Clip The Apex
Welcome to Shanghai International Circuit. 5.451 Km long , 16 turns, 56 laps and a side order of communism. Just the second of our fly away's for our 14th visit to The Peoples Republic of China.
But first lets look at the season opener. The race in Australia was hopefully a good pointer for how the season will go, although it does throw up unusual results from time to time. From what we have seen it looks like the Mercedes and Ferrari are very evenly matched. The Red bulls aren’t too far behind Ferrari either.
Arguably Mercedes threw the win away with a poor strategy call in a very early stop that saw Hamilton come out behind Max in his Redbull. Seb in his Ferrari took full advantage and went longer on tyres to get the ‘over cut’. Cue the ‘finger’.
Daniel had a nightmare home grand prix and is after one race is already a gear box and an engine down. Max done good and was worrying Kimi towards the end. Bottas had a decent first race for Mercedes. Kimi almost never turned up. Massa made Stroll look like a rookie in his first race weekend. But Giovinazzi was a class act considering how little warning he had that Pascal was still unable to race. I think we have a decent fight on for Williams, Haas and Force India in the midfield. Renualt, Sauber and McLaren trying to not be last. I despair when I think about McLaren, dead last and a DNF. How the mighty have fallen.
All in all, a slightly duller than average first race. The lack of overtaking in particular was rather telling. It looks bad for the rest of the season. The regulations have managed to make things worse in my opinion.
So on to China. Mercedes have won here the last 3 years, the long straight very much playing into their power advantage. In-fact a Mercedes powered car has won here 6 years out of the last 7 which is rather an ominious statistic if you are anyone but Ferrari.
Last years race scored a respectable 7.14 in the CTA out of ten ratings. Mostly due to Lewis and Seb having to battle through the field from the back. Fingers crossed we get a decent race this time as well.
Tyres for this race are supersofts, softs and the mediums. So one stoppers all round I would think.
I’m looking forward to this. Hopefully we will get some more overtakes this time out on a proper race circuit. And I hope some of Shanghai’s 34 million inhabitants help fill out the grandstands.
Here is the TV schedule. Another early one for us in the UK.
The phony war is over, F1 returns on March 26th with the traditional season opener in Melbourne, Australia. Lots of changes over the winter. Following the retirement of Nico Rosberg, Valtteri Bottas has left Williams and joined the all conquering Mercedes team. Felipe Massa has come out of what is probably the shortest retirement by any F1 driver to partner rookie Lance Stroll in the Grove team.
Ferrari keep the faith with Vettel and Raikkonen, as have Red Bull with Ricciardo and Verstappen, but there have been a few moves elsewhere. Manor won't be on the grid for 2017, which is a shame. The two drivers who ended their 2016 campaign have moved to Force India (Ocon) and Sauber (Wherlein) where they will team up with Perez and Magnusson respectively. Nico Hulkenberg has moved to Renault where Jolyon Palmer has held on to his seat for a second season. The Hulks arrival at Renault has meant Kevin Magnusson has moved on to Haas to partner Romain Grosjean. Toro Rosso continue with the two who finished the 2016 season, Sainz and Kyvat, and with Jenson Button hanging up his helmet Stoffel Vandoorne will partner Fernando Alonso at McLaren.
We have some new rules for 2017, just in case we had got used to how things were. Bigger tyres, offering more grip, greater down force from the aero with lower rear wings and delta shaped front wings. The under side of the car should also help stick the cars to the ground and we have been promised lap times between 4 and 6 seconds faster than 2016.
What did we learn from the pre-season tests? My take is that there could be some battles between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull at the front but you never know what the teams are keeping in reserve during these tests. Williams and Force India look to be behind the front three but better than the rest. The mid-mid-field will be made up of Renault, Haas and Toro Rosso whilst at the back Sauber and McLaren will be fighting to try and not be in last place.
The cars have been quicker in pre-season, it remains to be seen if we will see the promised reduction in lap times but the drivers seem to be enjoying the cars more and can push them through the corners. The only possible down side is that overtaking could be more difficult with a greater dependency on aerodynamic grip not allowing the cars to get close to one another.
I have great hopes that we should see some closer times between the top teams but I am worried that the races could end up being decided in the final qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. Let's hope I'm wrong.
Roll on the 26th - the clocks go forward so we have a 6 a.m. start.
Welcome to the CTA betting game. Gambling with fake money on the F1 races for the 2017 season.
If you like a bet with Fake Money you're in the right place.
The bookies is now open
How to play:
1. Do you want to play? Just place a bet and you will be automatically entered in the game. You will be credited with £10 CTA pounds (no actual monetary value) for every remaining race (20 this season). For example: If you place a bet on the first race you would be credited with £200 CTA pounds. Or if your first bet is the 3rd race in the season you would be credited £180 CTA pounds etc etc.
2. Maximum 1 bet per round (or I would have to rewrite the spread sheet.) You can bet as much or as little as you want. Just remember it's a long season.
3. All bets are on the winner. Each way bets can be placed at 1/3rd odds for a place 1st - 3rd. All winning bets are calculated by spreadsheet formula based on this wiki page. If you are unsure how each way betting works please see the examples below.
4. The odds are taken from a randomly chosen betting shop and will be posted as soon as available.
5. To place a bet, post in this thread, stating your driver to win, your money and if you are betting 'each way'. Just remember each way bets cost double the stated amount. Please see the examples below.
6. (The dreaded Rule 6) You don't have to place a bet in every round, however placing a single bet then sitting out the rest of the year with your stake money untouched is not in the spirit of the game. So if no bet is placed for 3 consecutive races, you will automatically place a £30 bet on Marcus Ericsson in the 3rd race. (Sorry Marcus)
7. Once you're bust it's game over, no re-entries. So make that stake money last.
8. All bets must be in before midnight UK time, the day before 1st practice or they wont be counted. Watch out for Monaco, practice is on Thursday for some weird outdated reason that nobody can remember.
9. I will post everyone's balance only after the official race result is announced.
10. If your driver doesn't run in the race for some reason your money will be refunded.
11. The player with the most money at the end of the season is the champion and gets added to the wall of champions. Other 'special' awards will be given out at random for which ever reasons I see fit
Wall of champions
Example 1: Odds over 3-1
A £10 each-way bet on a 10-1 selection in a race and paying 1⁄3 the odds for a place 1, 2, or 3 would cost £20.
- Returns on the win part of the bet would be £10 × (10/1) + stake = £110
- Returns on the place part of the bet would be £10 × ((10/1) × (1/3)) + stake = £43.33
- Total returns would be £110 + £43.33 = £153.33 if the driver won the race, but just £43.33 if the driver only finished second or third.
A £10 each-way bet on a 3-1 selection in a race and paying 1⁄3 the odds for a place 1, 2, or 3 would cost £20.
- Returns on the win part of the bet would be £10 × (3/1) + stake = £40
- Returns on the place part of the bet would be £10 × ((3/1) × (1/3)) + stake = £20
- Total returns would be £40 + £20 = £60 if the driver won the race, but just £20 if the driver only finished second or third, meaning you would break even.
A £10 each-way bet on a 2-1 selection in a race and paying 1⁄3 the odds for a place 1, 2, or 3 would cost £20.
- Returns on the win part of the bet would be £10 × (2/1) + stake = £30
- Returns on the place part of the bet would be £10 × ((2/1) × (1/3)) + stake = £16.66
- Total returns would be £30 + £16.66 = £46.66 if the driver won the race, but just £16.66 if the driver only finished second or third, meaning you would be down £3.34 form your initial stake money.
Here are the odds for Melbourne.
Good luck everybody.