Saturday, 21 September 2013

Singapore: pre-qualifying

The tyres will be supersoft and medium, and with the heat it’s possible that Lotus, being softer on tyres, will benefit (a pit stop is a very long 29 seconds, putting a premium on fewer stops). Cheers to for that thought.

However, there’s some very surprising news to discuss first. Namely that McLaren apparently want Alonso next year (replacing Perez). Alonso is contracted to Ferrari, but F1 contracts are like the rules of piracy; they’re more like guidelines than actual rules. It would be quite astonishing if next season saw Raikkonen rejoin Ferrari *and* Alonso leave that team to rejoin McLaren. I wonder if Perez would jump to Ferrari, or if Massa might get a reprieve. Hulkenberg and Di Resta haven’t signed anything yet either (Hulkenberg is thought likely to go to Lotus).

Since the story first broke it’s emerged that (at the time of writing, anyway) Whitmarsh isn’t actually speaking to Alonso. It’s still possible, but not a likelihood, right now.

P1 had Hamilton fastest, followed by Webber and Vettel. Rosberg was next, then Raikkonen, Grosjean, Alonso, Perez, Vergne and Gutierrez.

In P2 Vettel and Webber led the way, followed by Rosberg and Hamilton. Grosjean, Alonso and Button came next, with Raikkonen, Sutil and Perez rounding out the top 10.

At this stage it looks like Red Bull will, alas, retain their dominance, with Mercedes, Alonso and Grosjean behind them. McLaren look reasonably competitive without setting the world alight.

P3, rather predictably, had Vettel fastest, followed by Grosjean. Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton came next, followed by Alonso, Perez, Hulkenberg, Button and Massa.

Sadly I missed the qualifying simulation runs at the end of P3, so it’s hard to say if traffic played a role in any of the times.

Vettel’s only close rival was Grosjean, who was just two-tenths off. Then there’s about half a second to Rosberg et al. Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton have pretty close times, then there’s a gap to Alonso.

Barring rain (presently forecast as being very unlikely) or accident it’s hard to see anyone stopping Vettel getting pole. However, his odds are just 1.5, and given the serious possibility of a small touch on a wall costing time and my own dislike for such short odds I’ve decided not to bet on qualifying.

I was tempted by Hulkenberg to reach Q3 and Grosjean to be in the top 3, but Hulkenberg’s odds of evens are too short, and the 3.5 available for Grosjean disappeared, alas.

Anyway, let’s hope Vettel has a reliability issue. It’ll make the race and qualifying more interesting.

Morris Dancer


  1. So far my only bet is a stonking 11/1 from Paddy Power on Grosjean achieving a podium finish.
    This bet represents great value in its own right - the next best bookie, Ladbrokes,is offering 6/1, barely half PP's odds ..... and clearly their odds can't last!
    In addition this bet continues my insurance strategy relating to my SELL spread bet on Grosjean's season's points. This bet is currently showing me a small profit, but would look distinctly pear-shaped were the Frenchman to start picking up the odd podium place or two. So I'm happy to lose a few quid on each GP in order to protect my position.

    I can't see anything else of interest at present, but I'll review after the qualifying session - I did think of laying Massa as I imagine he must be hugely de-motivated following his sacking by Ferrari.

  2. Weirdly, by chance I was contemplating such a bet (although I'd only make it after qualifying) on Grosjean.

    Massa may also not be helped that substantial Ferrari updates appear not to be working. If he wants to stay in F1 he's got to persuade potentially interested parties he still has the speed necessary.

  3. Well Morris, you certainly won't get 11/1 now with Grosjean starting in 3rd place!

  4. Ha, indeed not!

    I must say, though, that I'd hedge that. However, given your spread bet position you may prefer not to.

    I got some on Grosjean to be top 3 at 3.5. Hedged it, but still green, so I'm not complaining.

  5. Were Grosjean to finish 3rd tomorrow (hopefully no better), I'd make around £75 on my podium bet, but consequently stand to lose around £40 - £50 on my spread bet which I'd then close to show a modest overall profit. On this basis I won't be hedging my fixed odds bet on him.

  6. Pre-race piece will be up tomorrow.