Saturday, 6 July 2013

Germany: pre-race

Well, in betting terms that could not have gone any worse. Exciting qualifying session, but both my bets look rather moronic.

The first session of qualifying saw the usual pointless teams depart, and so did both Williams. Not the best way to celebrate their 600th race.

In Q2 Mercedes made a serious cock-up. By leaving Rosberg in the pits the faster track meant everyone else posted better times and Rosberg was unable to respond and got shunted out in 11th. As one of the men likeliest to get pole that is a shocking error of judgement by the Silver Arrows. Toro Rosso, Sauber and McLaren had a mixed result, with Vergne 16th, Gutierrez 14th, Perez 13th. Force India had a poor (for this year) result with Di Resta 12th and Sutil 15th.

The third session saw several drivers, including the Ferraris and Button, opt for a cunning plan. The soft tyre degrades after about 8-10 laps, but the medium is a second a lap slower. So, the above drivers went for the medium in Q3, hoping the loss in qualifying pace would be offset by the advantage in race strategy.

Annoyingly, Vettel was just a tenth behind Hamilton, who got pole. Although the Vettel-pole bet didn’t come off it was at least reasonable, whereas Hamilton, who went from constant complaining and seventh in P3 to pole position, to finish outside the top 3 looks rather silly. Webber got third.

Interestingly Raikkonen and Grosjean got fourth and fifth, rather better than Lotus often do, and the Lotus looks rather competitive. It’ll be intriguing to see how their pace in the race matches up to those who start ahead of them on the grid.

Ricciardo continued to help his efforts to get Webber’s seat with sixth, and was followed by Massa, Alonso, Button and Hulkenberg.

Must admit to being rather dismayed by the betting. My judgement was severely lacking, and not for the first time this season.

The track is not the easiest to overtake on, so changes in position may largely be due to strategy. It’s not entirely clear, but 3 or 4 of the last races held at the circuit (Nurburgring) have seen safety cars appear.

I was tempted by Rosberg to be top 6, but the odds of 1.74 are not good enough. We can’t be sure how tyre degradation, higher temperatures and so forth will affect the Mercedes, and even if he gets the jump on Button, Hulkenberg and (more difficult) the Ferraris this is a little too uncertain for less than evens.

I’ve backed Raikkonen at 2.42 for a podium, hedged at 1.1 (very short hedge odds but that’s just in case tyres or similar reliability issues arise). He starts fourth, he’s got the record (and still going) for consecutive points finishes and he’s one of the very best drivers on the grid. Plus, he’s right behind Webber, who tends to start poorly.

Another intriguing bet is Lotus to top score at 8 (Ladbrokes). Mercedes may struggle to do this due to Rosberg’s low starting position, which means the top scoring team is probably between Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari.

Ferrari need their strategic gamble to qualify on medium tyres to pay off. I forget which race this happened, but earlier in the season Red Bull tried a similar ploy, and it really didn’t work. Red Bull are deservedly favourites for this market, but Lotus are right behind them and Webber typically starts badly (there’s also a minor chance of reliability affecting things, as per Vettel’s retirement from Silverstone).

If both Lotuses passed Webber off the line (very possible) that’d make it Hamilton 25, Vettel 18, Raikkonen 15, Grosjean 12 and Webber 10. That’d still give Red Bull the edge, but only by a single point. Given my poor record both this season and this weekend, I’m not tipping the bet, but I have put a few pounds on Lotus to top score at 8. I do not think it the likeliest result, but I do think they have a solid chance and are being underestimated.

So, just one tip: Raikkonen for a podium at 2.42, hedged at 1.1.

Morris Dancer


  1. Never let it be said that bookies simply ape each other in fixing their odds and that there's never the thickness of a Rizla cigarette paper between them.
    Consider the prices currently available for Grosjean to achieve a top six finish in the German Grand Prix.
    Those nice people at Paddy Power are offering 5/4 (or 1.25/1), that's 72% better odds than the next nearest odds odds of 8/11 from the likes of Corals and Hills or a staggering 119% better than the 4/7 odds on offer from Bet Victor.
    I've had a tenner's worth with the generous Paddy as insurance against my spread bet and therefore in all truth it's a bet I'd rather lose than win.

    Good luck to Morris on his single bet on a Raikkonen podium place tomorrow. I need two out of my four bets (including the deployment of the safety car) to deliver to leave me in profit ... fingers crossed.

    I notice that the next BBC televised GP isn't until the end of August - Grrh!

  2. Incidentally, vital business means I'll probably be out for the start of the Grand Prix, possibly delaying the post-race piece.

    Is that Spa?

    Although I'm not thrilled at the BBC's Judas-like approach to coverage their race lineup this year is miles better than 2012. Hungary's tedious, Spa's superb.

  3. That's right .... Spa on 25 August, 7 weeks hence.

  4. Another marked disparity in the betting odds concerns Nico Rosberg's chances of achieving a podium finish after starting in 11th position on the grid, which in no way reflects the true strength of his challenge.
    Betfair's current price of 6.0 decimal, nets down to fractional odds of 4.75/1 after commission, a ridiculous 58.3% more generous than the odds of only 3/1 on offer from a number of bookies, or 10/3 from those of a slightly more generous disposition.
    I can't resist having a pint on Rosberg weaving his way through the field to finish top 3, remembering that just last weekend, albeit in unusual circumstances, Lewis Hamilton was able to capture 4th spot after having been relegated to absolutely last position after suffering a burst tyre.
    I've had a pint's worth on Nico achieving something similar in a few hours time ..... thereby taking me to a foolishly sounding overall total of 5 bets on this race. Oh well, one way or another it shouldn't prove dull!

  5. Best of luck!

    Must say I'm not convinced by the Rosberg bet. It's possible, but he's got to contend with Alonso, Raikkonen, Webber, Vettel and Hamilton and all of those are ahead of him.

    Your other bets (laying Webber for a podium, backing Grosjean for top 6, backing a safety car) seem much likelier to me.

  6. I'm on for some of this; thanks very much for the ideas.

    A bottle of Rioja up for grabs here if Grojean gets top 6, Raikkonen podium, a safety car, plus I'm keener than Mr Dancer on the Rosberg bet.

    The wine could be quite decent if they all come in, and with a consolation cheap bottle if I sneak one or two. Only betting pin money though and to give me an excuse to go to the pub to watch it :)

  7. But Morris aren't you forgetting that Nico's in just about the fastest car and based on recent form he's just about the fastest driver.
    The bet isn't a given I grant but then you wouldn't expect it to be at odds of almost 5/1. Last weekend Lewis proved just what can be achieved when you're fast and determined.

    GeoffM - great to see you on Morris' blog .... please visit again and good luck with the bets!

  8. I always enjoy dropping in here Peter. The trouble with political betting is that I'm not always open minded enough to divorce what I *want* to happen from what is profitable.

    I can look at horses (many thanks once again for the tips in the PB threads), cars, tennis, cricket (the sport I play) etc much more objectively (and hence profitably). It's a shame Lucian's begging blog is quiet at the moment.

    Today should be an excellent sporting day and the very best of luck to you both and to any other punters reading.

  9. ^^ "betting", not 'begging' lol

  10. Meh, my reply to Peter seems to have vanished into a spamtrap, making my followup typo correction look daft!

  11. [win] Safety Car – Yes @ 5/4
    [win[ Podium Finish – Kimi Raikkonen @ 6/5
    [win] Top 6 Finish – Romain Grosjean @ 8/11
    [lose] Podium Finish – Nico Rosberg @ 10/3

    Including my cricket bets that neatly covers a bottle of 2004 Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Mirto from the wine rack.

    I shall raise a glass to you both, gentlemen.


  12. Well done Geoff, glad you finished ahead .... I too had a very successful afternoon aided further by Andy's fine win.

    So you're a wine enthusiast, me too! The wine to which you refer is probably similar to, although vastly more expensive than the case of Australian Tempranillo (virtually unique for Oz) - Running with Bulls, 2009 which I bought for £40 on Tesco's interesting new "Co-Buy" scheme, whereby they feature a limited quantity of a particular quality wine - the more they sell over a 3 day period the cheaper the price for the buying co-operative, this particular wine having started off at around £60 for the case or £10 per bottle, so a very useful saving. Do take a look if you are interested.

    Hope you'll join in the fun here for the next Grand Prix!


    Peter from Putney

  13. Using my almighty moderation powers I've released your allegedly spammy comment, Mr. M. I think it was the link you included.

    Not enough time to write the post-race piece today. Suffice to say it's my best race for a while. Although only the Raikkonen tip came off the needless safety car and Lotus top scoring provided a few extra pennies.

    I wish my bets weren't so lopsided, though. According to Betfair I'm awful, according to Ladbrokes I'm marvellous.

    Great tips, Mr. Putney (although I was right about Rosberg!).

  14. Thank you Morris.

    Just for the record, today I had five winners out of six:

    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

    Question - How can Rosberg be so brilliant at Silverstone last week and so bloody awful today?

  15. It wasn't him, it was the car. More precisely, the way the car (ab)used the tyres. I must admit I thought Mercedes would be stronger but unable to come from 11th and beat other strong teams.

    Interesting that Lotus did so well but Red Bull were also capable of running strongly despite being harder on the tyres.

    Only the Raikkonen thingummyjig was a tip, but I followed your safety car bet and also backed Lotus at 7/1 to top score. Bit flukey with Webber's pit stop woe, but there we are.