F1Punter

Formula 1: Against The Odds

The Catalunya Bull Run

with 2 comments

Ok, this weekend’s Grand Prix may be being held just north of Barcelona and not in Pamplona, but I am predicting a strong performance from Red Bull Racing and am backing them to pick up their first points of the 2007 season.

The RB3-Renault

Once again it has been reliability that has made the headlines for the team this season with only two cars seeing the chequered flag in the opening three races. However these races have not been without promise: The team has shown increased competitiveness each weekend, culminating in their exciting – if unrewarded – performance in Bahrain. There, Mark Webber was able to qualify his car comfortably inside the top ten, whilst David Coulthard charged through the field from 21st on the grid to a high point of seventh before he was forced to retire with a driveshaft failure.

I am hoping that the four-weeks of testing since that race have enabled RBR to iron-out some of the reliability issues that they been experiencing. Promising too has been the continued speed that they have demonstrated during this period. On the final day of testing here in Barcelona last week, DC set a new fastest lap of the circuit on his way to topping the timesheets – his time placing him ahead of the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.

The Track

The Circuit de Catalunya can hardly be described as a breathtaking circuit, not least because of the lack of overtaking opportunities that it presents drivers. Even the revised penultimate corner does not appear to have had the desired effect.

Neither can it be described as spectacular for either Red Bull driver; Coulthard had a nice run of four podiums in five years between 1998 and 2002 whilst Webber has had a couple of finishes in the points. A repeat of 2005, where both drivers finished in the top eight (DC in his Red Bull) would not go amiss.

The Drivers

The lack of overtaking in Spain puts a premium on a strong qualifying performance and in Mark Webber, Red Bull have a driver of the highest-calibre. I fully expect him to be doing his utmost on Saturday to secure himself a strong racing position for Sunday.

Regrettably, qualifying does not appear to be the forte of Coulthard and at 36 it is difficult to see that changing. I take heart though from his performance in Bahrain. He clearly has a car underneath him in which he is happy to overtake and if anyone is going to force their way past rivals around here then it might just be DC.

The Competition

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that Ferrari, McLaren and BMW are the three teams most likely to fill the majority of the place-paying slots. The only positive may be that only once this season has reliability allowed them to fill six of them.

Next up – and probably the team that RBR are targeting more than any other – are their engine suppliers Renault. The French team have made an inauspicious start to the season and vibes ahead of a return to action after four weeks when they should have been looking to rediscover their pace are not promising.  To quote Technical Director Pat Symonds: “The road back to our normal level of competitiveness will be a long one” and “We are not expecting leaps forward in competitiveness this weekend.”

Further competition will likely be from the two Toyota-powered teams who have both scored points in the opening three rounds of the World Championship.

I don’t expect the Honda teams to test Webber and Coulthard, although I would not be in the least bit surprised if Super Aguri were again to hold the upper hand. Team Honda appear to have spent the testing break bolting parts on to their car which make it go no faster. Super Aguri on the other hand and Anthony Davidson in particular have hinted at some decent speed in the so-called second team car during the first three races. What Davidson now needs to do is transform it into some consistently competitive race laps.

Finally we have the Toro Rosso and Spyker machines. Given the title of this post it would have been nice to crowbar in something about the STRs chasing the field, however in truth they will more than likely beat home the Spykers… and possibly the Hondas.

The Bets

I am keeping it simple this week and backing both drivers to place in the fixed-odds market.  SportingOdds are currently offering standout prices on both drivers:

Mark Webber @ 9/4
David Coulthard @ 5/2

Either one finishing in the points would pay a healthy return – both would be a bonus.

Given the circumstances that have curtailed the team’s success so far this season; I will also be laying them both to be classified (to cover my stake) at healthy odds-on once the markets are better formed at Betfair. It seems a sensible approach to me.

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Written by f1punter

May 10, 2007 at 1:43 am

2 Responses

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  1. Very good site! Thanks! 🙂

    Brianna Trichet

    July 25, 2007 at 12:21 pm

  2. Your are Great. And so is your site! Awesome content. Good job guys!

    Leah Martinez

    July 25, 2007 at 7:04 pm


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