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Bahrain GP Betting: Improving Hamilton can make top three

Formula One RSS / / 25 April 2009 /

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The F1 picture is changing rapidly but Scott Ferguson thinks he's found a couple of angles ahead of the Bahrain GP.

From the rain in Shanghai to the sand and heat of Bahrain, the eastern adventure for the F1 circus comes to a close in a sea of changing fortunes. Jenson Button admits the Brawns are no longer dominant, the Toyotas have concerns about fading brakes, Lewis Hamilton is within striking distance and the Ferraris finally got both drivers back into the top 10.

So far this season we've seen three pole-sitters go on to take the chequered flag. This time however, we have a pair of Toyotas up front who ran third and fourth in Melbourne and Malaysia, the former only due to a late crash and the latter when the race only went half-distance.

In the wet in China, they were miles off the pace, but they wont have any water to worry about here barring the copious supply they'll need to store for the drivers. Three straights on this circuit put a lot of pressure on the brakes and hot days don't allow them to cool down.Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli both reported their brake pedals becoming longer and longer (less responsive) during qualifying which must be a concern, although other vehicles will have the same issue.

Sebastian Vettel will start the race as favourite, he's perched nicely behind in third and with more fuel than anyone in the front seven. His two wins have both come from leading the whole way and he's done very little coming from behind. Mind you, he's not had the car to make his way through the field before this season. Four of five races here have been won from the front row.

Hamilton is the interesting one. The McLaren is gradually finding speed, KERS has proved ineffective in the wet making the last two race results even better and they've been competitive this week in practice. Button has already conceded Lewis will fly past him off the grid so their rivals are taking notice. The Brawn drivers did report their cars to be performing much better on Friday under race loads than on the qualifying set-up, so that augurs well for consistent fast times tomorrow.

Looking to the back of the grid, Mark Webber is obviously going to be quick after getting blocked on his flying lap but I like the look of Sebastien Buemi. He has finished in the points twice already this year and was out of the race early in Malaysia. He admitted to making an error in qualifying which cost him a place in Q2.

I can't spot any value in the winner market any of the front four can win it, but there are little concerns about each of them, namely brakes, inexperience, overtaking ability and confession of lack of speed. Four of the five Grands Prix staged here have been decided by under 3.5 seconds, but I just find it hard to be confident in an unders market like this, particularly with a low chance of safety car involvement.

Looking for value, I'm going to plump for Hamilton to get on the podium at [3.25] or better and Sebastien Buemi at [7.0] or better for a points finish.

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