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padraigpoker.com
04 Apr 13 15:07
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Date Joined: 31 May 08
| Topic/replies: 5 | Blogger: padraigpoker.com's blog
Whilst, for the most part, people thought it was terrible news that F1 would be broadcast on SKY, the prospect of their news coverage featuring Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel's voicemails resulted in my lips being licked until they were sore and blistered like a set of Supersoft’s that had done 30 laps.

Alas Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is now as transparent as a pair of rose-tinted glasses and so a boogerdamus hack such as myself has to make his own mischief.

All this Webber/Vettel controversy must be music to Mr Ecclescake’s little ears.  As the sayings go: All news is good news and there is no such thing as bad publicity.

It’s nothing new.  Damon Hill made the call to Eddie Jordan suggesting Schumacher ‘the slower’ should remain behind him in Spa back in 1998.  Coulthard took it on himself to forfeit a race winning lead awarding it to Mika Hakkinen on Melbourne’s straight also in ‘98.  I’ve forgotten the year, or number of years, Barrichello did the same for Schumacher ‘the faster’.

Only a blind man without a stick would seriously suggest we didn’t see such selfless valour in the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix.  I maintain that was an example of Vettel playing the Red Bull team game, even if the official line for him comfortably leading, losing the lead on-track to Mark Webber on lap 31, but maintaining a very safe second place for another 41 laps was gearbox trouble related.

That was Webber’s only win of the 2011 campaign while Vettel had already amassed eleven race wins.  Any interpretation of the pair’s results as teammates, before and after, shows there is a gross difference in class which is plenty enough to intimidate anyone.

Mirthlessly and methodically Webber recalls his British and Monaco GP victories of 2012 but, anomalies apart, in the current climate there is no significant quantifiable economical value in paying a pilot who is not prepared to accept his mantle as ‘second driver’.   

If Webber needs his teammate to be ordered to underperform to claim race wins it’s clearly time to swallow his pride and get on with life in the same way Felipe Massa does at Ferrari …or simply call time on an extraordinarily long career.

Since 1939 no Austrian/German link-up has been as successful as the Vettel/Red Bull alliance and so they will not be parting company any time soon. 

Meanwhile the bookmaker’s offering of 11/8 that Webber is still driving for Red Bull in 2014 means they believe there is only a 42 percent chance that they will keep him on for another season of turmoil and disappointing results.  11/8? That’s the kind of price I’d want about Vettel arriving at the Shanghai circuit without a black eye! 

For sure Mark Webber will not go down without a whinge and most seem to forget the latest episode started during final qualifying in China when Sebastian Vettel got a late change of boots and, in addition to the faux-pas of mistiming his last flying lap, Webber didn’t.

You have to see the funny side of it all.  Of course we never saw all the post race interviews.  In one Seb apparently explained how he had lost two litres of fluid during the race.  When asked if that’s the usual amount you lose in sweat he replied “No, I lost that much during the last ten laps whilst pissing myself laughing!”

But seriously, history dictates that Sebastian will now give one up for his teammate before the end of the current season.  It’s that or the next time Webber and Vettel are in contention for a race lead the Aussie is going to turn-in with the venom of Michael Schumacher eyeing up a world title in a final deciding race of a season.

Unsurprisingly, following recent events, F1 hierarchy have requested extra garage space from the Chinese authorities to accommodate additional toys, prams, dummies and front wings.

Talking of front wings, amidst the radio fuelled fast moving soap opera that was the Malaysian Grand Prix, a number of outstanding performances amongst the mid and rear field teams was totally missed.

Topping the bill was Jean-Eric Vergne’s march into a point-scoring tenth from seventeenth on the grid.  His progress was not entirely due to the dropping away of his rivals – many of which he had mastered before their demise – and he was forced to endure a torturous time in the pits after a false release led to the necessity of an unscheduled front-wing change.

Qualifying may not be Vergne’s strong suit – Daniel Ricciardo out-qualified him 15 times last season – but when it comes to race day he invariably outperforms his teammate.

The Caterham’s impressive progress on the drag run to and around the opening corner was another noteworthy charge which caught the eye but missed the attention of the cameras and their experts.

To clarify, this piece is being penned before a car has been removed from its crate in China.  The primary purpose of a half-way successful gambler is to identify value by seeking odds which are bigger than the true probability of an outcome. 

In race win markets, and backing anyone other than Vettel, pre-practice is where the true value can often be found.  In Malaysia we got the value with our selection, Alonso, backing him at 4/1 pre-practice.  He started the race as 15/8 favourite.

On the basis that Massa finished 25 seconds behind the beleaguered race winner in Malaysia and Massa never finished in front of Alonso in the 17 races the duo both completed last season – when the average distance between the pair was in excess of 25secs – there’s grounds for believing the Spaniard would have taken the spoils in Malaysia had his wing not have been displaced.

Maybe I’m like one of those mug punters feeding a slot-machine hoping a row of bars will finally line-up and a cash jackpot rattle out of the bottom, but I’m going to keep returning to the wishing-well with Alonso probably until he stands on a top podium step this season. 

As ever, my judgement is backed by my money but also fed by pre-Malaysian comments from Ross Brawn stating things like:  “Ferrari was the fastest car in Australia and it would have won there with a two stop tyre strategy” adding “it’s the car we all have to beat.”

Ferrari’s second driver, Massa, is now on a 69 race losing-streak so when he qualifies in fourth and then second you know the Italian car is currently quick and we all know the Ferrari has a better race-pace than single fast-lap capabilities.

Backing outright race winners pre-practise is the policy to go with but in markets such as match bets – Vergne to finish ahead of Ricciardo for example – post qualification will probably be the best time to strike.
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Report fkqmz April 5, 2013 11:30 PM BST
Since 1939 no Austrian/German link-up has been as successful as the Vettel/Red Bull

tbf the austrian/german alliance of 1939 wasn't all that successful really!
Report AFL April 13, 2013 12:00 PM BST
If Webber needs his teammate to be ordered to underperform to claim race wins

Wasn't it Webber's car that was wound back?
Report fkqmz April 15, 2013 11:23 PM BST
i'm just amazed that amongst all this bs, he actually managed to pick a winner!
Report AyersRock April 16, 2013 4:43 AM BST
You have to see the funny side of it all.  Of course we never saw all the post race interviews.  In one Seb apparently explained how he had lost two litres of fluid during the race.  When asked if that’s the usual amount you lose in sweat he replied “No, I lost that much during the last ten laps whilst pissing myself laughing!”

Laugh
Report jermaine defonebox April 21, 2013 12:59 PM BST
LaughLaugh
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