Formula 1: Against The Odds

Sepang Surprises

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At a best price of evens, this early in the season and with the potential for inclement weather, I wont be backing Jenson Button even though he is for me the most likely race winner. Instead I’m going to chance my arm on a couple of outsiders and back them both to win and finish on the podium:

Sebastian Vettel (29/1 Win, 9/2 Podium)

Vettel has thoroughly impressed me again this season. He looks the quickest Red Bull driver and in turn the RBR looks like it is the only ‘non-diffuser’ car (is that the accepted phrase?) that is genuinely quick enough to challenge for race wins. If it turns in to a wet race, then his pedigree has already been proven in Far Eastern downpours. In my eyes he was harshly punished with his ten-place grid penalty, but with the differing strategies ahead of him, the pace of car and the possibility of rain affecting everyone’s tactics, I don’t think it is beyond him to make up at least ten places over the course of three hundred and ten kilometres. If he can make use of his light fuel load to leapfrog the one-stoppers at the start then he’ll be halfway there.

Felipe Massa (40/1 Win, 9/1 Podium)

Ok so Ferrari screwed up in qualifying… What I am basically betting on here is something causing the starting grid to be less relevant than it usually is (rain, pile-up, safety car etc.). Massa was in the top five fastest cars in every practice session prior to qualifying. If it turns out to be a disrupted race then I want to be supporting the pace that he clearly has in the car and his frustration within it. I still have reservations about his wet weather driving (Silverstone) but his podium in Monaco at least gives me hope.

Lewis Hamilton (45/1 Win, 13/2 Podium)

The whole world is against him, including the bookmakers it seems; but for me Hamilton has two things going for him. He has the ability to overtake and recover through field, as we witnessed as recently as Melbourne and he possesses proven wet weather driving skills. In addition, McLaren are generally pretty good at maximising opportunities that appear due to the weather and around safety cars.

Both Hamilton and Massa are fuelled to take advantage of a Safety Car.

Relying on acts of god is not a betting strategy on which to commit large stakes. I’m aware that the chances of a Safety Car are small at a circuit as wide and open as Sepang, but the threat of rain continues to look real. Like I said, chancing my arm.


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