Roy The Boy previews the Spanish Grand Prix and is keen on Raikkonen or Vettel producing the fastest lap given the likely dynamics of the race.
A Ferrari for a late stop and that should mean a fastest lap
In an ideal world I’d simply be happy laying Hamilton in the fastest lap market for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix. The trouble is, Betfair will probably be short on liquidity and while all the fixed-odds firms will give you evens about him going fastest, they would not offer you any price about the reigning world champion NOT taking the accolade. To me, it’s a flaw in their business model.
Hamilton is two from four in the ‘fastest laps’ stakes this year but this weekend the action comes from Barcelona and this front runners track is capable throwing up some weird results.
Fastest Laps 2015
Australia Lewis Hamilton on Lap 50 of 58
Malaysia Nico Rosberg on Lap 43 of 56
China Lewis Hamilton on Lap 31 of 56
Bahrain Kimi Raikkonen on Lap 42 of 57
Just consider… not a single pole-setter or race winner has set the fastest lap at this race/venue since 2008. The reason is probably the volatile nature of this circuit where teams may have to take as many as four pit-stops dues to its demands on tyres.
Additionally overtaking is extremely difficult. The net result is often fast cars stuck behind slow cars and if you cannot get a clear run of things you cannot set a fast lap.
YR STAR FINISHERS POLE WINNER FASTEST LAP
2005 18 13 Raikkonen Raikkonen Fisichella
2006 22 17 Alonso Alonso Massa
2007 22 14 Massa Massa Massa
2008 20 13 Raikkonen Raikkonen Raikkonen
2009 20 14 Button Button Barrichello
2010 24 19 Webber Webber Hamilton
2011 24 21 Webber Vettel Hamilton
2012 24 19 Maldonado Maldonado Grosjean
2013 22 19 Rosberg Alonso Gutierrez
2014 22 20 Hamilton Hamilton Vettel
Therein the Ferrari team are sure to bring some team-play into action, splitting the strategies between their two cars/drivers meaning one may be left on-track for a long first stint while the other pits early in the race. In essence ‘tripping-up’ their rivals by sticking them in traffic. This is what the Italian team did in Bahrain last time when a late pitting Raikkonen went on to set the fastest lap and claim second spot.
I’m expecting more of the same and if one of the Ferraris pits late in the race – after the Mercedes’ take their last pit-stop – they will claim the ‘fastest lap’ accolade.
With the team not deciding who will employ what strategy until after qualifying, I’m suggesting backing both drivers at combined odds of 7/2.