Formula 1: Against The Odds

Massa to take victory in Monaco

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Let’s start with a caveat. I am not going to place this bet until as close to the start of the race as possible and only then, when I have convinced myself that it will be a completely dry grand prix. That is not to say that Massa can’t win the race in the wet (around a track that until today he hated, without traction-control…) but inclement weather would negate the reasons why I am wagering on him.

After backing the Brazilian to do the business last week and watching him set scorching times in all three qualifying sessions today, it could be justified that he is a worthwhile bet on form alone. However, I feel that his price of 7/4 (available on the exchanges) also has some value for purely statistical reasons.

The current regulations in F1 – which as we know are not conducive to overtaking – not surprisingly appear to be leading to a lot of pole sitters going on to take victory. Three out this season’s five races have been won from the front and it was eleven from seventeen last season. Ignoring all other factors and simply backing the driver on ‘pole’ at 7/4 (if it were available) would have served you very well!

When it comes to overtaking, Monaco as we know is in a league of its own (well maybe with the Circuit du Catalunya…). That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its own unique challenges, but in the last four races here the driver from number one on the grid has seen the chequered flag. In the last ten years the figures balance out somewhat (five victors from ‘pole’), but betting on all ten at 7/4 would have been fine for me!

Finally we have the man himself. Felipe Massa, seven times an F1 victor with six coming from pole position. The fact that those six came from a total of just eleven pole position starts is the clincher. So far, backing Felipe Massa at 7/4 each time he was on ‘pole’ would have given us a level stakes profit of £550 to a £100 stake.

I am guessing that the price is reflective of his chequered past at the circuit and an expectation that the McLaren will be the dominant race car. However, history has shown us that the best cars don’t always win around here and it was easy to forget in all of the pre-race hyperbole that Felipe was actually on the podium here last year.

One thing to consider is that those offering the 7/4 price may be factoring in the possibility of a wet race and in the event of clear blue skies it could no longer be available. Still, anything odds-against is at least worthy of consideration tomorrow.


Written by f1punter

May 24, 2008 at 7:26 pm

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