Formula 1: Against The Odds

Shanghai Summations

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I have to admit to not being too enthused about the forthcoming Chinese Grand Prix as a betting proposition. A typical Tilke-drome – it is hard to foresee much upset to the status quo.  Indeed that is the problem at this stage of the season: the Drivers’ World Championship is all but settled, the Constructors’ is dead in the water and most teams are focusing on development for next year.  With highly reliable cars under the new regulations and a single tyre manufacturer where are the upsets going to come from? I am sure that the bookmakers will have as good a handle on the situation as anyone.

In fact I won’t even be watching the F1 action this weekend, choosing instead to attend racing of the equine-variety and the excellent Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, Paris. I have backed Soldier of Fortune and Dylan Thomas ante-post – both at 12/1 – for the feature event, but with the current weather in Paris reminiscent of Fuji last weekend, my hopes are beginning to rest with the former. In fact Dylan Thomas may not even run due to his preference for firm ground.  The Breeder’s Cup Turf in America could well beckon instead where again he would be a worth a bet.  We will see.

Anyway, enough about horses, back to the cars.  The F1 circus has only being visiting the Shanghai International Circuit for three years so there is not a lot of historical data to go on.  Fernando Alonso appears to go well here with Pole Position and the Fastest Lap last year after winning from Pole in 2005.  Exactly sixteen cars have been classified in each of the three races, no car has retired in the first ten laps of any race and all three winning margins have been under four seconds.  Some cars starting last year’s race on the intermediate tyres and rain falling in the closing stages was not enough to see the Safety Car deployed, however we did see it twice in 2005: once to replace a loose drainage cover and once to allow the clean up of debris following Karthikeyan’s heavy shunt.

I can’t see much controversial in the early prices for the win market.  Ladbrokes are longer than their competitors about Lewis Hamilton at 3/1 but in truth that can be bettered on the exchanges anyway.  It is difficult to know how the young Brit will approach this weekend.  A victory is certainly not as important as a points finish but will he want to risk the championship going down to the last round?  As someone asked me at the weekend: Has Alonso’s relationship with Hamilton and McLaren deteriorated so far that he would consider taking Hamilton and himself out to bring Raikkonen back into the equation?  I answered that I didn’t think so.

Elsewhere Spyker’s Adrian Sutil is 20/1 to repeat the feat and pick up a world championship point whilst Sebastian Vettel will be up against it to run so strongly with his prize for running into the back of Mark Webber a ten place penalty on the grid at Shanghai.

Perhaps something interesting will come up as the markets mature, after practice or after qualifying, but I am afraid I won’t be around to post about it.  If anyone does spot any value or wants to offer an opinion, please use the comments.


Written by f1punter

October 2, 2007 at 2:07 am

Posted in China GP, F1, formula 1, Horses

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