"What a day! I don't think any of us expected it to unfold like this." ...Mark Webber
The British Grand Prix provided dramatic and sometimes spectacular viewing, but not always for the right reasons. The tyre failures have been well documented but let's not take anything away from some of the brilliant drives we saw from too many drivers to list. It was a race which gave us excitement and great racing, particularly in the closing laps, so although urgent action is needed to sort out the tyre situation, there still remains a lot to be positive about in current formula 1.
For the second race running my tips had a bad day at the office with the Sebastian Vettel's gearbox problems and Lewis Hamilton's tyre failure causing me a couple of losses and also having a knock on effect with other bets such as Highest Scoring Team and Safety Car.
Also for the second race running, my longer priced riskier bets were especially poor with my eachway bet on Mark Webber being the only bet to make a profit (with an eachway return of 26 points). This is how my shorter priced bets got on:
Pre-Qualifying - Shorter Priced Bets:Qualify On Front Row:
20 points on Lewis Hamilton at 1.8 - WIN 36 points
Lewis hadn't been happy with his car all throughout practise but when it actually mattered in Q3 he was able to produce a stunning qualifying lap to claim his second pole position of the season.
Qualifying Winning Margin:
20 points on Under 0.25 Seconds at 1.53 - LOSS
Lewis Hamilton's phenomenal qualifying lap meant that he qualified on pole by a clear 0.452 of a second ahead of Nico Rosberg.
Highest Scoring Team:
20 points on Red Bull at 1.9 - LOSS
With 11 laps to go this was looking like a decent bet, but Sebastian Vettel's retirement due to gearbox failure gave Nico Rosberg the chance to claim the victory and coupled with Lewis Hamilton's impressive drive through the field to fourth place meant that Mercedes finished the British Grand Prix as the highest scoring team.
Top Ten Finish:
20 points on Jean-Eric Vergne at 2.0 - LOSS
Jean-Eric Vergne's car suffered significant damage as a result of his tyre failure and so Toro Rosso took the decision on lap 35 to retire Vergne from the race.
Total Classified Finishers:
20 points on Over 18.5 Finishers at 1.85 - WIN 37 points
Despite the high number of tyre failures the British Grand Prix saw only two retirements with 20 cars classified at the finish.
Post-Qualifying - Shorter Priced Bets:Race Winner:
20 points on Sebastian Vettel at 2.3 - LOSS
Sebastian Vettel looked to be heading for another probable victory until a gearbox failure on lap 41 brought an end to his race. It was bad for my bet, but in terms of the championship battle it keeps things exciting and ensures that Alonso and Raikkonen both remain in contention in the points standings.
20 points on Mark Webber at 2.1 - WIN 42 points
Mark had a troublesome start with a poor getaway and then front wing damage forcing him into an early pit for a new front wing, but despite this he was right there at the end and if he'd had a few more laps then he may even have been able to challenge Rosberg for the victory.
Lap 1 Retirements:
20 points on Lap 1 Retirements - None at 1.53 - WIN 31 points
This has been a solid bet all season and in an unpredictable Grand Prix this was one of the few bets which went to form.
20 points on 6 Seconds Or More at 1.73 - LOSS
The British Grand Prix produced the first dramatic finish of the season with less than a second separating Nico Rosberg from Mark Webber as they crossed the finish line.
20 points on Safety Car - No at 1.57 - LOSS
The tyre failures have been well documented and we actually saw two safety car periods, with Charlie Whiting commenting after the race that he even considered red flagging the race.
As we only have a week until the German Grand Prix I won't have time to produce the usual form guides for various betting markets, but I'll try to post an overall summary at some point during the week.
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Finally, I just want to make the point that in all the furore over the Mercedes/Pirelli test, one important point seemed to get missed:
Formula 1 clearly needs in season tyre testing.
Amid all the accusations and counter-accusations over Testgate, the need for tyre testing didn't seem to be given the focus it deserves. When it comes to safety though, you can't take chances so the teams need to put aside their personal interests and act in the overall interests of the sport.
Back in the late 90s/early 00s victory in formula 1 seemed to owe as much to inter-team politics as it did engineering excellence. Thankfully under Jean Todt we seem to have moved on from those days and until Testgate, modern formula 1 had seen most teams, in general, co-operating and trying to get along for the good of the sport. Hopefully the British Grand Prix will now have acted as a reminder to the teams and will help to avoid a return to the bad old days of politics dominating the sport.
Thankfully the FIA seem to be treating this as the priority it deserves to be, as decisions have already been taken to allow tests to take place, but hopefully in future it won't take a situation like the one we had at Silverstone to get everyone once again putting the sport's interests before their own.
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