Formula 1: Against The Odds

Bahrain Outsiders: Trulli and Rosberg

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Jarno Trulli and Nico Rosberg are a couple of drivers at decent prices that I want to keep on the right side of this weekend, particularly in the qualifying and fastest lap markets. I am going to wait until after tomorrow’s sessions to decide on how to play the race, but others already keen on these two have picked up some great prices.

Jarno Trulli

The Italian has always been a driver that I have followed in qualifying. Discounting those races where he retired, in 2007 he qualified inside the top ten on ten occasions and finished the race inside the top ten on just five occasions. When you take the attrition-factor of races into account; that is astounding.

This season things are looking no different. His Toyota has emerged from Sepang looking like a serious contender for best-of-the-rest and he has qualified inside the top six on both occasions so far this season.

Expecting him to upset the apple cart at the sharp end of the qualifying market is a long shot, but thankfully that is reflected in the prices. The 100/1 on offer at SportingBet for him to take pole-position is not reflective for me of a man who seems happy to compromise his race-strategy in pursuit of qualifying recognition. More realistically there is plenty of 66/1 around with each-way terms and to eliminate the win part altogether, 8/1 for a top three grid slot at BWin. On SPIN’s 25-10-5 index he can be bought at just one!

Nico Rosberg

This is a track that Nico has fond memories of. He set the fastest lap of the race here on his F1 race debut in 2006 on his way to a point-scoring finish and he won both rounds of the 2005 GP2 series held here resulting in him being crowned the inaugural champion.

Sepang was a horrible experience for the Williams team but this has help to dampen some of the expectations following an excellent Melbourne. In Australia Rosberg qualified seventh, drove the fifth fastest lap of the race and finished third.

Early signs this weekend are that Sepang was a blip; the German setting the third fastest time in Free Practice 1 and the sixth fastest time in Free Practice 2. The fact that his teammate has been on his coat tails in both sessions also bodes well for the pace of the car.

Another plus is that whilst Massa, Raikkonen, Kovalainen, Kubica etc all improved their times in FP2, Rosberg instead focused on set-up changes. His ultimate pace – that shown in FP1 – would still have been good enough to place him third in FP2, despite the other driver’s improvements.

Like Jarno Trulli, Nico Rosberg can be backed at 100/1 for pole-position, but just 50/1 with each-way terms. He is the same price with BWin and SPIN as the Italian and in that context the BWin price looks the most attractive.

In the fastest race lap market he is 50/1 (in from 80/1 earlier in the week) with SkyBet. That looks worth throwing a shekel at to me. No fixed-odds firms seem to offer each-way terms on this market but after qualifying SPIN usually price up a fastest lap index with points for the second and third fastest laps. That is certainly worth keeping an eye on too.


Written by f1punter

April 4, 2008 at 8:08 pm

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