
12th
9th
8th
7th
Senna
8th
17th
14th
17th
18th
18th
13th
13th
11th
12th
Maldonado
9th
3rd
12th
2nd
14th
15th
9th
3rd
10th
6th