Formula 1: Against The Odds

Finger on the Button at Monza

with 2 comments

Kimi Raikkonen’s use of his Kinetic Energy Recovery System – or KERS as it is widely known – was largely responsible for us turning a healthy profit at the last round of the World Championship in Belgium. It looks like the device again has a role to play this weekend, particularly in qualifying.

Renault’s director of engineering Pat Symonds:

“The gain in lap time of running KERS in Monza is likely to be around a quarter of a second and it’s worth even more in qualifying as you can do one release before you start a timed lap and another release during the timed lap.”

It is interesting to hear Renault’s opinion as they have fitted KERS to their cars for the first time since Bahrain, taking the total number of KERS runners on the grid to six. In recent weeks we have seen drivers fail to qualify on pole, but make up ground at the start using the device. With six drivers now gunning for these places, I feel that there will again be more emphasis on grid position. For that reason, it the qualifying market that I first want to concentrate on.

Of the six drivers drivers fitted with KERS, I am immediately going to rule out half of them: Fisichella as he is new to the car, Grosjean as he is still new to the sport and Kovalainen because it is so rare that he gets the better of his team-mate. This leaves the following three drivers as my contenders for Pole Position:

Lewis Hamilton – 4/1 Favourite
Hamilton has overtaken Vettel at the head of the market as the odds compilers have cottoned on to the KERS-factor. With the McLaren showing a resurgence in form in the last few Grand Prix, their strong recent record around this circuit, Mercedes power and Hamilton’s hunger evident once again, I make him a worthy favourite and still worth a bet at 4/1.

Kimi Raikkonen – 15/2
It has been difficult to read the pace of the Ferrari over recent races and there is the suspicion that the victory last time out came despite them not possessing the fastest car on the grid. In addition there remains a question about the car’s fluidity over the kerbs which as ever will be a challenge at Monza. It is clear that they are there or thereabouts in terms of speed, however Raikkonen has recently raced better than he has qualified. For that reason I’m going to pass over the Finn this time.

Fernando Alonso – 14/1
With Renault’s World Motor Sport Council hearing looming, how must Fernando Alonso wish that he could get his dream move to Ferrari sown up. Monza is a circuit where the Spaniard has excelled in the past – winning from pole position in 2007 – and he’ll be looking to repeat that feat this weekend in front of the Tifosi. With KERS fitted again, I take hope from the fact that Alonso has not been averse to the odd glory run in qualifying in the past when he has a point to prove. 14/1 at PaddyPower with each-way terms looks a cracking bet to me.

The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber should not be discounted at a circuit where they are expected to perform. I’m going to take the chance though that on Saturday at least, it is KERS that will have the final say.


2 Responses

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    July 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm

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