Formula 1: Against The Odds

Canada: Thoughts On The Race

with one comment

Lewis Hamilton is odds-on for victory following his highly impressive qualifying performance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. As I type, he is currently trading at around 1.64 – 1.65 on Betfair and at that price I feel that he has to be opposed. There is no doubt about his ability to wring a lap from his McLaren around here, but all of the press reaction subsequent to qualifying has been about his ‘dominance’ over the other drivers and I think that this, in part, is responsible for such an unattractively short price.

Hamilton qualified six-tenths of a second faster than Kubica and nearly a second quicker than the nearest Ferrari. I believe that this, to some degree, has to be fuel-related. Martin Brundle remarked in ITV commentary that teams were expecting to have problems with the soft-compound Bridgestone tyre in the race and that it would only be viable for use in the latter stages once the track had rubbered-in. We know from Turkey that Hamilton can have problems with the softer tyre’s wear and on that occasion McLaren chose to switch him to a three-stop strategy to minimise the impact. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same thing again here in Canada.

Throw in the possibility of inclement weather, the track breaking up, the inevitable safety car periods, the crazy safety car pit lane rules and the groundhogs; there is no way I would want to be backing the Brit at that price.

After missing out on a big-priced points finish for Kazuki Nakajima in Monaco I don’t want to make the same mistake again. Full reasons here, but in short his qualifying performance doesn’t seem to hamper his ability to get his Williams in to the points. There is plenty of 5/2 available and possibly bigger on the exchanges.

Finally, I am going to take a punt on Sebastian Vettel steering his Toro Rosso in to the points from a pit-lane start. The pit lane exit in Montreal feeds out into the exit of turn two so hopefully he will be able to miss any first corner carnage. From there he will still need to negotiate his way through the pack, but a) Montreal is a circuit where passing is possible and b) I have already predicted that there will be a large number of retirements, potentially making his job easier.

The main rationale behind this bet though is that there remains a possibility of rain. Last time out in Monaco, Vettel managed to secure a fifth place finish in the extremely tricky conditions. This comes on the back of a fourth place finish in the rain in China and a supremely strong drive in the wet in Japan last year. 4/1 is currently available on the exchanges; the 120/1 for a podium is perhaps just stretching it a little!


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    June 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm

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