Discussed on the final F1 weekend of 2019, Sky Sports commentators expressed the simplest and best idea to help F1 in 2020:
Each team must use all three tyre compounds, unless it rains.
As simple as that.
Of all the various ideas for rule changes that would help the spectacle, this has no negative side.
It won’t noticeably increase cost. It won’t negatively affect the best or worst teams. It won’t bring a new added element to deal with. It’s the same for all.
The upside is HUGE. It forces a two pit-stop minimum. It creates manageable variation. It will lead to an interesting end of races as teams will look at using the fastest tyre last, leading to late charges.
What’s to lose? Nothing
What’s to gain? More variety over a controlled, one-stop race, late charges, more over-taking.
They’ve already got the tyres sitting there! It’s obvious, easy, simple and beneficial to the sport.
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So before the technical directive from the FIA, Ferrari were fast, and winning.
After the technical directive from the FIA, Ferrari are not fast and not winning.
This, of course, is a complete coincidence and you should read nothing into it at all whatsoever in any way shape or form. Probably.
Not for the first time, Mercedes’ pit under the safety car tactic was ‘do the opposite of the car in front’, AKA ‘if he puts on new soft tyres, then do not put on new soft tyres’. This is known in F1 circles as ‘the idiot tactic of having much worse tyres’. Smart.
How about – and I’m no pit wall genius here – pitting for new soft tyres under a safety car? Seems pretty logical? Then you get new tyres? New soft tyres? But what do I know.
Either (1) Mercedes are working on a huge upgrade for 2020, or (2) Bet on Verstappen and also on Leclerc to win 2020.
Current odds at William Hill for WDC F1 2020 betting are 4/1 on Leclerc, 7/1 on Verstappen. Do your own maths, but even at 50 pounds each, it’s a very decent chance. Of course, Hamilton will always be the better driver, but Mercedes struggle at a number of tracks.
Yes, Hamilton’s driving and some decent strategy calls in 2019 (overall) won it this year, but the car struggles in:
Against the Red Bulls and Ferraris. If these two can get their act together then 2020 looks like it will go right to the final race of the season to see who the WDC is.
That was sarcasm there.
Ferrari were challenged and then lost pace. This, Ferrari’s head Binotto, was a complete coincidence. “And no we did not eat this delicious plump-breasted pigeon.”
Either it was simply an innocent coincidence, or, maybe, Ferrari were unable to run the fuel-flow gimmick that tricked the sensors into believing the higher flow they were running was not a higher flow.
Before this change-slash-coincidence, I was looking at betting on Ferrari, probably Leclerc, for next year’s 2020 champion.
However if they don’t find a way ‘back around’ the regulations, then their trump card will be gone. Without their higher pace on the straights, they seem unable to make the tyres work, and finish a minute down, as Leclerc did in Austin.
Which means Hamilton is back as the favourite for 2020. But, we don’t need to make our bigger bets until after Spring testing 2020.
There are still surprisingly good odds on a few F1 bets for the USA Grand Prix.
Because the Ferraris have good pace on the straights, and the USA track has a long straight or two, Verstappen still has decent odds for a few options: (1) Pole, Race Win and Fastest Lap – yes it’s unlikely but perhaps worth a punt at the odds on William Hill.
Otherwise, a Verstappen race win still has decent odds on it. The track itself is pretty bad and Ferrari seem to have concerns over the bumps and the tyre deg. The Red Bull seems a little more confident in terms of both of these two things. Of course, Hamilton is well on form and could win, yet is unlikely to push that hard for a race win if wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen, as he doesn’t need to win in order to win the Championship.
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Lewis Hamilton was able to win the Mexican F1 as he managed his tyres, and Ferrari don’t know how the tyres are working.
This year, when a driver puts on a new set of hard tyres, they instantly get a boost in pace, seeming even 1 second a lap quicker than their competitors.
Then there’s a drop-off in pace after around 8-10 laps – yet the drop-off doesn’t continue. It drops off from the pace the driver enjoyed after the new set was fitted – but then remains reasonably stable for the next 30-35 laps.
This could be seen on the Renault and Red Bull, so Ferrari maybe should have pitted just after Hamilton did and gone for the same strategy with a car that’s faster on the straights.
A good F1 betting lesson was that when Hamilton is not the favourite to win a race – he still can go and win it. So on better odds, not being the favourite, he’s usually worth as punt when the odds are that good.
There’s a few interesting options here:
Hamilton winner and Vettel fastest lap is certainly possible. If there’s rain then Verstappen winner with Hamilton fastest lap is also interesting at those odds.
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So Mercedes look good in FP1 and FP2, with Ferrari not so.
For what reasons might this be:
- Ferrari may be purposefully limiting something about their speed – if indeed there is any issue that causes them to be power limited.
- The track itself might suit Mercedes, just as Shanghai and Silverstone suited them.
- The cooler weather also may suit Mercedes.
- Mercedes have brought a significant new upgrade to the entire barge board and sides. Apparently developing this upgrade takes a lot of time, which is why Ferrari may have had a jump on them in the last few races – if Mercedes didn’t have any new upgrades for a few months.
Lewis has always been strong here, yet it took him a while to get his wins. Once he did, he’s won 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014. So for F1 betting predictions for the Japanese Grand Prix, he is the safe bet.
Who is a good bet for fastest lap? Max Verstappen might go for it, yet if Lewis is ahead and his tyres are holding up, he might just do it the same as he did in Silverstone.
What are the other race bets worth looking at? If William Hill have the race betting options tomorrow then I’ll post them then. But McLaren look good and Renault may do well also.
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