Formula 1: Against The Odds

French GP: Thoughts

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David Coulthard has been reminding us this week of his current strong performances in the Red Bull. Cutting through the self-publicity, I expect another decent showing from the Scot at Magny-Cours – a track where he has shown excellent pace in the past.

Between 1998 and 2002 DC set the fastest lap of the race in five consecutive French GPs.  In the last ten years here he has only qualified outside of the top ten once. Two top six finishes in Friday’s practice hint at speed in the car although enthusiasm is tempered slightly by this morning’s 10th best time (although still considerably quicker than his team-mate).

SkyBet are offering Evens that Coulthard will be involved in Q3 and this looks a fair price to me.

It is difficult to forecast with any certainty how Sunday’s race will pan-out with the threat of rain looming large. The number of finishers is usually pretty high in France but wet conditions in the past have decimated the field as the track’s renowned smooth surface becomes ultra-slippery when the rain falls.

It is worth noting that nine of the last ten winners of the race have started on the front row of the grid: Five from pole position and four from P2. The one exception being Heinz-Harold Frentzen’s victory in the wet race of 1999 from fifth on the grid.

Another interesting market is the margin of victory, i.e. the amount of time in seconds between the winner and the second placed finisher. The average gap over the last ten years has been over twelve seconds with just one ‘close’ finish in 2002 when Schumacher hunted down and passed Raikkonen following his mistake at the Adelaide hairpin. My only reluctance to get involved in this market stems from the recent spate of managed McLaren finishes, with neither driver wanting to be seen far behind the other. Perhaps the resurgent Ferraris can make things more interesting this weekend.


Written by f1punter

June 30, 2007 at 10:47 am

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