Formula 1: Against The Odds

Valencia Qualifying Value

with one comment

I’ll be taking it softly-softly this weekend, as the F1 circus moves onto a new venue in Valencia for the European Grand Prix. For all that the track is billed as a ‘street circuit’, the simulations and footage I have seen thus far, remind me more of Albert Park in Melbourne than Monte Carlo, and for that reason, I think we can look forward to a reasonably wide-open race. As far as wagering goes, I’m going to stick with Qualifying at this stage, and have a few small punts on three of the less obvious candidates.

I can see McLaren and (to a lesser extent) Ferrari being a shade more cautious than usual this weekend, given the relatively unknown nature of the track, and this might just be enough to open the door for one of the middle-table teams to have a dash at Pole Position. First on my list of those to back is one Fernando Alonso. This is his second home-race of the season, and his superb Qualifying performance in Barcelona earlier in the year is still fresh in the memory. His entire race-weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya was geared around a run at the Pole Position, and he only just missed out by less than 1/10th to a last-gasp effort from Kimi Raikonnen. Alonso has already hinted at ‘springing a surprise’ this weekend, and I can see him again focusing on landing the car on Pole, to the detriment of a more logical race strategy. I’ve managed to nick a few scheckels at 28, but am reasonably satisfied with average odds of a shade under 16/1.

I’ve complemented my Alonso wager by backing both Toyota drivers. For my money, the Japanese outfit now have the clear fourth-best car on the grid, and I believe they have made serious progress in comparison to the BMW squad. Timo Glock’s qualifying position in Hungary was widely believed to be down to him running very light on race fuel, but he belied that suggestion by pitting in a similar window to the ‘better’ cars around him. At odds of 85, he is worth a roll of the dice. Qualifying maestro Jarno Trulli sits in the partner car, and given his one-lap pace and generally decent form on this type of circuit, I’ve taken up to 40 about his prospects on Saturday.

Almost certainly a race to enjoy for the freshness it brings, rather than as a serious betting heat, but these selections will hopefully give me an interest deep into Q3 on Saturday.


Written by Grasshopper

August 21, 2008 at 6:31 pm

One Response

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  1. As well as Grasshopper’s qualifying bets, I’ve backed Bourdais to make Q3 @ 4/1 – based on his street circuit experience, practice performance and a very interesting quote he made about fuel loads (thanks to Christine at http://www.sidepodcast.com for bringing this to my attention on her podcast).

    Kimi is the driver that I think is most likely to take pole and perhaps during the three week break the importance of pole has dawned on him. If he goes above 5s in-running then I’ll join in.


    August 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm

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