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Sunday, 7 July 2013

German Pre-Race Analysis

New tires likely to be just as important as before

The most obvious contenders for victory are Hamilton and Vettel, repeating their battle at Silverstone. The past few races have shown that Mercedes has solved their tire issues. The race pace of the Red Bull and Mercedes currently looks about equal. Since Hamilton is a position ahead and has better odds at 5/2 (3.50) from Paddy Power compared with 5/4 (2.25) for Vettel to win from SkyBet, Hamilton looks better value.

The warm conditions should substantially help Raikkonen and Alonso. Raikkonen might try and stop one less time like he did in his victory in Australia. Even if he can't stop one less time, the warm temperature will make Raikkonen extremely competitive. With much higher odds than the front runners at 9/1 (10.00) from Paddy Power, his odds are excellent value. Meanwhile, Alonso starts tomorrow on the harder of the two tires. The medium tire should allow Alonso to run a much longer first stint which will be a substantial tactical advantage, whereas other front running cars are likely to stop early and come out in traffic. His odds of 10/1 (11.00) from SkyBet are reasonable.

The biggest uncertainty are the new tires. On this basis, the German GP will be more of a gamble than usual. With so much uncertainty, focusing on the higher odds of Raikkonen and Alonso is probably best. Starting in 4th in a car suiting the high temperature, Raikkonen is the recommended bet.

Given how much potential Lotus has, Raikkonen for a podium has good odds at 7/5 (2.40) from Paddy Power whilst Grosjeans odds of 10/1 (11.00) for a podium from SkyBet are excellent.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 7th, 02.01 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Silverstone Pre-Race Analysis

Hamilton looks strong if his tires hold up

Once again both Mercedes have taken the front row. Usually, this is followed by dropping back heavily during the race. However, lately their tire degradation seems less an issue than normal. Whilst their win in Monaco may have been due to the unique nature of that track, both Mercedes finished only one place lower than they started in Canada. Hamilton's odds of 7/2 (4.50) from SkyBet look good value for money, gambling on the tire degredation of the Mercedes not being so severe. Meanwhile, the Red Bull usually wins at Silverstone and Vettel has looked strong in almost every race this year. His odds of 5/4 (2.25) from Paddy Power are reasonable so betting on both Hamilton and Vettel is recommended. If betting £10, place £5 on Vettel to win £1.25 and £5 on Hamiton to win £12.5 and lose £10 if anyone else wins. Rosberg has looked weaker than Hamilton all throughout qualifying and his 2nd position was considerably slower than Hamilton's, so Hamilton looks the far stronger bet. A possible wildcard is Webber, with odds of 17/2 (9.50) from Bet 365. Webber usually excels at Silverstone but this year he seems much weaker than Vettel. With every Webber victory in his F1 career coming from a front row start, it seems unlikely he could take a 3rd victory at Silverstone.

With Ricciardo and Sutil in 5th and 6th after Di Resta's demotion, Raikkonen and Alonso have almost no chance of victory. Whilst they usually have good race pace, the hope of winning due to superior tire wear requires a much higher temperature than found in a British summer. This makes focusing on Hamilton and Vettel much safer than it usually would be.

Rosberg has odds of 233/100 (3.33) from Bet 365 for a podium finish. Whilst still dependent on having reasonable tire wear, since Webber is prone to weak starts and since there are much slower cars behind them this is a much safer bet than going for victory. Ricciardo has reasonable odds for a top 10 finish at 2/1 (1.50) from SkyBet. He is certainly likely to be passed by Alonso, Raikkonen and probably Grosjean but another three cars would also have pass him to take him out of the top 10.

Finally, SkyBet are offering odds on who will replace Webber next year SkyBet are offering odds on who will replace Webber next year. Whilst Raikkonen certainly is most likely to take the seat, placing a pound or two on Sutil might be worthwhile for a nice outsider odds of 32/1 (33.00).

Odds above accurate at Sunday 30th, 03.55 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Canada Pre-Race Analysis

Uncertain weather makes this one for live betting

Rain is predicted for Montreal this afternoon reports the BBC, though it is unclear if it will rain directly onto the track. Currently, Vettel looks by far strongest in wet weather conditions. He qualified over half a second quicker in Australia, over a second quicker in Malaysia, quickest in Q2 of Monaco, all of which were in wet conditions. There has yet to be rain in a race so far this year so it is uncertain how to translate Vettel's speed in those sessions for the race today. However, he certainly looks strongest. Also, the problems with tire degradation are usually enhanced with warm weather, so the Ferrari and the Lotus may not have their race pace advantage compared to the Red Bull. Vettel's odds of 91/100 (1.91) from SkyBet are reasonable if it rains though there are so many uncertainties that keeping bets low is recommended.

Hamilton thinks the Mercedes should not have its typical tire degradation problem reports ESPN. Whilst their tire degradation was far better in Monoco than Bahrain and Spain, at Monaco Rosberg was clearly driving very conservatively, suggesting their tire problems are not fully solved.

Alonso was quickest in FP2 during dry conditions and this is a circuit which the BBC''s Gary Anderson thinks suits the Ferrari well with its high speed corners and long straights. Odds of 7/2 (4.50) from Paddy Power are reasonable if it does not rain, though to win from 6th will be quite a result to once again keeping bets low are recommended.

Raikkonen's only hope would be to stop one time less than the others. However, he did this last year and only finished 8th, so he is unlikely to have any chance of victory.

The Force India looks strong this week, Di Resta quickest in FP1 and Sutil second quickest in FP3. Di Resta starts 17th but should move forward. His odds of 5/4 (2.25) from Bet 365 for a points finish are good.

If it rains then bet on Vettel, if it is dry then bet on Alonso. However, since the weather may change as the race progresses, this looks like one for live betting.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Monaco Pre-Race Analysis

Monoco Pre-Race Analysis

Mercedes tire degradation the key factor again

Rosberg takes his third pole position in a row but there is much uncertainty if he can convert it into a win. A front row start is usually required for victory at Monaco but tires in 2013 could render the Mercedes incapable of victory. Rosberg only managed 9th and 6th from his last two pole positions. Monaco will be much more gentle on tire degradation so Rosberg has a much better chance than the previous two races. However, there is very little evidence to suggest either way if the Mercedes can remain competitive throughout the entire race. The strongest evidence is that in free practice Rosberg's long run pace looked better than the previous races, manage a 27 lap run on one set of tires, so victory is not impossible. However, since race victory for Monaco this year depends largely on the unknown variable of Mercedes tire degradation, Rosberg's odds of 2.3 from Paddy Power are not very good value. Hamiltion's odds of 4.3 from SkyBet are not much better, sharing uncertainty over tire degradation and being behind Rosberg.

The Red Bulls look like better value. Whilst the race will likely be decided by how well the Mercedes handles its tires, if Rosberg and Hamilton cannot sustain a good pace then Vettel will be the main beneficiary. Vettel's odds of 4.5 from SkyBet is good value for money. Webber also could be significant. Having won here twice, this is a track he is very competitive at. Whilst Vettel certainly has the upper hand, a small back up bet on his odds of 15.00 from SkyBet might be wise, especially for an accident prone track like Monaco.

Ricciardo usually finishes near the top 10 so is competitive for a points finish from starting in 12th. Given the accident prone nature of Monaco, he will likely finish her than he starts. His odds of 2.62 from Bet 365 are good.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 26rd, 00.52 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Spanish GP

Due to illness there was no update for the Spanish GP. The race largely conformed to the analysis of the Bahrain GP. The Ferrari looks like the strongest car currently and - discounting instances of terrible luck at Bahrain that affected both Alonso and Massa - we can expect Alonso to challenge for wins much more often than 2012 whilst Massa is likely to get many more podium finishes than 2012.
Sunday, 21 April 2013

Bahrain Pre-Race Analysis

Alonso the clear favorite for victory at Bahrain

The bookies have correctly assessed the odds for race winner. Although starting in 3rd, Alonso is in the strongest position, his odds of 2.50 from Bet 365 being a reasonable bet. Rosberg's Mercedes will suffer far higher levels of tire degradation than the Ferrari, forcing him to conserve tires or even make an extra pitstop. Vettel's Red Bull will be strong in the race but the previous races this year suggests Alonso's race pace in the Ferrari is superior. Also, this is a course that the Ferrari typically wins on. Vettel's odds at 3.75 from SkyBet are not terrible and could be worth a small back up bet but focus on Alonso for race winner.

There are two other drivers to watch. Massa starts in 4th on the harder tire. It unclear which tire will be more competitive but Massa should certainly find himself in a strong position as the race progresses. The front runners will pit earlier, giving him clear air to race and choose his moment to pit for fresh tires. Strategically, Massa is in an excellent position in a quick car. His odds of 11.00 from Bet 365 for race winner would be worth betting were it not for the possibility of having to hand the victory over to Alonso. His odds for a podium at 2.83 from Paddy Power is good value for money. Also, Raikkonen starting from 8th may try and emulate Australia, using the superior tire degradation to stop one less time than his rivals. Whilst there is no specific reason to believe he will try this, since he used this plan to win Australia it is a threat and odds of 9.00 from Bet 365 are reasonable. Focusing on Alonso with small back up bets on Massa and Raikkonen is recommended.

The two force India cars start in 5th and 6th. Although looking usually strong, they cannot be recommended for a top 6 finish. Webber and Hamilton only start behind them due to grid penalties and are likely to pass them during the race. Hamilton's odds of a top 6 finish at 2.2 from Bet 365 look like good value, as does Webber's odds for top 6 at 1.72 from Betfair.

Odds above accurate at Saturday 21st, 09.54 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

China Pre-Race Analysis

Tyre choice could decide the race
Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Hamilton
2nd
Raikkonen
3rd
Alonso
4th
Rosberg
5th
Massa
6th
Grosjean
7th
Ricciardo
8th
Button
9th
Vettel
10th
Hulkenberg
11th
di Resta
12th
Perez
13th
Sutil
14th
Maldonado
15th
Vergne
16th
Bottas
17th
Gutierrez
18th
Bianchi
There are a lot of strong competitors at China this year, all with distinct advantages. The Mercedes looks like the quickest, suggesting Hamilton (23/10 (3.30) from Paddy Power) will win. Raikkonen (7/2 (4.50)from Bet 365) is usually very careful with his tyres, the Lotus managed one less pitstop for tyres in Australia and doing so again in China would give him victory. The Ferrari usually has good race pace and Alonso (3/1 (4.00) from SkyBet) usually finishes higher than he starts. Meanwhile, Vettel (11/2 (6.50) from Paddy Power) starts in 9th but on the medium tyres which should give him a substantial advantage. Of these, Vettel has probably the best odds. The front runners will likely pit around lap 6, leaving Button or Vettel in first position. Those front runners will come out in traffic and be held up whilst Vettel has a clear road. Button could ruin his race but the McLaren looks far slower. With so much uncertainty firm predictions are difficult but Vettel looks to have the advantage and has higher odds than his competitors. If placing money on just one driver then Vettel looks like the best odds.

An alternative is betting on multiple drivers. Of all those four strongest for victory, Raikkonen is probably least likely to win because the Lotus looks like it lacks the pace of Ferrari and Mercedes. If betting £10 place £4 on Hamilton to win £13.2, £4 on Alonso to win £16 and £2 on Vettel to win £13, losing £10 is anyone else wins.

Ricciardo's starts a very impressive 7th and has good odds for a top 10 finish at 8/5 (2.50) from Paddy Power. Although likely to be over taken by Vettel, Button and maybe even Hulkenberg, he should still finish around the top 10 on race pace, higher if there are any retirements up front. Meanwhile, Hulkenberg has good odds for a top 6 finish at 589/100 (6.89) Betfair. Starting in 10th on the medium tyre he should have an advantage over those in front of him and is likely to finish well.

Odds above accurate at Sunday 14th, 02.55 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Malaysia Pre-Race Analysis

Rain predicted for Malaysia.
Qualifying Results
Starting Position
1st
Vettel
2nd
Massa
3rd
Alonso
4th
Hamilton
5th
Webber
6th
Rosberg
6th
Raikkonen
8th
Button
9th
Sutil
10th
Perez
11th
Grosjean
12th
Hulkenberg
13th
Ricciardo
14th
Gutirrez
15th
di Resta
16th
Maldonado
17th
Vergne
18th
Bottas
Heavy showers are likely for the race, reports the BBC, which typically means an unpredictable race. Although last year Alonso used the rain gain many positions, usually Malaysia is won from pole or top 3. This is the best indication for race winner. Vettel might look strong by taking pole by almost a second, however, he did the same in Australia yet finished 3rd. It looks as though the Red Bull is very quick on a single lap but wears out the tires very quickly. By contrast, the Ferrari appears to handle the tires very well. Also, the Ferrari is typically quick in the rain, suggesting Alonso's odds of 11/5 (3.20) from Blue Square are good value for money as are Massa's odds of 10/1 (11.00) from Blue Square. The key question is how quick the Red Bull is in the rain. It is difficult to determine if Vettel's pace was simply because of the single lap pace of the Red Bull or that it is strong in the rain. On this basis his odds of 11/5 (3.20) from Blue Square are good.

Grid position of race winner since 2001
Grid Position
Number of times
1st
5
2nd
2
3rd
1
7th
1
9h
1
With the top three drivers looking competitive, spread the bets across them. If betting £10 on race winner then place £4 on Vettel to win £12.80, place £5 on Alonso to win £16 and £1 on Massa to win £11, losing £10 if anyone else wins.

Further down the grid there are few promising bets. The Mercedes appears weak on tire degradation so may struggle at Malaysia, meaning Hamilton's odds of 12/5 (3.40) from Paddy Power for a podium are not vastly appealing. The Lotus is good on tire degradation, however, Raikkonen has a three place grid penalty (see ESPN for details) means reaching the podium from 10th is a big ask.

Lower odds betting like top 6 and top 10 finishes are probably best avoided given the likely rain and the resulting unpredictable retirements it will cause. The rain will make it ideal for live betting though.

Odds above accurate at Saturday 23rd, 16.30 GMT. Click to see live odds.

Australia Pre-Qualifying Analysis

Rainstorms possible for qualifying

Free Practice Results
        FP1
FP2
1st
Webber
Raikkonen
2nd
Vettel
Webber
3rd
Vettel
Massa
4th
Alonso
Alonso
5th
Rosberg
Webber
6th
Sutil
Grosjean
7th
Massa
Rosberg
8th
di Resta
di Resta
9th
Hamilton
Hamilton
10th
Grosjean
Sutil
11th
Button
Perez
12th
Maldonado
Button
13th
Perez
Hulkenberg
14th
Hulkenberg
Guiterrez
15th
Gutierrez
Vergne
16th
Bottas
Maldonado
17th
Vergne
Ricciardo
18th
Ricciardo
Bianchi
Thundary showers are expected in qualifying, reports the BBC, making a chaotic qualifying likely. We have limited information about wet weather pace of each car. Last year, Alsono seemed quickest, qualifying 1st in both wet qualifying sessions. His odds of 12/1 (13.00) from Bet 365 look reasonable value for money. Also, Button was the fastest when it rained in FP2. Though it seems very unlikely that such a weak car could take pole, he has very high odds of 50/1 (51.00) from Bet 365. On the off chance his wet weather pace in FP2 was genuine he might be worth putting £1 or £2 on. However, with such little information this early in the season and the unpredictability of the rain, keeping bets low is recommended.

Previous Winners
2012
Alonso
2011
Vettel
2010
Vettel
2009
Button
2008
Raikkonen
2007
Alonso
2006
Fisichella
2005
Alonso
2004
Schumacher
2003
Raikkonen
2002
R Schumacher
There is no clear best bet if qualifying is dry. The top 3 drivers were within a 10th of a second in FP2. Vettel has very low odds of 1/1 (2.00) from Blue Square. After pole in Melbourne he may be the strongest contender though his times in free practice are far from dominant, making such odds are not good value for money. Raikkonen's odds of 5/1 (6.00) from Paddy Power also cannot be recommended because Raikkonen is rarely a strong qualifier. Massa is an interesting option, setting a very competitive time in free practice and usually qualifying higher than Alonso lately. His odds of 25/1 (26.00) from SkyBet may be worth £1 or £2. We should have much more information about the pace of each team for China, so keep bets low until then.

Odds above accurate at 22nd March, 21.28 GMT. Click to see live odds.

The 1st Race of 2013, Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park

Free Practice Results
        FP1
FP2
1st
Vettel
Vettel
2nd
Massa
Webber
3rd
Alonso
Rosberg
4th
Hamilton
Raikkonen
5th
Webber
Grosjean
6th
Raikkonen
Alonso
7th
Rosberg
Hamilton
8th
Sutil
Massa
9th
Button
Sutil
10th
Grosjean
Hulkenburg
11th
Perez
Button
12th
Hulkenburg
di Resta
13th
di Resta
Perez
14th
Maldonado
Ricciardo
15th
Bottas
Gutierrez
16th
Guitierrez
Maldonado
17th
Vergne
Vergne
18th
Ricciardo
Bottas
The season opener is always difficult to make money on. Until racing starts it is guesswork to work out who has the quickest car. Serious betting is best avoided until around the 3rd race of the season.

Previous Winners
2012
Button
2011
Vettel
2010
Button
2009
Button
2008
Hamilton
2007
Raikkonen
2006
Alonso
2005
Fisichella
2004
Schumacher
2003
Coulthard
2002
Schumacher
The very speculative evidence from winter testing suggests Red Bull is just the quickest, followed by Ferrari, McLaren then Lotus with Mercedes being the wild card (as discussed in the Driver's Championship section). Free practice seems to confirm that Red Bull is very strong, and the McLaren is weak, whilst Ferrari and Mercedes are just ahead of Lotus. Although the McLaren usually does well here, it was very weak in the wet last year so will likely struggle in rain predicted by BBC weather predicts. The McLaren should definitely be avoided for fastest qualifier or race winner.

Even after free practice finished we still cannot be sure of pace. Most teams are still testing and setting up their cars. Only after the first qualifying session of the season will we have a rough idea of the pace of each team. Red Bull certainly look strongest but they are only a few tenths of a seconds ahead so there is no certainty. Betting on race winner at Australia after qualifying will be much less of a gamble, so skipping betting on qualifying is recommended.

Click to see live odds.