F1 Betting Tips: Jenson Button and Felipe Massa look good value match bets for the new Formula One seasonPublished March 18, 2016
Eight days of pre-season testing at Barcelona indicate not much has changed in the F1 pecking order with the current titans of the sport, Mercedes and Ferrari expected to fight out the podium places during the coming season.
Red Bull and Williams will battle for the crumbs, occasionally picking up a podium while squabbling for fourth, fifth and six. The driver line-up in all four teams remains unaltered as do the power units.
Beyond these eight cars the picture looks a little more clouded. Will McLaren find the horsepower and reliability their Honda engine lacked last year? How much improvement will the recurrent backmarkers, Manor, find now they have a Mercedes engine strapped to the back of their car? Can an American Haas team be competitive in their first year of the sport? Will rookies Rio Haryanto, Pascal Wehrlein and Jolyon Palmer prove to be be competent or mobile chicanes?
As it stands Lewis Hamilton is the favourite to win the title, his third in three years, at a top-price of 1/2 with BetVictor. Teammate Nico Rosberg is 10/3 with Paddy Power and the place to shop for Sebastian Vettel is Boylesports who go 5/1 about the German.
Remarkably Kimi Raikkonen, Vettel’s teammate and a former World Champion is available at 40/1 with Ladbrokes. But understandable when you consider the Finnish driver took just three podiums last season opposed to Vettel’s 13. That figure includes three race wins.
On the Button in the Match Market
Essentially there is no outstanding value in the outright Drivers Championship market and those looking for a season-long interest bet will be better off turning their attention to the match bet between McLaren teammates Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
Button is well ensconced in the McLaren team while Alonso, brilliant on his day, did not impress with his attitude during the 2015 season. Ultimately, in a desperate car but in a fair fight, the Brit scored 17 points last season, his Spanish teammate earned 11.
That is enough to make Unibet’s odds of 39/20 about Button outscoring Alonso again in 2016 attractive but when you factor in the 2009 World Champion outpointed teammate Lewis Hamilton by 240 points to 214 in 2010 and also outscored the current world champion (and still teammate) by 270 to 227 in 2011 it looks a guilt-edged proposition.
No Buts about Bottas
There was not much between the Williams’ drivers last season. Felipe Massa had the advantage for most of the season before losing out to his Finnish teammate by 136 points to 121 in the final analysis.
Admittedly Bottas missed the season’s curtain raiser through back injury and had one race retirement during the year, but Massa’s form-figures show two retirements and a disqualification (after finishing in the points) for a technical infringement regarding too much heat in his rear tyres.
Unquestionably Bottas is deserved of his favouritism tag but, even at William Hill’s top-price of 1/2 he represents no value, and Massa has to be the play at Stan James 9/4 in the match-market.