Monday, 8 July 2013

Germany: post-race analysis

A day late, but thankfully not a dollar short. In terms of tips, I got my race one right, which was nice. Non-tipped bets (following one of Mr. Putney’s and a small sum at 8 on Lotus to top score) also both came off. So, the race was green, the record shows the weekend was red (by less than one stake) but my actual result was a solidly green weekend [although once again my Ladbrokes bets outshone the Betfair ones].

Special praise must go to Mr. Putney, who got a fantastic 5/6 bets right (engage smug mode: I did pick out the only one he’d get wrong and said I wouldn’t back it). For the record:
“Button - top 10 finish ............... WON
Vettel - outright win ................ WON
Grosjean - top 6 finish .............. WON
Webber - LAY Podium finish ........... WON
Safety Car Deployment ................ WON
Rosberg - podium finish .............. LOST”

A fantastic result, Mr. Putney.

Anyway, to the race mini-report:

The start was unusual because Hamilton had a slightly slow start, both Red Bulls far better, and Vettel ended up first after lap 1. Alonso also had a uncharacteristically poor start and I think Rosberg managed to go backwards as well. Massa and the McLarens had a nice start.

Early on it became apparent that the Mercedes abused the tyres rather horrendously, and so began Hamilton’s slow regression down the field. Massa’s gearbox went on strike and caused him to spin out, making him the first of very few retirements.

At the first round of pit stops Webber, unusually for Red Bull, had a serious problem. His right rear tyre was not attached and came off very shortly after he left the box (prior to leaving the pit lane). It bounced and rolled at speed and struck a cameraman, who I believe is ok. Red Bull were able to get Webber back into the pits but he emerged last and more than a minute behind the second-to-last car.

At the front a strange and mysterious thing was happening. Grosjean was not only first, he was fast, and his soft tyres were lasting a long time (longer than Alonso’s medium tyres, I think). This put him in genuine contention for the race victory.

Jules Bianchi had a rather poor race. His Marussia burst into flames, which is hardly his fault, but he leapt out so quickly the unmanned car began rolling backwards, across the track. The safety car was deployed, which was understandable, but by the time it came out the car had rolled all the way across the track and back off of it again.

The safety car, as well as being financially helpful, meant that Vettel’s slight lead over Grosjean and Raikkonen was reduced. It also meant that Webber could close right up on the field.

In the latter stages Grosjean pitted, forcing Vettel, a second or two ahead, to do likewise. But Raikkonen didn’t. He was on the medium tyres and for a while it looked like he’d try to do an enormous stint on them. Alonso also pitted, necessary because he had yet to use the soft compound, and on that lap Raikkonen, slightly surprisingly, came in for some soft tyres of his own.

This put Vettel first, Grosjean a second or two behind and Raikkonen right behind him. Alonso was very close behind Raikkonen too.

Lotus wisely told Grosjean to let Raikkonen through, and the Finn closed the gap with few laps remaining. Vettel was only in DRS range on the final lap and ended up winning his home race, for the first time, by a second. Grosjean held on for a very strong third and Alonso got fourth.

Further down the field Hamilton had managed to pass some cars late on and finished fifth, with Button a relatively strong sixth. McLaren’s pace seems to have improved somewhat this weekend. Webber rose to seventh, passing Perez, eighth, on the final lap. Rosberg could manage only ninth, and Hulkenberg did well to get tenth with the struggling Sauber.

After Germany, here are the Drivers’ standings:
Vettel 157
Alonso 123
Raikkonen 116

A 34 point lead is hefty, but not unassailable. For someone to beat Vettel he may need one or two DNFs or for a sea-change in the performance of his car or those of his rivals. He’s a clear favourite, but the season is not over yet. Indeed, the tyres are likely to significantly change for the Hungarian Grand Prix in three weeks’ time, which could shuffle the pecking order. The field is close enough that a few tenths here or there could make all the difference.

In the Constructor’ here are the standings:
Red Bull 250
Mercedes 183
Ferrari 180
Lotus 157

I think Red Bull are near certain of this title. Ferrari right now seem better than Mercedes, but we’ll need to see how the new tyre changes things. Lotus are probably too far back to hope to win, but they could yet overhaul Ferrari and Mercedes if Grosjean starts performing like he did yesterday on a regular basis.

It was a nice, exciting, and profitable race. Huzzah!

I’ll do my mid-season reviews (betting and racing) shortly. I’ll put them up on both this blog and pb2, so that people who visited pb2 but missed the arrival of this blog are made aware of its existence.

Morris Dancer


  1. Thanks for the hat-tip Morris. Betting on the British and German GPs has largely restored my confidence that it is possible to make money on these markets, although it ain't easy - and I've mentioned a couple of markets where huge differences existed between the odds on offer.

    I'm pleased we all made money, although in truth my long term spread bet SELLING Grosjean's season's points will have taken a pounding yesterday (revised prices not yet up) after the 15 points he collected by finishing third - I have to hope and pray that was a one-off.

    Thanks for posting up the post race summary - this must sometimes seem rather a chore, but it forms part of a very useful record in logging what happened over an entire season.

    We're barely half way through the 19 GP programme, but the betting markets reckon the Drivers' Championship is all over bar the shouting, with Vettel best priced at 2/7 with Alonso on 7/1 and the rest on offer at 16/1+ bar those two.

  2. Getting 5/6 bets right is clearly worthy of a mention. I just wish I'd followed a few more of them.

    I wouldn't panic about Grosjean just yet. The tyres were a one-off for this race. The new tyres we'll see at Hungary should give us a better indication of how the season after that will progress. Of course, that could benefit Grosjean, but with the Mercedes and Ferraris in the mix as well as both Red Bulls I wouldn't be too worried right now.

    Generally I enjoy writing the post-race summary (especially when it's a profitable race).

    Vettel's got a hefty advantage. Unfortunately, I think he will win (nothing against him but I'd like more winners and I'm red if he does, although evens on Red Bull). Obviously I'll consider that sort of thing when writing my mid-season reviews.

  3. Incidentally, the Young Driver Test (doubling as the New Tyre Test) is 17-19 July. I might do the betting review before that, but the racing review will almost certainly be afterwards.