Red Bulls flying high yet again in China
For the fourth time in succession a Red Bull is on pole for a Grand Prix this season. Sebastian Vettel is the man that will start at the front in the Chinese Grand Prix following another impressive qualifying session for the Red Bulls.
Alongside Vettel on the front row is team-mate Mark Webber. The German though is the hot favourite at 4/6 to win his second Grand Prix in a row following his victory last time out in Malaysia. Webber is 9/2 to claim his first win of the campaign.
In the three GPs so far this season the man that has started on pole has not claimed the win but this should change in China as this statistic is not as solid as it first seems. Reliability issues cost Vettel victories in the first two GPs of the season when he started from P1. Then in Malaysia, when Webber was on pole, the Aussie left the door open for Vettel on the first corner and the rest was history.
Therefore the above statistic should be ignored while the following one is of much more value.
There have been six Chinese Grands Prix, and in four of these the pole-sitter has gone on to win the race.
This includes Vettel himself when he was victorious here last year after starting the race from P1, therefore you should be able to place your bets on the German with full confidence.
If you think though that Webber will be able to gain revenge on Vettel for the result in Malaysia then the 2/7 about Red Bull being the winning constructor could be the way to go for a bit of extra insurance.
The man most likely to challenge the Red Bulls, at least according to the betting, is Fernando Alonso (5/1). The Ferrari man put the team's engine troubles behind him as he qualified in third, the best part of half a second behind Vettel.
The Ferrari though doesn't seem to have the pace to match the Red Bulls and with doubts still lingering over their engines neither the Spaniard nor his team-mate Felipe Massa (33/1), who qualified in seventh, can be realistic contenders.
The team most likely to challenge Red Bull is McLaren. Lewis Hamilton (13/2) set the pace at Friday's practice sessions but the Englishman was unable to convert this as he could only qualify in fourth. One of the bets of the Grand Prix though must be for the 2008 world champion to finish on the podium.
It is evens that Hamilton claims a spot on the rostrum. Alonso is the available at the same price but with the McLarens superior straight line speed due to their F-duct aerodynamic system it should be enough to see Lewis get the better of the two-time world champion.
It is not just Alonso who Hamilton will have to get past though, as despite the speed that was in evidence on Friday as well as in Q1 and Q2 he could only qualify in sixth, behind fourth-placed Nico Rosberg (10/3 for a podium finish) and team-mate Jenson Button (11/5 for a podium finish) who was fifth.
Nevertheless with Hamilton's overtaking skills combined with the straight line speed his car possesses he is well worth a bet.
However, despite his obvious credentials I don't think Hamilton has the car to be able to get close to the Red Bulls and we could well be on for another Red Bull one-two in China.