Sunday, 9 June 2013

Canada: pre-race

The qualifying session was thoroughly entertaining and rather soggy. Hamilton got as close as possible to pole without actually achieving it, but there’s always the race tomorrow.

The whole first session of Q1 was soggy, varying from almost-slick weather to pretty wet. It got wetter near the end, which caught out some. The pointless teams all went out, but, rather surprisingly, so did Di Resta in 17th and Grosjean in 19th. It may have been due to wetter weather, and perhaps also because their cars look after tyres well but find it harder to get the heat into the rubber when it’s cold and wet. Charles Pic will be thrilled to, in 18th, be ahead of a Lotus.

Q2 was red-flagged with 2 minutes to go after Massa crashed. Both McLarens and Saubers also went out at this stage, as did Gutierrez and Sutil. Both Toro Rossos made it into Q3, as did Bottas.

Hamilton was agonisingly close (less than a tenth) but was pipped to pole by Vettel. Bottas did a staggeringly good job to qualify third. I doubt he’ll retain that in the race, but he should be on for good points. Rosberg was fourth, then come Webber and Alonso. Vergne, Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Sutil round out the top 10.

Hembery of Pirelli reckoned that cold weather in the race could mean that those who are harder on their tyres could benefit by getting heat into them more easily. Worth considering when looking at race betting.

Unlike at certain tedious processional circuits (yes, Singapore, you) the starting grid and final result in Montreal can be very different.

The intermediate conditions today mean that tomorrow the teams can pick and choose what tyre to start on, even within the top 10. It’s also unclear whether it’ll be dry or not (forecasts differ. The BBC reckons it’ll be wet, the other sites that it’ll be dry).

On dry race pace the Ferrari was very strong, and the Mercedes looked quite weak (relative to other frontrunners). So, if it’s dry (big if but it seems likely) then I’d guess Vettel would be mostly alright, the Mercedes and Bottas will go backwards and Webber/Alonso will go forwards.

Raikkonen’s hard to tell. He’s had a few slight issues with the car and was never anywhere near the hunt for pole. However, his win this year came from seventh and he got a second place from the same starting position, so he can’t be written off.

After sleeping on it I decided to back Webber for a podium at 2.64, hedged at 1.2. The Ferrari and Red Bull were both very good on race pace and I expected Bottas and the Mercedes to go backwards. In cooler temperatures the Red Bull may well have the edge over the Ferrari. The circuit’s one where overtaking is eminently possible so the race pace of the Red Bull should mean any pit stop faux pas is recoverable by the driver.

Regardless of whether or not that comes off I’m thinking of writing a piece trying to analyse why, good early tip in Oz aside, this season has been lamentable (from a betting perspective) so far.

Anyway, let’s hope the race is exciting and profitable.

Morris Dancer


  1. Morris -

    Thanks for putting this up on your own blog - shame that the powers that be on PB (whoever they might be) seemed unable/unwilling to deal with the spamming problem. Please God that doesn't happen here.

    I saw your downer on my tip for Bottas finishing in the points today and I do accept that his position in qualifying third was enhanced by the drizzle yesterday. Nevertheless there have been clear signs of late that Williams are at last starting to perform.
    It seems light years ago that I had a spread bet on Bottas scoring more than 33 points this season - fortunately I was able to close it after the first two GPs, before any real damage was done.
    Good luck with your bet.

  2. The problem at pb2 was a technical thingummyjig which hopefully won't occur here.

    Downer's a bit too strong. I think Bottas has a chance, but evens is just too short. Canada's a circuit where passing is eminently possible, and the Williams just isn't that fast. I do agree, however, that they seem to be improving.

  3. Morris - you were right, evens was too short, betfair now has Bottas at 2.4 (2.31 net) for a points finish, way ahead of the bookies' odds which are averaging around 1.75, that's around 32% better odds on the exchange .... tasty imo.

    I've topped up accordingly!

  4. Best of luck. If he got points that would be a very good result, given the pace of the cars around him and the pressure both in terms of inexperience with F1 and Williams' worst ever start to a season.

    Incidentally, Raikkonen and Ricciardo have dropped 1 place each due to naughtiness in queueing to leave the pits at the end of Q2, which promotes Hulkenberg to about 9th.