Formula 1: Against The Odds

Ante Post: Heikki to Success?

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It is not often that I get involved in season-long markets as there are so many factors that you cannot control in this already most unpredictable sport. It is even less common for me to place a bet a long time before the season commences as the situation of drivers, cars and teams can change so much in the months that make up the off-season. However whilst killing some time over the Christmas and New Year holidays (and after some careful consideration) this bet tempted me to part with some hard-earned:

Heikki Kovalainen – Top 3 Finish Drivers World Championship @ 7/1 SportingOdds

There are lots of reasons I liked this bet…

The Price:

Kovalainen’s price in the outright market had contracted dramatically in the previous couple of months. BetFred and BlueSq for example had cut him from 25/1 through 20/1 to the general market price of 16/1. Almost all of the others had followed suit with several going 14/1.

SportingOdds were still offering the massively standout price of 28/1. They, like almost all of their competitors they were offering each way terms of 1,2,3 @ 1/5 odds and it is this place part in which I was most interested. At SkyBet this place part would pay just 2.8/1 with the added inconvenience of probably losing the win part to the vastly more experienced Kimi Raikkonen or Fernando Alonso. Best price would be SportingOdds own 5.6/1. However SportingOdds were very kindly offering 7/1 in a standalone Top 3 Finish Drivers World Championship market. That price just looked wrong to me.

The Situation:

Without going in to too much detail, the Finnish Protégé has:

  • Done thousands of miles testing in the Renault Car.
  • Won rookie of the year twice already in his junior racing career.
  • Has a solid teammate who will bring experience in developing the car but crucially is beatable to the #1 driver slot in the team.
  • A car that is well capable of placing him in the top three. Renault’s assurance that they are in F1 for the foreseeable future means that they will resource to carry on winning.
  • Had beaten his teammate on the timesheets comfortably on all four days of the recent Jerez test (don’t know the circs of the test but surely not a bad thing).
  •  The backing of the team – they are big on the whole driver development thing.

The Negatives:

Obviously Heikki is an unproven quantity in F1 and I am taking the chance that he will adapt. He will face stiff competition from the quartet of Alonso, Kimi, Massa and Button for the three spots. Plus I face a long wait for any payout.

All-in-all I am happy with the 7/1 price and notice that SportingOdds have since removed the market!


Written by f1punter

March 3, 2007 at 8:10 pm

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