I’m generally loathed to back Sebastian Vettel as he is a perennial bookmaker’s favourite and nobody gets rich from backing favourites. Generally a ‘horses for courses’ approach yields more value as opposed to backing a car/driver combination that are simply in form.
The problem is, the Red Bull/Sebastian Vettel alliance has been ‘in form’ since the summer of 2010.
Few outsiders would believe we have woken from that yawningly long era when F1 was dominated by two teams and, on some occasions, just one. The general consensus of those on the inside is this, the twenty-tens, is the most competitive epoch the sport has enjoyed in decades.
That sentiment makes the young German’s achievements all the more striking. Of course it’s not inconceivable that his Red Bull car is simply Superman’s cape and this particular Clark Kent boasts results which are only a reflection of its capabilities as opposed to those of the mortal at its wheel.
The only true substantiation of a driver’s ability is his results compared to his teammate. In this department Sebastian Vettel has not merely beaten his Australian garage-mate, he has massacred him.
In his defence a lesser man than Mark Webber would have avoided the embarrassment, made his excuses, and walked long ago. There is a sense of relief that his suffering is coming to an end as, sadly, he’s appearing battle fatigued, if not shell-shocked, by the futile and often unpleasant fight.
By winning in Silverstone last year he may have got a monkey off of his back but subsequent embarrassments have seen him morph into an angry silverback at the time when he should be bowing his head in deference, preparing a pitcher of warm water, and washing his teammate’s feet in a fitting biblical gesture.
Seven races down this season and Vettel has out-qualified and out-finished Webber on a ratio of seven-to-nil. Additionally in the 18 races since the 2012 British GP only twice has Webber finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel. It is blatantly obvious Christian Horner was not awarded his OBE for running an Austrian F1 team or making a German driver a multiple world champion. It’s for his sense of humour and support of a Commonwealth subject.
Seb on Stats
Against a bigger sample, the remainder of the Formula 1 starting grid, Vettel boasts seven race wins, two seconds and two third placed finishes from his last 14 race starts. It’s been 58 races since Vettel last retired from a race due to a collision and his three subsequent DNF’s came courtesy of a puncture, engine failure and a defunct alternator. Clearly the words misfortune and Vettel do not belong in the same sentence.
Boasting a win, a second and a third from the last four British GP – with Webber playing his part to give the Red Bull team seven out of a possible eight podium finishes – logic dictates Vettel is the most likely race winner this weekend with the probability calculated at fifty percent.
The only stat which momentarily concerns is the eight different winners of the last ten British Grand Prix’s. However, with the circuit’s configuration changed in 2010, I’m interpreting little from it. Regardless I’ll throw in a few percentage points and readjust Vettel’s chances in the region of 47 percent or odds of 10/9.
Therein, favourite or not, I’m forced to recommend him at Betvictor.com’s standout quote of 34.78 percent or 15/8 in traditional odds. A reminder: When the odds on offer are greater than the probability of the result happening you are morally obliged to back your judgement.
Given that business model I’m unable to place my orthodox bet of Fernando Alonso finishing on the podium. 25 top-three finishes during the past two years (from 37 races) gives him a 67.5 percent strike-rate in this sphere but, sadly, that’s reflected in his odds which offer no favourable discrepancies.
Lotus look regressive and their qualifying figures make painful reading: 7-8-7-11-2-6-9-11-4-7-5-13-9-19. Additionally this is a car which reportedly needs hot conditions to perform at its best. Good luck with that – a reminder 1976 was the last heat-wave seen in these parts.
That leaves Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in their fine qualifying but questionable race trim Mercedes. They are 8/1 and 12/1 to land the spoils respectively.
Completely stumped for a value selection I did turn to the old and profitable chestnut which is the winning margin. But just what is going on? At this stage last season six races had been won by 3.3secs or less, one by 6.4secs and just one by bigger than that. We blamed tyres and logically concluded controlling races from the front and doing no more than what is necessary was the prudently employed strategy.
Maybe Mercedes, who after all now know as much about Pirelli tyres as Pirelli, can explain why the average winning margin so far this season is 8.9secs with five of the seven races won by a margin in excess of nine seconds.
This Week’s Selections
Race winner: Sebastian Vettel 200 points 15/8 (Betvictor.com)
This week’s investment: 200 points. Season profit/loss: +200 points.
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic.