Roberta Vinci’s upset win against Serena Williams in the recently concluded US Open sent shockwaves through the tennis fraternity. Apart from being beaten by a player ranked only 43rd in the world of women’s singles (as of 8th September; source: Wikipedia), she was beaten by a player who didn’t even feature in the betting odds!
Strange are the ways of sport, but they seem stranger if you’re avidly betting on it. I would love to meet the fan(s) who would’ve bet on Williams losing a semi-final in a year when she’s won everything except for the men’s titles!
Formula One and betting aren’t entirely straightforward though. There’s a larger context of the team that is involved apart from the man-machine combination. When you place your bets on a particular driver, you’re also placing a bet on his machine and his team to deliver the goods on a weekend or across all weekends of the season. I guess it is this unpredictability that makes betting in the sport that much more risky and hence fun. (Read: Formula One Is Funny)
I remember the 2006 Formula1 Season when Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari powered car retired at Suzuka (Japanese Grand Prix) handing a comfortable lead to his title rival and eventual World Champion Fernando Alonso. While the driver performed to his potential all season long, it was the unexpected engine failure that cost him, the team and his fans a much deserved world championship. (Read: If Schumacher Turned TV Commentator)
Over to 2015, Jean Alesi and Mark Webber have publically stated what we already know – Lewis Hamilton will win the 2015 Formula1 World Championship. One look at the betting tables on William Hill F1 Betting and you’ll know that the fun of betting this season will lie outside of Hamilton’s almost-reserved P1 spot on the podium. For Rosberg and Vettel fans, their drivers’ championship odds are stacked 8/1 and 50/1 respectively. (Read: Is Lewis Hamilton Greater Than Ayrton Senna?)
With 7 races pending on the calendar of the 2015 Formula1 Season, it would be safe to assume that though possible, Lewis Hamilton might not win all the remaining races this year. We saw in Malaysia and Hungary that Ferrari has the pace to win should Mercedes falter even slightly so. If I was to go by the statistic that one of out of six races this year have seen a Ferrari win, there’s a possibility that we might see the Prancing Horse to victory at least once before the current season concludes. (Read: Ferrari vs. Mercedes, Really?)
For the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, the odds table gives good insight on driver form and predictions. If Lewis Hamilton’s odds of 8/15 isn’t interesting enough, Fernando Alonso’s 500/1 should certainly be so. The two times former World Champion is placed just ahead of the drivers of Sauber, Manor and his team-mate and former World Champion Jenson Button.
The other interesting bet I found was that of the in demand Valtteri Bottas. The Williams driver, who was rumoured to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari next year, is placed equally (80/1) with his team-mate and Ferrari discard Felipe Massa. The Finnish driver should consider himself lucky that team owners don’t bet on their driver line-up basis the driver’s position on the bets table!
And if Hamilton is whom you wish to still bet on, let’s bet when his music album with Canadian rapper Drake will be released!
Tune in to the latest episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast – ‘Help, Red Bull Needs Energy’ where we discuss Lewis Hamilton’s statistics in comparison with the late great Ayrton Senna, how a reunification with Nicole Sherzinger is possible and the possibility of a Williams appearing on the podium in Singapore (it’s not who you think it is!).