With the season about to get under-way we are wary of the bad value in backing the favourites. 7/4 is the best price on the favourite Vettel at the moment and we are a little shy about taking it.
Formula One is the world’s favourite motor sport competition and 2013 will be its 64th edition, with Sebastian Vettel attempting to join Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio as the only drivers to win the title four years in a row.
Vettel, who has finished first three times and second once in his four full Formula One campaigns, will start the 2013 season as the hot favourite to take out the star prize. The 25-year-old German is trading at odds of around 7-4 to fend off a field that includes five Formula One champions – Fernando Alonso (2005 and 2006), Kimi Raikkonen (2007), Lewis Hamilton (2008), Jenson Button (2009) and Vettel (2010, 2011 and 2012) – and several talented youngsters.
Formula One officials have settled upon a 19-race calendar for 2013, with the series starting in Australia on 17 March and ending in Brazil on 24 November. In changes from 2012, the German Grand Prix moves to the Nurburgring as per its event-sharing agreement with the Hockenheimring. Also, the Spanish Grand Prix switches to the Circuit de Catalunya as per a similar deal with the Valencia Street Circuit, while the European Grand Prix bites the dust after 22 renewals.
One by-product of the calendar changes is that for the first time in many years no country will stage more than one Formula One race, which is in keeping with series supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s vision to make it truly global.
Vettel Opposable In A Close Competition
To back Vettel or not to back Vettel, that is the question. Formula One punters who have had faith in the German since 2010 have won more money than they have lost and there is little doubt that he is entitled to title favouritism.
According to most Formula One watchers, Red Bull is the king of hiding its true speed during pre-season testing and the consensus is that its 2013 car may be the best one on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. And even if it is not, Red Bull genius Adrian Newey and the development crew that he leads have shown time and time again that they are superb at tweaking their cars during the season itself.
However, odds of around 7-4 (from Intertops) about Vettel joining Schumacher and Fangio in the record books are not exactly generous given that most Formula One analysts are tipping a close championship in 2013, with no fewer than five teams having legitimate claims based on pre-season testing performances.
Alonso’s Car May Not Be The Best
Alonso is, arguably, the most complete Formula One driver on the grid and his Ferrari is both quick and consistent. But the famous marque did not wow any Formula One anoraks during pre-season testing and the 2013 season will probably be a long, hard slog for the Spaniard. The feeling is that Ferrari will not quite be top of the class and Alonso, if he does win his third Formula One title, it will be because he racked up lots of podium finishes and retired rarely.
With Vettel and Alonso accounting for approximately 60 per cent of the 2013 Formula One championship book with most bookmakers, this year’s competition looks like one worth attacking with a speculative outsider at healthy odds.
Look For Value Away From The Favourites
McLaren was the talk of Formula One’s pit lane at the start of the pre-season testing period but that hype has died down somewhat, with eagle-eyed observers reporting that its car still has the inherent understeer that was first sighted this time last year. So, for now at least, Button and his promising teammate, Sergio Perez, are worth swerving.
There is more than a sneaking suspicion that reliability issues may plague Lotus in 2013 just as they did throughout 2012. Lotus completed fewer pre-season testing miles than all their major Formula One rivals except Williams. The noise out of the team is positive but the proof will be in the pudding. A bet on either Lotus driver – Raikkonen or Romain Grosjean – would be a brave one at this stage.
Hamilton Could Do The Unthinkable
A few weeks ago, anyone thinking of backing Hamilton to regain the Formula One crown in his debut season as a Mercedes driver would have been certified insane. Now there is something of a gamble developing on the Briton, with odds of around 10-1 about as big as one can get about him.
Mercedes showed what was, according to Formula One experts, genuine pace in the final pre-season testing sessions, with both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg knocking out quick lap after quick lap. The car looked really good on the track as well.
Not only is Hamilton available at double-figure odds to win his second Formula One title but also he is trading at an attractive 9-4 (Pinnacle) to finish in the top three. One thinks that the Mercedes leader’s podium odds will look very big if the Ferrari of Alonso does not get off to a flying start.
Editor note: After reading this preview you will probably want to look at our F1 betting guide which helps you understand how to apply the information presented above. The guide details how to bet, types of bets, stats and betting sites all from a Formula 1 perspective.