Weighing up the title odds
F1’s summer break drags on but we’re in for a frantic end to the season with nine races in 13 weekends.
Who’s the driver to back for the final stretch? Here’s a look at the odds as they stand:
Felipe Massa – 1000.0
That Massa’s odds to win the Drivers' Championship are 500 times longer than his team mate’s tells you everything you need to know about the kind of season he’s having.
Massa has struggled for form since returning to F1 from injury in 2010. That year he scored 57.1% of Fernando Alonso’s points tally. Last year that fell to 45.9%. So far this season he’s scored just 15.2% of Alonso’s haul.
At this point the odds on him retaining his Ferrari seat for next year must be almost as long.
Nico Rosberg – 175.0
Rosberg was racking up the points at an impressive rate early in the season following his breakthrough victory in China.
But he’s fallen to 84 points behind Alonso, scoring just two in the last three races. Poor performances in wet qualifying sessions plus Mercedes’ lack of pace in Hungary held him back.
The W03 may go better at Spa and Monza, the next two venues on the calendar, but it’s not enough to recommend backing him.
Romain Grosjean – 75.0
The Lotus driver has shown plenty of potential this year but a series of mistakes have left him behind in the championship, one point adrift of Rosberg.
If his speed and racecraft aren’t in doubt his consistency is, and a bit more experience wouldn’t hurt either. It’s too early for him this year, but he’s one to watch for the future – and perhaps a punt on his first race win.
Jenson Button – 50.0
Button is a point behind Rosberg but unlike the Mercedes driver he has a team mate who’s out-scored him. And given their respective fortunes this year, the gap between them probably flatters Button a bit.
It’s hard to see him getting back into this one.
Mark Webber – 12.0
Second in the championship but with the fifth-longest odds? That’s got to be worth a look.
Webber is enjoying a much better season this year and has already won twice. And expect the Red Bull RB8 to remain competitive until the end of the year.
Kimi Raikkonen – 12.0
Raikkonen lies eight points behind Webber and hasn’t won a race yet, but has the same odds.
However, he does have a track record of coming strong late in the championship. Remember his astonishing surge to win the title in 2007.
And the next track on the calendar is his specialty: Spa-Francorchamps.
Lewis Hamilton – 5.5
As F1 headed into its summer break McLaren had the quickest car over a single lap. They’ve also conquered the pit lane problems that dogged them early in the season.
Hamilton still has a sizeable deficit to claw back to get on terms with Alonso – 47 over nine races. There’s a maximum of 225 still to be won but the ever-consistent Alonso is not to be underestimated.
But Hamilton’s been driving well this year and is worth a shot at these odds.
Sebastian Vettel – 3.5
Vettel has usually been in the hunt and some of the later races include tracks where he’s excelled in recent years, including Suzuka and Abu Dhabi. The odds aren’t great but he’s a strong candidate to be champion again.
Fernando Alonso – 2.0
As noted HERE last week, Alonso may have a 40-point lead but odds of 2.0 for him to win the title are a bit short considering his car’s performance deficit to the likes of Red Bull and McLaren. Not worth backing.
Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic. Read more of his F1 comment and tips HERE.