23rd June 2012
Formula One Betting: Maldonado looks good value to get on the podium in European Grand Prix
European Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel took his third consecutive pole position in Valencia today ahead of Sundays European Grand Prix. It was a stunning lap to finish three tenths of a second ahead of McLarens Lewis Hamilton and looks set to repeat his victory here twelve months ago and is a short priced favourite to do so. The bookmakers Betfred have him as short as Even money and in places the German is odds on to extend his lead at the top of the Drivers Championship.
All through qualifying the times were very close and we have come accustomed to a shock exit for someone in the first session and this week was no different. The unlucky man on this occasion was Mark Webber who had problems with his Red Bull earlier on which prevented him from taking any meaningful part in the free practice session. He has ended up 19th on the grid after complaining of having no DRS during qualifying and even a last ditched attempt on soft tyres couldn’t rescue the situation. The usual suspects followed him through the exit doors and Glock missed the session completely due to feeling unwell.
In Q2 it was very competitive with thousands of a second splitting many drivers and it was always going to be a mad dash at the end to get into the top ten. Biggest surprise here was that both Ferrari’s make it and Alonso and Massa now have an impossible task from 11th and 13th on the grid. Sandwiched in between them is Michael Schumacher who blamed himself afterwards for not getting the best out of his Mercedes and this must be a big disappointment for the team who had high hopes coming into the weekend. It’s hard enough to overtake here when you are in a good position but row six is a nightmare result for the ex-champion.
Onto Q3 and the fight for pole, at one time it did look like the youngsters were going to battle it out when Maldonado and Grosjean looked very quick. The Force India’s were also looking much improved and having both of their drivers in the top ten must be a very satisfying result for them, Hulkengerg is 8th and De Resta 10th. Jensen Button will have to feel better this week with his 9th spot although at one time today he looked capable of much more while 4th and 5th for Lotus puts them in a good position for the race.
The top three is made up of Vettel, Hamilton and Maldonado in the Williams who came back to form. They will be eager to show that their win in Barcelona was no fluke and they certainly seem to enjoy the Spanish air. He could go well especially with the Ferraris and Webber out of the way at the all-important start. Hamilton hadn’t shown anything special this weekend but always seems to produce the goods when its needed and he will be happy with his front row position although it was frightening the amount of time Vettel found on his last flying lap, up until then there was nothing between half a dozen drivers and once again he steps up and delivers the perfect lap.
Pole sitters always do well here and it will be hard for anyone to beat Vettel and the Red Bull on Sunday, his price is a bit skinny but you cant blame the layers for taking that view. The team have quietly come into form after a shaky start and while they are not as dominant as in 2011 they are still well capable of taking advantage of this situation.
I think the betting for a podium finish is much more interesting, the bookies seem to think Vettel and Hamilton are sure things but its wide open for the third spot. Maldonado’s price is very tempting and worth a bet in my view. Lower down the grid the battle for minor points is clouded by the low grid positions of Alonso, Schumacher and Webber all of which are odds on to finish in the points. The Force India’s have been going well all weekend both drivers are 8/11 to get a point, with Hulkenberg two places ahead of Di Resta on the grid he must the value bet of the pair and will do for me.
3pts Sebastian Vettel 21/20 Skybet
1pt Pastor Maldonado Podium Finish 7/2 BetVictor
2pts Nico Hulkengerg Points Finish 8/11 Paddy Power
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Author: Pitstop Pete