Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Spanish Grand Prix: Barcelona Pre-Qualifying Tips

Formula 1 Tips For The Spanish Grand Prix

Yesterday I rounded up the most profitable bets and also the safest bets so far this season in four of the most popular formula 1 betting markets.  Formula 1 wouldn't be as fun if you reduced it to nothing more than a list of statistics though, so as usual I'm going to be making a set of pre and post qualifying tips for the Spanish Grand Prix and then see how I get on compared to the form guide.

To do things slightly different this time out, first of all I'm going to highlight my favourite 'safe' bets and then follow this with a selection of 'risky' bets.  Then as the season progresses I should be able to analyse whether it's generally better to go for short priced favourites or longer priced outsiders.  Obviously there's no such thing as a totally safe bet and all bets have an element of risk attached, so more appropriate names might perhaps be 'Shorter Priced Bets' and 'Longer Priced Bets'.

Anyway, here are my pre-qualifying predictions for the Spanish Grand Prix split into two categories...

Playing It Safe/Shorter Priced Bets:

Race Winner:
20 points on Sebastian Vettel at 3.0
It's hard to make an overly strong case for anyone other than Vettel, Alonso or Raikkonen taking the win in Spain, and the bookies would seem to agree with the top three all priced significantly shorter than the rest of the field at odds of 5.0 or less.

Podium Finish:
20 points on Kimi Raikkonen at 1.67
I have to admit that none of the podium prices really stood out, but Kimi Rakkonen has been his usual consistent self so far this season, with Malaysia the only Grand Prix where he failed to make the podium.

Top Six Finish:
20 points on Lewis Hamilton at 1.57
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are the only drivers to make the top six at every Grand Prix so far this year.

Qualifying Winning Margin:
20 points on Qualifying Winning Margin - 0.15 Seconds Or More at 1.73
So far this season pole has been achieved with an average qualifying winning margin of 0.47 seconds.  This hefty margin is in part due to the weather conditions we had at Malaysia, but nevertheless every Grand Prix so far this season has seen a comfortable qualifying winning margin of at least a quarter of a second.

Safety Car:
20 points on Safety Car - No at 1.53

New for 2013

Taking A Risk/Longer Priced Bets:

Race Winner:
10 points eachway (20 points in total) on Mark Webber at 11.0
Mark has had an eventful season so far, but he came close in Malaysia and in a Red Bull he looks to be the best of the rest at odds of 11.0.

Podium Finish:
20 points on Lewis Hamilton at 3.6
Tyre management remains arguably Mercedes' weak point at the moment, but Lewis Hamilton has had a couple of podiums already, and Mercedes' one lap pace shows that they have a fundamentally fast car.  If they can get on top of their tyre issues then Lewis could be in line for a victory or two later in the season, but for now it's probably wiser to limit any bets to a podium finish.

To Finish In The Points (Top Ten Finish):
20 points on Nico Hulkenberg at 2.75
There aren't any real stand-out bets in the Top Ten Finish market, but Nico Hulkenberg has a couple of points finishes to his name, so if the top teams encounter problems then he could be well placed to sneak into the lower end of the points scoring positions.

Qualifying Winning Team: 
20 points on Mercedes at 4.0
Most drivers would name Red Bull as the fastest car right now, but Mercedes have shown they have excellent qualifying pace.  Hamilton and Rosberg were on pole position at China and Bahrain respectively (with a comfortable quarter of a second to spare), so odds of 4.0 are therefore long enough to tempt me into a bet on either of the Mercedes drivers making it a hat-trick of pole positions for Mercedes.

Not To Be Classified:
20 points on Nico Rosberg at 5.5
Nico Rosberg has had a couple of DNFs due to reliability issues already this season.  This could be just early season teething issues, and you would expect a team like Mercedes to get on top of things, but odds as long as 5.5 are enough to tempt me into a speculative bet on another non-finish for Nico Rosberg at the Spanish Grand Prix.

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I've relied on the form guide when making my selections but the three week gap before the start of the European season will have given the teams time to work on ugrades and therefore this may change the current status quo slightly.  It might therefore possibly be wiser to wait until after qualifying before placing any formula 1 bets, so as usual I'll be making another set of tips after qualifying.

If you want to check out the best bets so far this season by the form guide then you can find them at the following link:
Spanish Grand Prix - The Top Bets By The Form Guide

Other recent posts:
The Form Guide After Bahrain - Part 1: Winning Driver / Podium Finish
The Form Guide After Bahrain - Part 2: Top Six Finish
The Form Guide After Bahrain - Part 3: Top Ten Finish

The Form Guide After Bahrain - Part 4: Miscellaneous Bets

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Odds were current at time of publication but are subject to change.

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