Monthly Archives: July 2014

F1 2014: Hungary GP Preview

Well after the German GP predictions were blown apart thanks to Massa’s driving in the first corner of the race, I really need some help in this race. However, the fact that it is Hungary, one of the most tedious tracks in the F1 calendar, won’t help.

It is easier these days to start with the ‘standard’ bets. In terms of a safety car the last 10 years are split 8 No/2 Yes, and one of the deployments was in the rain which might be the case this weekend. At the moment the odds are 1.83 for either choice (representing a 109.1% book – that is where they make their money!). In this case, I am going to go for the ‘wait until the race day’ approach – if it is wet back Yes, and if it is dry back No.

The number of finishers market is <17 2.25, 17-18 2.75 and >18 3.25, I have been bitten by the three way split here too often, and so I am looking at the simpler market at 1.83 either side of 17.5 finishers. Going on average data the number of finishers should be 18, but that includes a disparity in the rain in 2006. Again, if wet go for >17.5, if dry go for <17.5.

As for the specific bet for the race, this is tricky. Hamilton is only at 1.53, mainly because of the car superiority and the fact that Hungary seems to something of a favourite track for this driver (4 wins out of the last 10). Ricciardo and Vettel share the odds of 3.50 for the non-Mercedes market, with Bottas at 4.50. Again, this seems fair as the circuit is not one that will really help the powerful Williams.

A bet on Maldonado not to actually be classified looks tempting at 2.37, given both the car and driver’s ability to blow up at any time, but in the end I think the Mercedes dominance and Hamilton’s history mean that a Grand Chelem is on the cards, and at 3.00 for the ‘Hat Trick’ (as Ladbrokes call it) of pole, fastest lap and win there is at least a little bit of value in it.

Summary:

  • Selected Bet
    • Hamilton to take pole, fastest lap and win (3.00 Ladbrokes)
    • Other predicitons
      • If dry:
        • Safety car to NOT be deployed (1.83 Bet365)
        • Classified finishers: Over 17.5 (1.83 Ladbrokes)
        • If wet:
          • Safety car to be deployed (1.83 Bet365)
          • Classified finishers: Under 17.5 (1.83 Ladbrokes)

2014 Season Totals (based on level stakes of 1 unit)

  • Selected bets: 2 win, 6 lose for -3.12
  • Safety car: 3 win, 4 lose for -2.66
  • Finishers: 3 win, 4 lose for -0.95
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F1 2014: Germany GP Preview

After missing any predictions around the British GP due to other commitments, I am cutting it close to the wire in reference to the German GP. I’d like to claim that I would have had all my predictions come in at Silverstone, but I don’t think that I would have predicted Hamilton’s impressive charge, or the SC/finishers!

Moving to Germany, there is a certain German sporting momentum that may be hard to beat. Certainly Rosberg’s greatest threat – his teammate – didn’t have a good session crashing heavily in Q1. I do hope that elements of the Silverstone crowd noted the lack of cheers at that point, and the supportive applause as Hamilton got out of the car. There has also been a lot of talk about FRIC suspension systems, their ‘ban’, the potential impact, and yet little on the fact that it appears to have made absolutely no difference.

So, with little notice, where are we in predictions for the Hockenheimring? Going for the simple ‘regular’ bets an analysis of the previous seasons isn’t helped by the sharing of German GP duties with the Nurburgring. But in terms of a safety car, for such a high speed track it is nothing like as much of a car breaker as the old circuit design used to be. My dubious analysis of the data shows only one since 2004 (6 runnings). The concern over a wet race also appears to have abated over the day. The odds available, however, are mixed. A ‘Yes’ for safety car deployment is 1.72 at Bet365 but 1.90 at Ladbrokes, with No 2.00 at Bet365 and 1.80 at Ladbrokes. This probably reflects the potentially random nature, and the fact that Ladbrokes are aware that any incident is likely to result in a safety car in these overly cautious days. Nonetheless, 2.00 is too good to pass up based on the history of the race.

The number of classified finishers is predicted at 17-18, with the Bet365 odds of 2.10 (<17), 3.00 (17-18) and 3.25 (>18). In this case, I believe it is worth sticking with the predictions behind the safety car, and favour the >18 market. The last race at the Hockenheimring in 2012 saw only one retirement, and that is what I am looking for this year (as long as Guttierez and Maldonado can keep out of each other’s way!).

For the race bet, a lot will depend on Hamilton. In Britain he showed immense talent in fighting his way up from 6th on the grid, and was challenging for the win by right even before Rosberg’s car gave up. But from 15th place is another matter entirely. It is difficult to see how he can get into a position to challenge quickly enough, although if any driver could it would be him, and if any car could it would be the Mercedes. Many of the markets think that he might, but I think that there is something of a chink in the armour of that team at the moment. Neither the drivers nor the team appear to be running in the same slick fashion as earlier this year, and so my selected bet reflects that by favouring what is becoming the clear ‘Number Two’ team – Williams. I am no fan of Massa, but he is certainly doing the business, but I am an admirer of Bottas who seems to have done wonders this season. With a good car, good qualifying, and a very positive attitude in the team, I think betting on both team cars to finish on the podium (3.25 at Ladbrokes) seems a decent chance.

Summary:

  • Selected Bet
    • Both Williams cars to finish on the podium (3.25 Ladbrokes)
    • Other predicitons
      • Safety car to NOT be deployed (2.00 Bet365)
      • Classified finishers: Over 18 (3.25 Bet365)

2014 Season Totals (based on level stakes of 1 unit)

  • Selected bets: 2 win, 5 lose for -2.12
  • Safety car: 3 win, 3 lose for -1.66
  • Finishers: 3 win, 3 lose for +0.05