The F1 Times Belgian GP Gamble

31 August 2012 by Daniel Chalmers | M

The F1 Times gambling contest between Ryan Wood (Editor) and Daniel Chalmers (Feature Editor) heads to the 12th round at Spa for the Belgium GP

Both men have a budget of £5 to spend on a maximum of 3 different bets relating to the upcoming event. The deadline for these bets to be placed is before the start of the first Friday practise session.

At the end of the season the winner will be the person who has made the most profit, or made the lowest loss.

Here are the results from last time.

Ryan Wood

Bet 1 - Lewis Hamilton to win the Hungarian GP - £3.00 at 5/1 – Won £18.00

Bet 2 - Lewis Hamilton to take pole position for the Hungarian GP - £2.00 at 3/1 – Won £8.00

Daniel Chalmers

Bet 1 – Lewis Hamilton to win the Hungarian GP - £2.00 at 5/1 – Won £12.00

Bet 2 – Kimi Raikkonen to win the Hungarian GP - £1.50 at 12/1

Bet 3 – Narain Karthikeyan to be the first retirement of the race - £1.50 at 11/1

Hungary turned out to be the most profitable race of the season so far. Ryan and Daniel were both absolutely right to place their money on Hamilton who made full use of McLaren’s upgrades. However Ryan was a bit braver, and chose to put all his eggs into one basket, and he was duly rewarded for that.

It could have been very different had Raikkonen managed to overtake Lewis in the closing stages. That meant that Ryan would have had to settle for his winnings from Lewis taking pole, and Daniel would have made a better profit from the weekend overall.

After eleven races £55 has been spent by both men. Ryan now has £36.75 worth of profit, whilst Daniel has £21.40 worth of losses. Therefore there is a difference of £58.15 between the two gamblers.

This weekend we are in Spa for the Belgium GP, the ultimate racing circuit. Spa is such a brilliant circuit because it simply has everything. It has long straights, fast corners, lots of dramatic elevation changes plus it’s very challenging for the drivers. Add in the beautiful scenery thanks to the Ardennes forest, and the unique micro climate, and you have a recipe for a wonderful event.

To do well at Spa you need to have a car that has good horsepower as that’s the main requirement for sectors one and two. Then good overall car performance is required for the middle sector, which is the longest section of the three

Compared to the hot weather experienced in Hungary, Spa is going to be right at the opposite end of the scale. So being able to switch the tyres on in cool conditions is going to be one of the really critical factors.

Ryan Wood
£36.75 (profit)


Daniel Chalmers
£21.40 (loss)

Let’s see where the money is going this weekend.

Round 12 Belgium

Ryan Wood

Bet 1 - Romain Grosjean to qualify on pole - £2.00 at 15/2

Grosjean has proven himself to be a great qualifier. 3rd in Australia, 4th in Spain, 4th in Europe and 2nd in Hungary isn't a bad record when you're up against a world champion in the form of Kimi Raikkonen, whom Grosjean has out-qualified seven to four

However, Lotus have always been a little short on performance to make that stretch for pole. The latest upgrades have put Lotus right up there. The only issue I can see which could dampen their efforts is the weather. The E20 has a small window of tyre efficiency, and Belgium is predictably unpredictable when it comes to weather

Bet 2 - Kimi Raikkonen to win the race - £2.00 at 5/1

Again, I believe the Lotus E20 will perform strongly if the weather holds - and according to the latest reports, it should. Why not Grosjean for the win?

He may be a strong qualifier, but Raikkonen is much stronger in the race thanks to his experience.

The latest upgrades Lotus will introduce, including the DDRS - which is of benefit throughout the race, not just when DRS is activated (unlike Mercedes system), should give the team that extra edge in the race. I can smell a Lotus victory this weekend.

Bet 3 - Daniel Ricciardo to finish in the points - £1.00 at 5/2

The odds aren't great this season with it being so unpredictable, the bookies are covering their bases with low odds all around.

Considering Ricciardo has only finished in the points once in 11 races, you'd of thought the odds would be a little higher, but 5/1 is the best I could find.

Toro Rosso have been poor this season, so there isn't much logic behind this bet, it's more of a 'punt'.

Daniel Chalmers

Bet 1 – Michael Schumacher to take pole position - £1.00 each way at 25/1

On paper Spa is a circuit where Mercedes ought to do quite well. There is plenty of time to be won from DRS on this track as it will be in use for 60% of the lap in qualifying. When you combine Mercedes’ double DRS system and the length of the circuit, it’s going to be a pretty significant gain. Only in Monza will the teams gain more from it.

A cool weekend is expected in Spa with temperatures struggling to reach the mid-teens on Saturday. Again this will really suit Mercedes. Nico Rosberg won in cool conditions in China, and Schumacher did a brilliant job in the cool and wet qualifying sessions at Silverstone and Hockenheim.

Furthermore a few of Mercedes’ rivals tend to struggle to turn their tyres on in cooler conditions which is very significant for that one hot lap. This along with Pirelli bringing the two hardest tyres in their range should go in Mercedes' favour too, in qualifying at least.

Bet 2 – Fernando Alonso to win the Belgium GP - £2.00 at 6/1

Ultimately I feel the race win will go to either Alonso, Hamilton or Raikkonen. However I am putting money on Alonso because I feel the predicted cool conditions will go in Ferrari’s favour.

Ferrari has been quick in hot, wet and cool conditions. Their operating window has been very wide, which has played a key part in Alonso’s success so far in 2012.

Lotus hasn’t been that quick in cool conditions all season long and McLaren haven’t been great either. Red Bull also admit hot conditions are better for them too.

Furthermore as Spa is one of the ultimate driver tracks, you can be sure the best driver in Formula 1 should be able to get himself right into the mix.

Bet 3 – Kimi Raikkonen to win the Belgium GP - £1.00 at 9/2

I had a number of options for this last bet. However I just couldn’t not put something on Kimi.

Although I don’t think the weather conditions will suit Lotus, you can’t rule the Finn out because of his track record at the circuit. He absolutely adores the place. He has won here in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009.

Plus if Lotus does decide to use their much talked about version of double DRS, it will give them a massive gain on this circuit.

As I know Ryan has very likely put money on Kimi, you could call this an insurance bet.



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