In Q1 we lost the pointless teams, as usual, as well as Sutil and Gutierrez. Slightly surprising Gutierrez left this early given how strong the Sauber seemed earlier.
Alonso was the biggest casualty of Q2, managing only 11th (Massa was 10th). Di Resta, Button, Vergne, Maldonado and Bottas were also out. It’s the first time this year that Alonso failed to make the top 10.
Q3 was notable for Webber getting pole, ahead of Vettel. Hamilton spun on his final lap, and starts 4th, with Rosberg 3rd. Raikkonen was 5th, and starting alongside him is Hulkenberg, who did very well to beat Grosjean (7th). Massa, Perez and Ricciardo round out the top 10.
After qualifying Raikkonen was excluded as his car failed a floor flex test, so he’ll start either last or from the pit lane.
I’ve backed Hulkenberg to finish in the top 6 at 2.63 with Ladbrokes. Given he starts 5th and has been highly competitive in recent races, and the Sauber is hard to overtake, this seems a reasonable bet.
Three other bets that interested me were:
Webber to win 3.35
Rosberg to win without Webber and Vettel (Ladbrokes) 4
Mercedes to top score (Ladbrokes) 9
Ladbrokes hadn’t, at the time of writing, corrected for Raikkonen’s penalty. I found it hard to decide between the bets, not because I dislike them or the odds, but because they all seem to have value and I was unsure about how many bets I’d feel comfortable making (I tend to put on a standard stake for every tip).
In the end I backed Rosberg at 4 to win (without Vettel or Webber) with Ladbrokes. Raikkonen’s probably out of the equation, Grosjean’s been having brake problems, and although Hamilton’s a serious contender Rosberg starts ahead and has slightly better odds (he’s also been performing a bit better than Hamilton lately).
So, two bets:
Hulkenberg to be top 6 at 2.63 (Ladbrokes)
Rosberg to win without Vettel or Webber at 4 (Ladbrokes)