Formula 1: Against The Odds

Back To The Front in Brazil

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After yesterday’s eventful qualifying session, we are left with starting grid that few would have predicted. The headlines will focus on Barrichello finally turning up at his home circuit and Button handling the pressure like only a Brit knows how, but it is the performance of some of the supporting cast that I think gives the best opportunity make some money from the race. As soon as the status quo is upset, bookmakers are forced to hurriedly revise their prices and there are a couple that just look a shade out of line to me.

I’m very much operating under the principle that “today is another day” and I’m looking to forgive a couple of disappointments in yesterday’s rain. This had lead me to the following:

Giancarlo Fisichella to finish in the points – 7/1+ Betfair

The standout feature about this bet for me is how well Fisichella has improved from poor grid positions already this season. In the fourteen races in which the Italian has been classified, he has made up a total of fifty-one places. That is second only to Timo Glock in the field and we know how much praise the German has received for his race drives this season. It equates to an average of 3.64 places gained per race and whilst that won’t be enough to see him into the points alone, we must factor in a) retirements and b) that it is an average and he hasn’t always had the entire field in front of him. Since Fisi moved to Ferrari that average has remained constant (3.66).

The other thing that I like, is that twentieth place on the grid is not representative of his Ferrari’s pace; his teammate managing a very credible fifth placed start with the same package. Giancarlo made a mistake in the wet, pure and simple: however with fourteen classified finishes this season he is one of the best in the field at getting the car home. More inclement weather wouldn’t necessary discourage me either, as he generally has a good wet weather pedigree and more turmoil in the race is likely to help rather than hinder his cause.

He has a fast car, KERS, a tank full to the brim and a point to prove. This is my bet of the weekend.

Lewis Hamilton to finish in the points – 6/4+ Betfair

Whilst the man from Stevenage doesn’t boast such an impressive places gained per race statistic as Giancarlo Fisichella (just 0.38), it must be put in the context of his qualifying. Three pole positions in the last five races have not left him much room for improvement! Equally his grid slot owes more his car’s inability to perform in the conditions than any individual error. I’m essentially backing the McLaren mechanic’s ability to give him a car more suitably set up to today’s conditions.

Very differently from last year, the real pressure is off Hamilton and with his KERS, his love for overtaking and crucially a track that permits it, I think he’ll fancy a charge through the slower cars ahead of him on the grid. Certainly Martin Whitmarsh will have half an eye on Jarno Trulli’s position at the front of the grid and will be urging Hamilton to attempt to pick up just a few points to keep the Japanese team at arms-length in the constructors battle.

Good luck.

Image reproduced courtesy of Xraver under these terms.


Written by f1punter

October 18, 2009 at 11:18 am

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