Q1 was unremarkable, with the usual suspects plus Gutierrez and Bottas failing to escape.
Q2 had a perhaps important result, with Vergne departing at this stage but Ricciardo progressing to Q3. Both McLarens and Hulkenberg also got dropped here, as did Massa.
Q3 was all lined up for an epic four way battle between the drivers of Mercedes and Red Bull. It was looking tight and tasty, and then Hamilton put in an astoundingly good lap and slaughtered his rivals by almost half a second. It’s due to be hotter tomorrow, but with harder compounds I am wondering if the Silver Arrows could yet have a very good race. Rosberg, Vettel and Webber came next, with Di Resta in a very nice fifth and Ricciardo in a strong sixth. Sutil and Grosjean came next, with Raikkonen a lacklustre ninth and Alonso a depressing tenth.
Lotus and Ferrari seem to have just failed to develop effectively, and it’s hard (right now) to see Vettel facing a serious challenge for another title.
Alonso said after qualifying that the harder compounds at every race help only two teams (Mercedes and Red Bull, obviously), and that’s certainly true.
I’m really not sure whether the Ferrari and Lotus are strong enough to move all that far forward. Force India have typically been better in the race than qualifying but today they qualified very strongly and there’s no reason to expect them to do poorly in the race.
Vettel looked a bit miffed to be third. It’d be interesting to know just how much better the Mercedes now is, given their test and the three weeks between Canada and Britain, on its tyres.
Along with Mr. Putney’s suggestion in the previous thread, I’ve decided to back Mercedes for the win. However, to enable hedging I’ve gone for backing Hamilton and Rosberg as drivers at 4.6 and 10 respectively, hedged at 2 each (so that if one gets hedged the result for any other driver is evens, and if both do the result for any other driver is plus one stake).
As before with such split-stake bets (Canada 2011 is a nice precedent) this counts as a single tip.
There's a limited amount available to lay Alonso to be top 6 at 1.44. It can't count as a tip due to lack of liquidity, but I think it's worth betting on.