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Lance Armstrong’s autobiography was famously called 'It’s Not About the Bike' but, when it comes to Formula One, it is mostly about the car. A world-class driver may be able to overcome the limitations of his car, but only to a certain extent.
Quite simply, if the car isn't of a sufficient standard, it's impossible to win races and titles, and this is a key consideration to bear in mind when it comes to your Formula One betting.
Over the past few years, Formula 1 has been dominated by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull. While McLaren and Ferrari have been able to challenge periodically, nobody has been able to match the sheer pace and reliability of the Red Bull car. However, the influence that a driver can have is evident when two drivers from the same team are compared.
The difference in performance between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber over the last couple of years has been considerable, and the gulf in results between Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa has been huge.
An interesting trend to be aware of in Formula 1 betting is the difference between the early part of the season and the later stages. In earlier races, there tends to be far more unpredictability as to who makes the podium, as teams coming into the season with limited testing still having issues to iron out. This is particularly the case when there have been rule changes over the summer, and the 2012 season was a great example of this, given that the first seven races were won by seven different drivers.
However, as the season progresses, the richer and more powerful teams are able to resolve any problems with their cars and increase performance significantly, so the season's conclusion is traditionally the time when the leading teams and drivers begin to dominate. In 2012, McLaren and Red Bull won nine of the last ten races, with Sebastian Vettel winning four Grand Prix races in succession.
This pattern is important to factor into your Formula 1 betting strategy. The early stage of the season is often better for looking at slightly longer shots (Nico Rosberg topped the podium in China in 2012, for example, while Pastor Maldonado triumphed in Spain two races later) with Formula One Each Way betting offering particularly good value. Meanwhile, backing the favourites tends to become more profitable as the season advances.
Another thing to take into account is that certain tracks suit different cars. In 2012, the Sauber cars were outstanding at preserving their tyres, meaning that on tracks with high- and medium-speed corners, they were able to outpace and outlast cars that appeared to be far superior. The Malaysian Grand Prix was a perfect example, where Perez showed excellent pace and would have won, had it not been for a careless error. Instead he finished second, which would still have brought rewards for backers taking advantage of Formula One Each Way betting.
When situations like this occur, looking at podium and points-finish markets can be a profitable strategy for your Formula One betting. While winning the race may be beyond their capabilities, a number of smaller teams did manage to make surprise podium-finishes in 2012, a trend which is likely to continue into 2013.
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