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Massa and Lotus - The Odds Couple
Monday 11th February 2013

Pic by Sutton Images

In Jerez, Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn (66/1) act out a scene from Harold Pinter’s ‘The Birthday Party’

Two pretty interesting long-term bets stood out after Jerez - Massa for the drivers’ title and Lotus for the constructors’

The big question everyone asks after the first week of testing is, who’s fast and who is struggling? Although with the great gift of hindsight everyone was able to say that Ferrari were all at sea after Jerez in 2012, an examination of the times from last year doesn’t exactly bear out that it was blindingly obvious.

Although Felipe Massa was three seconds behind Raikkonen on Day One, on Day Two he was only 1.8 seconds behind the fastest man, who on that day was Michael Schumacher. Slower than Felipe, and two seconds off the pace on Day Two was Jenson Button. McLaren turned up to Melbourne 2012 with the fastest car and Button won.

On Day Four of the Jerez test last year Fernando Alonso was fastest and he put in the second fastest time of the week. So the capacity for ’smoke and mirrors’ is there.

So, what we thought we’d do is have a look at the betting odds and see where the serious money is going. Because bookmakers such as Paddy Power can’t afford to get it wrong.

After Jerez, the favourite to win the drivers’ title is still Vettel at 13/8, with Alonso second at 11/4 and Button third at a very attractive 5/1. Raikkonen is at 9/1, Hamilton 12/1 and Perez 14/1. Webber is 16/1, Grosjean 35/1 and Massa 40/1.

Considering you can get a fifth of the odds for a top three finish, those 40/1 odds on Massa look pretty good considering the momentum he had at the end of last season.

With the teams, it’s still much as you’d expect Red Bull Evens, McLaren 9/4, Ferrari 7/2, Lotus 10/1, Mercedes 18/1 and Sauber 66/1.
Given that Romain Grosjean can’t possibly make as many mistakes as he did in 2012, those odds on Lotus look pretty good.

Finally, you can get odds ondrivers winning a race in 2013 – odds are steep on the likes of Vettel, Alonso, Button, Webber and Raikkonen, but Perez is 2/5, Hamilton 8/11, Grosjean 5/4 and Massa 6/4 – and you can’t discount Maldonado at 3/1 either. If you bet on F1 what will be interesting is how those odds change over the next two Barcelona tests.