This weekend sees the start of the second half of the Formula One season with the Hungarian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel has a commanding lead at the top of the Drivers Championship, but changes to tyre specifications throw up a new set of variables for punters in what is proving to be a complicated season
Kimi Raikkonen 6-1 e/w 1/5 1,2,3 BoyleSports: A decent shot at a win with a podium saver
Romain Grosjean 20-1 e/w 1/5 1,2,3 BoyleSports: Podium value
There are plenty of variables in this race:
- New Pirelli Tyre specificiations (2012 construction with 2013 compounds)
- New Pit Lane speed regulations
- Very hot conditions
Testing of the new Pirellis at last week’s Young Driver Test in Silverstone showed that these new tyres degrade less than the ones they are replacing, so – heat permitting – it will lead teams to want to run with as few stops as possible.
This coincides with new safety measures which come in after the incident with a flying wheel hitting a photographer in Germany at the last Grand Prix. As a result the pit lane speed limit has been lowered to 80 kph from 100 kph which will add over three seconds to the time needed to make a pit stop. This makes multiple stops less attractive.
With superb weather in Europe, it could be one of the hottest Grands Prix on record. The forecast is for temperatures around 40 degrees centigrade.
What does this mean?
Its a tight track with one DRS overtaking opportunity. The Mercedes performs badly in hot weather, its rear tyres degrade and it was banned from the Young Drivers Test which Hamilton is quoted as saying was very significant, as it gave them no chance to experiment with these new tyres and their problems at high temperature. Notwithstanding its ability to get on pole with fast one lap pace its reasonable to expect them not to hold on in the race, at these temperatures. In cold weather it might be different, later in the season.
Red Bull is suited as its a high downforce track. However backing Vettel at 6/4 with this number of variables in this race in particular doesn’t strike me as value
Ferrari has been suffering for pace. They manage their tyres well but are showing no signs of mixing it in practice so as to get enough of a grid position of giving them a shot to win the race
Which of the main contenders leaves Lotus
Famously able to do less pit stops than the other front runners as the car, aerodynamically, is light on its tyes. With hot weather, new pit regulations penalising those who need to stop more, it should give both cars scope to perform well
The circuit and temperatures should suit Lotus, which nearly beat Vettel in Germany (both cars on the podium) and they have thereabouts if they can qualify well. Raikkonen finished a strong second in Budapest last year behind Lewis Hamilton, despite starting fifth on the grid.
Last year in Hungary Raikkonen did two stints on the soft tyre, including 25 laps in the second stint, when other cars struggled for 15 laps a set. A repeat of something like this on the new tyres, with each pit stop costing more time than previously, would see Raikkonen very close to winning this race and at the recommended price he is a value alternative to the Red Bulls
Kimi Raikkonen e/w at 6-1 1/5 1,2,3 BoyleSports :A decent shot at a win with a podium saver
Romain Grosjean e/w at 20-1 1/5 1,2,3 BoyleSports : podium value