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Thursday, 23 June 2011

European GP - Valencia (24th - 26th June)

One thing is for certain. This weekend's European GP in Valencia is unlikely to be as eventful and exciting as the previous instalment in Montreal. You won't get any bookmaker giving you odds on that. Nor should you be seeking them, to be honest.

What can we expect as the F1 circus heads to Europe? We could well see McLaren match Red Bull in terms of race pace once again as the circuits share some similarities and Woking's finest are showing improvement but we expect Championship leader Sebastian Vettel to once again lead the way in qualifying, although short odds 8/13 he's too good for anyone right now.

Fernando Alonso has been talking up his chances this week and he will be strong at one of his two home races. Back him for at least a points finish (1/6) and even a podium (4/6) looks a strong possibility, particularly as he is coming off a rare DNF in Canada - he is nothing if not consistent and will be one to watch. He will feel that a repeat of Monaco is more likely than Canada - and so do we.

Renault have brought a new rear wing to Europe and they believe it will bring with it an improvement in performance. With both Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov now settled into the team and driving well without pulling up too many trees, we're recommending that you take the 7/5 on offer with bwin for a double points finish, particularly if they show good pace in the early practice sessions.

One more thing to look out for, particularly if the weather is changeable, is the price of Felipe Massa. He is a huge price to win (anything from around 20/1 to 50/1, which given the car he is in and his performance in Canada, is too high) and might be worth a punt which you can lay off during the race should he start mixing it with the leaders and his odds start to come in. A word of warning, however. we tried this a couple of seasons ago in Bahrain and he immediately spun off.

Selections -

Back Vettel to take pole at 8/13 3pts
Back Alonso to take a podium at 4/6 2.5pts
Back both Renaults to claim points at 7/5 2pts
Back Massa to win (anything from 20/1 - 50/1) but look to lay this off in-running or even after qualifying if he performs well 1pt

John Pennington of http://www.thelunchwatchman.com/ writes for www.likebuyingmoney.blogspot.com

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