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Roy the Boy's betting guide to Australia

NEWS STORY
13/03/2014

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, seeking his tenth consecutive race win, is a best-priced 18/1 to win this weekend's Australian Grand Prix. For those of you who do not understand gambling, it means if you place a £20 bet on him, you will lose £20!

Sometimes things are so obvious we cannot see them on the end of our nose. Or, come to that, on the end of other people's noses. In hindsight Michael Jackson did not drape a handkerchief over his face purely because he was wacko, but because underneath it surgeons had been manipulating his nose like kids playing with plasticine.

Similarly, anyone notice the raft of American athletes that wore braces on their teeth during the late 80's through to the early noughties? Carl Lewis, Gwen Torrence, Torri Edwards, Inger Miller, Marion Jones, LeRoy Burrell, Michael Johnson and Tim Montgomery to name but a few of the Word Champions, Olympic medallists and world record holders.

In one World Championship event the entire USA Men's 4x100 relay-team wore them and after nine Santa Monica Track Club athletes took home medals at the 1991 World Athletic Championships in Tokyo, doping experts pointedly noted the unusual fact that seven of those medal winners, Lewis most prominently, wore dental braces. Less than half of one percent of the adult population in the western world wears braces.

The all-conquering Red Bull RB7, RB8 and RB9 wore braces. It had a secret. Growth hormones did not see it develop crooked teeth and a protruding jaw but it had a dark stealthy quality.

Time will tell but I suspect clandestine designer Adrian Newey will one day come clean as to where that unbelievable speed was coming from. Many believe superior aerodynamic packaging and clever use of exhaust gasses made it so fast.

If that is the case Newey must have spent the last three months looking at that all-new regulation necessitated single exhaust-pipe protruding upwards and outwards of his new RB10 car wondering, with economical use of rope, if he could hang himself from it.

To his rescue came Renault. The engine supplier have evidently delivered a power unit so unreliable Newey's problems look like a stroll in the Teletubbies Meadow. I suspect the first half of the 2014 season will play out like my first viewing of the Bruce Willis film 'The Sixth Sense'. During the opening titles an enthusiastic friend turned to me and said: "The first thing you need to know is he [Willis' character] is actually dead but he doesn't know it!"

History Repeated?

William's and McLaren start 2014 on the back of their worst ever seasons. Williams achieved just one top-ten finish in 2013; McLaren won no silverware for the first time since 1981. Winter testing now suggests they had more than one eye on the season ahead, in essence preparing their own set of braces. You have to agree the front-end of the 2014 cars are indeed very ugly.

During the last decade William's have not helped themselves with their choice of drivers. Mark Webber, Alexander Wurz, Kazuki Nakajima and Rubens Barrichello were probably cheap enough but results were doubtless compromised. This year they have burdened themselves with Felipe Massa. Let's hope their other pilot, Valtteri Bottas, is the real deal as he looks to have a competitive car to go to war with.

Similarly Woking's new boy, Kevin Magnussen, needs to compliment his McLaren. If he does he will be partnering Kamui Kobayashi in the 2015 Honda McLaren. If he doesn't the line-up will probably be Kobayashi alongside Romain Grosjean who is Eric Boullier's protege. Boullier is, of course, the new incumbent 'good talker' at McLaren.

Back to 2014, who truly knows what this year will bring? 'Double points' for the final race of the season is certainly something of a joker in the pack.

Is there any truth to the rumour Uncle Bernie is considering replacing Charlie Whiting with the Sochi Olympic judges who oversaw Elise Christy's disqualification from not one or two but three speed skating races?

Talking of Sochi, what will the new Russian and Austrian circuits throw up? Let's hope they will not be coma-inducing processional boreathons like we are already forced to endure in Texas and Hungary.

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1. Posted by Kkiirmki, 13/03/2014 19:21

"Did I miss something, where's Button going to be in 2015?"

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