As Formula One is hitting the news for many of the wrong reasons it must be a welcome break for Bernie and his cronies to come to China and enjoy a race for a while, and this weekend looks to be an absolute cracker in the making. Qualifying saw some extremely interesting outcomes, with two Mercedes in the top three, and that will surely lead to the other teams having a really good look at the DRS system used on the silver cars now it has been ruled legal.
On that matter, it seems to a lot of people that the current iteration of Mercedes racing is not very good for the sport overall, with Michael Schumacher (11/2 to win the race, BetFred) and Ross Brawn endangering lives and breaking rules respectively, but the sport is an enabler if nothing else. The younger, less despicable man in a Merc is Nico Rosberg (4/1, BoyleSports), who starts from poles and is progressing well. If you think the silver car is good for a victory, but can’t pick a driver VictorChandler offer 13/8 on a German car finishing first.
A five-place grid penalty will see Lewis Hamilton start (5/1, BetFred) 7th despite qualifying second, and he’ll have the task of making his way through the field, with the added spice of having to come past his team-mate Jenson Button (also 5’s with BetFred). Were I Lewis, I’d be more concerned about trying to get past the old man up ahead, but you can bet that once the lights go out the former champion will be a man on a mission to put himself on the podium.
BetFred clearly think that car is fast, offering 2/1 on a McLaren winner, but a car less speedy than expected is the Red Bull, and particularly that of Sebastian Vettel. The was huge praise for him in the first two years, but when the pressure started to come on the double champ he cracked a little, having a petulant whine about other cars and generally letting himself down, and starts in eleventh today. Nobody is saying Vettel (25/1, SkyBet) can’t drive, but he is obviously much less effective when required to compete on equal or lesser terms for the win.
The other car with wings belongs to Mark Webber (20/1, Bet365) who will want to beat Vettel first, and then everyone else. Outside of that group I’d not expect the Ferrari drivers to have an impact unless the race becomes about pitting and weather, but if they do it will Alonso (40/1, BoyleSports) who does. The one outside pick I think may be worth a look is Kimi Raikkonen (15/1, SportingBet), mainly for his ability and bravery, but in truth the weekend will most likely end up with some form of Merc as winner.