"...it should be interesting for the fans." ...Jenson Button
pre-qualifying tips are standing in varying degrees of potential. Lewis Hamilton for a podium and Nico Rosberg for a top six finish are looking particularly strong, but Mark Webber's fuel problems in qualifying mean his chances of an eachway victory look to be seriously diminished.
An interesting qualifying approach by Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button means we'll see a mix of strategies in tomorrow's Grand Prix, which should make for an intriguing race. It also makes for an interesting spread of bets in the race winner market with SkyBet's odds suggesting any number of drivers are in with a shot of the race victory.
There are a lot of ifs and buts to consider, but I'll see how I go with my post-qualifying tips...
10 points eachway* (20 points total) on Kimi Raikkonen at 4.5
The odds suggest that the Chinese Grand Prix is looking very open and you could make a case for a number of drivers' chances. Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen and Vettel are all priced as realistic possibilities for the race victory, while Nico Rosberg's odds of 15.0 also make him an appealing bet.
Overall though, I'm torn between Lewis and Kimi, and although in the post qualifying press conference Kimi was playing down the Lotus' pace, he showed in Melbourne that the Lotus can manage its tyres well if we get cooler conditions. It's a tricky one to predict, and temperature and tyres could be a factor, so I'm going to go for Kimi Raikkonen but with so many contenders and variables, I'm going to make it an eachway bet to minimise my risk.
20 points on Nico Rosberg at 3.25
If not for a mistake on the final corner of his Q3 qualifying lap, Nico Rosberg may well have lined up alongside team-mate Lewis Hamilton on the front row of the grid. Mercedes have looked impressive all weekend and Rosberg seems confident of strong race pace in tomorrow's Grand Prix, so at odds of 3.25 (and starting from 4th on the grid) he looks good value to finish on the podium.
Top Six Finish:
20 points on Mark Webber 3.25
There are a number of safe bets which look tempting in the Top Six market (most notably Rosberg and Vettel), and starting from the back of the grid is far from ideal for Mark, but grid position isn't as critical in modern formula 1 as it was a few years ago. This is a bit of a gamble, but if a couple of the front runners hit problems then Webber could still be in with a chance of a reasonable finish.
To Finish In The Points (Top Ten Finish):
20 points on Daniel Ricciardo at 2.63
Ricciardo had a storming qualifying session and really punched above his weight as he was almost a full second faster than his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne in Q2. With Button and Vettel behind him on the grid you would expect Ricciardo to lose a couple of places quite early on in the race, but a points scoring finish is still a realistic target.
Match Bet - Alonso V Vettel:
20 points on Sebastian Vettel at 2.38
. . . . . . . .
Once again I would add a note of caution that at this early stage of the season and with such an open field, it's tricky to predict how things will turn out so treat the above predictions with caution. Whatever happens things are well poised for a potentially exciting race, so I'll report back after the Grand Prix on how my pre and post qualifying tips compared.
You can check out my pre qualifying tips at the following link:
The Chinese Grand Prix: Shanghai Pre-Qualifying Tips
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Odds were current at time of publication but are subject to change.