Thursday, 5 December 2019

2020 F1 Betting Preview: More of the same from Hamilton and Mercedes?

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes ended another season on top
Photo: Octane Photography
As the sadly recently-departed Clive James once noted, the next Formula 1 season begins at the same moment the previous one ends. Not least for the betting-minded F1 fan, considering where’s best to place their money such as by scanning this Bodog review. Bodog is a big name in the sports betting industry and usually provides great odds for F1 races. So, with the 2019 campaign just finished, minds turn immediately to 2020.

The 2019 F1 season looked more of the same. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes won the titles again, the team winning 15 of the 21 races; Hamilton 11 of them. There are not major regulation changes for 2020, meaning the ‘feed in’ to next year should be fairly direct. And all this is reflected in Hamilton’s odds to be 2020 world champion, just 4/6.

Yet scratch the surface of 2019 and Mercedes’ dominance was not as the headline figures suggested. It often was not the fastest car, and instead relied on consistency, organisation and avoiding errors to beat its Ferrari and Red Bull foes. Hamilton indeed only got five pole positions – two fewer than Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Ferrari appeared often to have the raw material to challenge Mercedes much more closely in the table. If for 2020 it can sort out its organisational problems – big ‘if’ – titles are plausible. And, with this, Leclerc is a possibly-generous 6/1 to be next season’s champion.

Can Max Verstappen (left) or Charles Leclerc (right)
topple Hamilton in 2020?
Photo: Octane Photography
His team-mate Sebastian Vettel is even longer at 15/2. His 2019 year was trying but he wasn’t outclassed by Leclerc, and is not to be written off.

Neither is the prodigious Max Verstappen, and some rated his personal 2019 as better than Hamilton’s. The key is whether his Red Bull will be up to the task. It often looked that way in the latter part of this year, with its Honda power unit appearing a match for the rest.

Then again Red Bull has a habit of starting seasons slowly which leaves it too far off the championship pace. Verstappen 2020 champion odds still look decent at 7/1.

And with Hamilton the clear 2020 favourite there’s another tantalising set of odds on offer – who will ‘win’ the drivers’ championship without Hamilton? Those odds look tempting: Leclerc is 7/4; Verstappen 2/1 and Vettel 3/1.

But what about the ‘incumbent’? Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was a comfortable runner-up behind Hamilton in the table this year. He’s a full 5/2 to be another to deliver more of the same in 2020.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

New Motorsport Week article: The 2010s - the decade that F1 tried, but never quite managed, to get it right

By Mark McArdle - originally posted to Flickr as Race Start!,
 CC BY-SA 2.0,
And so the latest Formula 1 decade is (nearly) over.

With that, for Motorsport Week I look back on the F1 decade that was.

It was a decade in which F1 was restless, forever wrestling with how it could be got right. But also never quite managing it.

You can check out my take on the state of the 2010s F1 nation here:

Friday, 29 November 2019

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By Jitesh Jagadish -
jiteshjagadish/5178417174/, CC BY 2.0, https://
Picking a classic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of yore is tricky. Partly as it's been on the Formula 1 itinerary for only a decade. But mainly that the Yas Marina circuit seems to be a place that militates against racing cars racing against each other.

In my latest F1 retro for Motor Sport Magazine I look at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix's most notable moment, which aptly owed much to not being able to overtake. The 2010 championship finale.

I tell the convoluted tale here:

Saturday, 16 November 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Why Interlagos is so special

Eduardo Guarizo Pimentel [CC BY 2.0
Circuits come; circuits go. Particularly in recent times.

But somehow among it all Interlagos, host of the Brazilian Grand Prix, has lived on. And done so as a circuit apart.

It's a circuit apart in more ways than you might think too. So in my latest feature for Motorsport Week I explore the many ways that make Interlagos so very special.

You can have a read of my take here:

2003 Brazilian Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By Marlon Hammes, cropped/retouched by Morio - Interlagos
SP from flickr, CC BY 2.0,
Interlagos has good claim to be Formula 1's equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle. Anything it seems can happen here, from the sublime to the - literally - ridiculous.

But no Brazilian Grand Prix squeezed so much craziness in as the 2003 edition - and it did so both into the race and afterwards.

In my latest F1 retro for Motor Sport Magazine I tell the incredible tale. You can have a read here:

Monday, 11 November 2019

Race of Remembrance report for Autosport and Motorsport News

Race of Remembrance at Anglesey was once again a motorsport event like no other, as is befitting of a meeting that calls itself 'a Remembrance Service with a race attached'.

The 12-hour endurance race last weekend was its usual eclectic mix of cars and fascinating stories.

And here for Autosport and Motorsport News here is my report on the race:

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

The top 4 golf courses every golfer should play in their lifetime

Image by rcc-ffm from Pixabay
Golfers should make an effort to play on major golf courses. It will enlighten them to do so as they learn about golf history and enhance their skills too. Whether you choose to play at the old golf course at St Andrews or the Royal Porthcawl in Wales, it is a good idea to play on major courses as it creates memories and allows you to see where the pros play in major tournaments. Major places with excellent golf courses include the US, England, and Scotland. Regular reviews on major golf courses in the world will help you identify the best course to visit.

Here are the top four golf courses every golfer should play in their lifetime:

1.    Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

The golf course is located in South Carolina. The main point of attraction is that it is near the ocean. Most golfers have ranked it as one of the toughest golf courses in the world. It is memorable as it was the host for Ryder Cup in 1991. The tournament is famous as one of the tournaments in which the US won over the European team narrowly. The PGA Championships for Rory McIlroy in 2012 was also held here. Golfers who have been to Kiawah Island Golf Resort conclude that it is a challenging and a good experience for golfers who value rough playing terrains.

Monday, 4 November 2019

The Evolution Of F1 Circuits, by Leasing Options

As we roll on towards the latter stages of the Formula 1 calendar, Leasing Options thought it'd take a moment to delve into the history of some of the circuits on the calendar that have been raced on for decades to see how much they've changed since they were built.

Friday, 1 November 2019

New Motorsport Week article: Greg Moore - the lost F1 legend?

By RickDikeman - Own work, CC0, https://commons.
Yesterday was an important, and sad, day in motorsport. As it marked 20 years since the his untimely passing of Canadian up-and-coming driver Greg Moore.

He certainly would have become a legend in US single-seater racing, and his future might even have been in Formula 1.

Five wins and five poles in four Champ Car seasons, and a best final championship position therein of fifth, don't support this. But you know what they say about lies, damned lies and statistics.

For Motorsport Week I look back at the lost legend. You can have a read about why Moore was so special here:

Thursday, 31 October 2019

1984 Dallas Grand Prix review for Motor Sport Magazine

By twm1340 - 1984 United States Grand Prix, Fair Park,
Dallas, Texas, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.
These days the United States Grand Prix - the latest of which is this weekend - is pretty well established at the Circuit of the Americas, near Austin, Texas.

Yet F1 has had another Texan host, that for the Dallas Grand Prix in 1984. That one is often dismissed by history as a fiasco, crumbling track and all.

But it had bags of potential, and could have gone on to became one of F1's most important rounds.

For Motor Sport Magazine, in my latest F1 historic look-back, I tell the tale. You can have a read here: