The tyres for this weekend are medium and hard.
P1 was wet, for the first time I can remember this season. It’s hard to read into the times as the tyres for the conditions were wet and intermediate, and weather conditions determined pace more than anything else.
Rosberg was fastest, followed by Hamilton. Vettel and Button were next, then Alonso, Webber, Perez, Kvyat, Kovalainen and Hulkenberg. Rosberg seemed much happier with his setup than his team mate, and had little work done compared to the Briton.
In P2 there was little running, because it was also wet and the teams have relatively few intermediate and wet tyres.
Rosberg was fastest again, ahead of Vettel and Webber. Kovalainen, Hamilton and Vergne came next, followed by Massa, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo and Grosjean. Interesting that Kovalainen had beaten Grosjean in both practice sessions so far, and Rosberg has been fastest in both as well.
In P3 there was very little running, and the fastest time was largely due to the track temporarily being a little bit drier. The Ferraris, Mercedes and Vettel all did very little, so the top 10 isn’t entirely representative of pace. Anyway, Webber was top, then Grosjean and Kovalainen. Bottas, Hulkenberg and Vergne were next, then Gutierrez, Maldonado, Di Resta and Sutil.
Bets I’ve got in mind now are:
Backing Rosberg for pole or top 3
Backing Bottas for Q3
Bottas odds were evens, which are just too short (and there was almost no liquidity in the market).
Rosberg was (for pole) 8, having been 10 before P3. However, qualifying is expected to be wet and I think he will be Vettel’s chief rival. I’ve had a pretty poor run of qualifying bets this year (hence why I’ve not offered many for a while).
However, the P2 time (Rosberg two-tenths up on either Red Bull) was representative, I feel. So, I’ve backed Rosberg for pole at 8, hedged at 3. This might look bloody stupid if it’s dry and/or if Vettel storms to another pole, but at more or less the same time and in equal conditions Rosberg was the fastest man on the track.
In entirely unrelated news I’ve backed Wales to win the Triple Crown in next year’s Six Nations at 5.5, with Ladbrokes. For this weekend I’ve also backed France to beat South Africa at 3.55 and Australia to beat Scotland by over 12 points at 1.91.
Qualifying begins at 4pm.