F1 / Review / 2009 F1 Season Races 1 5

2009 F1 season - Races 1-9

Despite the season starting as few would have predicted, Bettorlogic had a fourth successive highly profitable year.

Jenson Button

 



17 races in 2009 yielded a profitable return of 69% from 41 recommendations with  +29.5 points from 11spreads. In 2006 it was 44% profitable return +79 spreads; 2007 51% profitable return, +43.5 spreads and last year 87% profitable return and +10 on the spreads.

Race 9 Germany

"We know from previous reports that there is a high probability of another driver other than Button or Vettel taking the chequered flag this season and Mark Webber is a winner in waiting. It may well have happened three weeks ago had he not been impeded on his final qualifying lap.

We are not so concerned by the relative poor return of fastest qualifiers at the Nurburgring but we are by the prospect of rain during the race because then anything can happen. There is value in the 2.92 (Betfair) on offer for a Webber win but it may pay to wait until nearer the off because our confidence would be greater if the race starts under known conditions, especially if that is rain. Barrichello (7.8) loves this track and second fastest qualifiers here have a better record than those on pole but he’s failed too often from second (one win in 18) and his wet weather record doesn’t inspire. Furthermore the Brawns are running lighter and that's a good indication of how fast the Red Bulls are. We’d look at match bets once the markets are formed and consider taking Button over Barrichello and Massa over Raikkonen. Vettel will be on many short lists considering his record in the wet but it should be noted that only once in 22 races over the past 10 years has a driver starting in fourth won with his team-mate on pole (Hamilton at Silverstone last year).

Our best weather report suggests it will be wet-dry-wet during the race which normally spells chaos and that means a long shot could well win. Hamilton falls into that category and can be backed at 15 (Totesport E/W 1/5, 1-3). He does well in the wet; the McLaren has shown signs that it’s a different beast to the one we’ve seen so far and he was masterful at Silverstone last year starting in fourth. We think Massa is a misunderstood driver in wet conditions, as our analysis shows, and  the fuel loads show that he and Raikkonen are set up for a long first stint, he’s another for each way consideration (41.0 Totesport) or 70.0 for the win with Betfair and 9.0 for a podium.

Of those starting further down the grid, there are just a few too many negatives about those starting just outside the top-10. Timo Glock starts from the last row but came from way back in China to score points and has 5/7 improvement record in the wet from his starting position. A buy at 2 on the Spread race index has minimal downside and, potentially, much gain."

Result: 1st  M Webber, 2nd S Vettel, 3rd F Massa, T Glock finished 9th

Race 8 Great Britain

"Sebastian Vettel is a strong favourite at 1.88 and considering that he carries more fuel than the others, he's very strongly placed. So far the Red Bull looks to have the edge over the Brawn this weekend and there is nothing to suggest that team-mate, Mark Webber, is on a different strategy and therefore likely to reverse positions. Only twice in 18 starts since 2006 has a driver from third won when a team-mate has started on pole (fastest qualifier has won 10).

Rubens Barrichello (6.2) has his best chance of a first win of the season largely because his team-mate starts four places back, but only two second fastest qualifiers have won here in the past ten years. The record of the fastest qualifier at Silverstone just puts us off Vettel at the price and we’d prefer to sell the Red Bull multi-finishing position at 17 (if a driver retires the maximum finishing position is 12). Alternatively take 2.0's on a double Red Bull podium (Ladbrokes) or 3.25 the dual forecast with Paddy Power.. Only once has a Red Bull retired this season and in four out of seven races this year, there’s been a 1-2 for the same team.

Raikkonen can be sold for a points finish at 1.82 and that looks reasonable but we’d have a marginal preference at small stakes on Timo Glock at 2.5 (William Hill) to finish ahead of team-mate Jarno Trulli."

Result: 1st S Vettel, 2nd M Webber, 3rd F Massa, 7th J Truli, 9th T Glock

Race 7 Turkey

"We’d be surprised if the winner comes from anywhere other than the front row and Sebastian Vettel (2.72) will be hoping to maintain his and Turkey’s 100% record of the fastest qualifier always winning. This could be the second time this season that the fastest qualifier has won three successive races and in the past ten years, 12/16 such drivers landed the hat-trick.
Jenson Button’s best hope is if he has sufficiently greater fuel than Vettel so that so that he can claim the lead during a round of pitstops. This should be a much more competitive race than those we’ve seen previously this season but we’d favour the Red Bull over the Brawn unless we discover that the Brawn has a significant fuel advantage. If Mark Webber can get ahead of Button starting on the clean side of the track that will greatly help the cause for a team victory.
There’s not much else to look at as the fewer retire here than elsewhere. In three of the four Turkish Grand Prix a driver from just outside the top-10 has scored points and if that were to continue then Nick Heidfeld would be our choice and 3.5 to do so is a reasonable price. He will need some of those ahead to fall by the wayside, so we wouldn’t get too heavily involved."

Result: 1st J Button, 2nd M Webber, 3rd S Vettel, 12th N Heidfeld
 

Race 6 Monaco

"Jenson Button is priced just as he was for victory two weeks ago (1.98) and it’s difficult to look beyond him. Pole has won four of the last five here; it’s very difficult to win from anywhere further back than third and there are question marks about his main rivals. It’s a long time since Kimi Raikkonen (4.0) won and he’ll need to get past the Brawn, most probably on the opening lap, otherwise he’ll have too much ground to make up. Reliability has been an issue for Ferrari this season and despite a previous win here, we’re not convinced that this is his track.  Barrichello (9.0) huffs and puffs about what happened two weeks ago and the record of drivers from the second row in Monaco when a team-mate is better placed is not great.

Vettel is poised to take advantage of any mistakes from those up front but there’s not enough reason or value to support a top three finish at 2.5 – Barrichello is the better proposition at 2.22. Vettel’s team-mate, Mark Webber is interesting because although he can boast a top three finish here, he’s also retired in four of seven and scored points in 3/10 when starting on the fourth row for Red Bull, so we’d lay him for a points finish at 1.8. Far better at this track has been Fernando Alonso and his high completion rate and points record from where he starts suggests there may be some return on the race index, providing he survives a stewards’ enquiry for possibly blocking Jarno Trulli in qualifying.

We’re well ahead on the spreads this season and will speculate on a Toyota from the back doing well by buying both drivers at 1 on the race index. Whilst this is one of the toughest tracks on the circuit for overtaking, it has a better record than most for drivers picking up points from the back."

Result: 1st J Button, 2nd Barrichello, 3rd K Raikkonen T Glock and J Trulli finished 10th and 13th

Race 5 Spain

"There’s not a great deal to say about this weekend, other than to get on Jenson Button at 1.98 with Betfair. The history of the fastest qualifier here and when the championship leader starts from the front and has the best car, persuades us that this is the only consideration for this weekend.

Because Catalunya is a track where not a great deal happens, it’s very difficult to find value elsewhere. A Brawn 1-2 is too short at 2.75 and our only other consideration would be to sell Trulli on the spreads at 0 in a match bet against Glock. A Button win is our main recommendation."

Result: 1st J Button, 2nd R Barrichello, 3rd M Webber, T Glock finished ahead of J Trulli for a spread gain of +22

Race 4 Bahrain

"The way this season has been turned on its head so far, it would be no surprise if the fastest qualifier made it four straight wins and so for the first time in our records achieved it with different drivers. But we’d oppose Trulli rather than support him because of his poor race record relative to his qualifying position.

Tracks like Bahrain rarely produce winners from that far down the grid and it’s most likely the winner will come from the top three qualifiers. What puts us off Glock is that of the previous 20 drivers (last 20 years) who qualified second fastest never having been on the front row before, none have won and only four have made podium. The last to make top three was Lewis Hamilton in his debut season and before that Jean Alesi in 1994. Should his price contract from 3.3 to below 3’s, we’d lay Glock for a podium position.

So far this season, Vettel is showing the most consistent form and whilst the record of last race winners from third isn’t that great, once the fuel loads are revealed, we suspect he’ll have been the fastest fuel adjusted qualifier. All top four qualifiers who won the previous race have taken 53% of the grand prix in the last five years and 3.85 for the win is worth taking.

The biggest danger to Vettel may well be Hamilton who’ll be boosted by his KERS charge off the start and if he slips between the Toyota’s and Vettel that could seriously compromise the German’s strategy. We’d have Hamilton at 3.45 for a podium finish or buy him on the race index at 21 (20 points fro 5th) which is our preferred option and restrict our interest to just the two propositions."

Result: 1st J Button, 2nd S Vettel, 3rd J Trulli 4th L Hamilton (+4 race index)

Race 3 China

"In our three plus years of covering Formula One, it’s rare that we come to the end of a preview without some clear idea of what we think is going to happen. This is one of those races. It may rain; there haven’t been many grand prix at Shanghai; we’ve a host of cars up front fresh to the experience and there are doubts about the two starting from the most likely winning position – the front row. Lack of clarity is reflected in the market with the current favourite, Button (3.8) starting from fifth and three other drivers priced 8’s or shorter.

We’re off Vettel because we don’t think he’s value at 4.7. If he or Mark Webber wins, it will be the first time a constructor in 20 seasons has won the third race of the season with fewer than four points on the championship board. However none started from pole and only three from the front two rows and Vettel did defy conventional wisdom last year when he flew home in the wet from his first start on pole . Webber hasn’t done enough to suggest he can get ahead of his team-mate and we are concerned about the reliability of the Alonso Renault with its late diffuser fitting. If that’s reliable, then with his wealth of experience and liking for the track, 9’s for the win or 4.5 without Brawn could look very long.

We’re then left with the two Brawns because unless rain completely mixes up proceedings, it is hard to see anyone beyond the top five winning. The record for winners of the previous race succeeding from Button’s position puts us off the favourite which leaves Barrichello and almost by default. At 5.8, we think there’s some value but it’s a tentative vote.

There are conflicting reports about the likelihood of rain and that would certainly make matters interesting. We’d take a view nearer the off and if wet conditions look likely, make a buy for Hamilton (13-16) and Heidfeld (5-7) on the race index, but for small stakes. It may be worth monitoring Glock’s points scoring price because 2.9 is just too short starting as he does from 19th but we’d like the lay price to move closer from it’s current 3.95 position."

Result: 1st S Vettel, 2nd M Webber, 3rd J Button 6th L Hamilton

Race 2 Malaysia

"The biggest deterrent to Jenson Button’s chances of a back-to-back wins is rain, simply because unlike the others this season, the Brawn has never tested in the wet because of their winter problems. He’s available at around evens and if it’s likely to be dry, he should deliver. Our advice would be to wait until closer to the off and should his price hold up, take that if it looks like the rain will stay away. It’s hard to look beyond him for a winner and our other advice would be to take Heidfeld for a points finish at 2.2 because of his record of improvement from qualifying and back Trulli for a podium as second fastest have a good record here and 2.4 is a good price. We’ll also look to back Alonso on the race index as a buy at 8, providing on the day that we are satisfied with his medical condition.
 

Update Sunday 9.00am GMT

Rain has hit Sepang on Friday and Saturday at what would be the halfway point of the race and is forecast to do so again today. For that reason, we'd avoid Trulli because his record in the wet is average and we will also back off Button because whilst he's very effective in the wet, we don't know, nor does he, whether the Brawn will be. We'll restrict ourselves to Alonso and Heidfeld and back them on the race index spreads at 8 and 6 respectively but at reduced stakes because a thunderstorm halfway through the race could turn it into a complete lottery."

Result: 1st J Button, 2nd N Heidfeld (+34 race index) 3rd T Glock, F Alonso finished 11th

Race 1 Australia

 

"Button at 2.32 and Barrichello, 4.2, dominate the market with Vettel next best at 14’s. Button should get the better of his team-mate and with the Brawn clearly superior to everybody else on the grid, odds against for a Button win is perfectly reasonable. Our hesitancy is based solely on the fact that they’ve put in fewer winter laps than the others and that raises a doubt about reliability.

Albert Park has one of the highest retirement rates of all the tracks and with drivers needing to adjust to the new regulations, we’d take the 2.1 on offer for there to be less than 13.5 classified finishers. In the same vein, only twice in 13 races in Melbourne have both cars starting on the fourth row finished and together with the poor record of Massa and Trulli at this track, we’d back the two of them at 3.5 and 3 (Sportingbet) not to finish.

Alternatively, lay them for a points finish when the market becomes better formed because Massa should be available at around 1.35 and Trulli at 1.8. Nakajima at 3.1 for a points finish is a possibility because the Williams has the diffuser advantage and he has a fair record from outside the top-10 for finishing and picking up some points.  Our strategy overall would be to reduce stakes because it is the first race of the season and the top of the grid is dominated by drivers more accustomed to starting lower down and that could lead to a shake up on raceday."

Result: 1st J Button, 2nd R Barrichello, 3rd J Trulli, F Massa failed to finish, 15 drivers finished.

 

 
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