Tom Millard previews this week's British Grand Prix and fancies Sergio Perez to impress once again.
1pt Mark Webber to take pole position at 11/1 (General).
1pt Vettel/Webber straight forecast at 22/1 (Paddy Power).
0.5pts a Sauber to win the race at 50/1 (bet365).
1.5pts Sergio Perez to finish on the podium at 16/1 (Ladbrokes).
Who would you rather back at 3/1 for the British Grand Prix?
Sebastian Vettel, who took a convincing pole position and raced away from the field at the rate of more than a second a lap, or Lewis Hamilton, who slithered around behind him, holding up his rivals until eventually being overtaken from second place on lap 10?
Had Vettel not retired from the European Grand Prix in Valencia owing to an electrical problem caused by a faulty alternator, it's unlikely the world champion would have been available at 3/1 to back up in the British Grand Prix this weekend.
Last Sunday's was a bizarre race in which the two fastest cars in the race, the German's Red Bull and the Lotus driven by Romain Grosjean, were both forced out by a similar problem, allowing Alonso to take advantage in a style to which he has become accustomed this year.
As his rivals have tripped up over each other he has raised the bar but even the accomplished Spaniard must scarely be able to believe his own luck as he leads the championship by 20 points heading towards the halfway mark in the title race.
While taking nothing away from Alonso's masterful performance in his home race, it's clear that Vettel would be now heading the title standings if not for misfortune beyond his control.
Indeed, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali acknowledged after Sunday's race that his car was a long way behind Vettel's machine in terms of pace at present.
"We know that we are not in the position that we want to be and there are a few cars quicker than us and we cannot be blind to that... In my view Red Bull, or the Red Bull that I have seen this weekend, is the quickest in terms of pure performance," he said.
"In the race it was leading comfortably, the pace was very strong. That is something that we need to look at. They had problems with reliability, but we are not, in my view, at the level that we should be in terms of the performance."
The performance pattern has echoes of 2010, the season in which Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber had the quickest cars but allowed mechanical and operational errors to undermine their title bid.
Vettel did eventually win through and given both he and his relatively young team have two more years' experience fighting at the sharp end they will be looking to hunt down Ferrari once again.
The market makers do not appear convinced that Red Bull's recent turn of pace is a game changer but it could be that this season's erstwhile unpredictability has lulled them into a sense of false security.
A pole position for Webber in Monaco backed up by consecutive convincing poles and an unmatchable opening stint for Vettel in Valencia, suggest that RBR's design genius Adrian Newey may once again have found the key to overcoming the loss of downforce from this season's regulation changes.
So why aren't we recommending a solid bet on the world champion this weekend?
Simply, the rotten weather forecast is enough to temper our enthusiasm.
Conditions could not be more different from scorching Valencia, with rain expected across all three days and showers likely to affect both qualifying and the race, meaning the cars will have a much tougher time reaching the operating temperature of the soft and hard compound tyres Pirelli are bringing to Silverstone.
The Red Bull worked its tyres to perfection in the Spanish sun but there's no guarantee Vettel and Webber will be able to get into the zone this weekend, particularly on the durable prime tyre which needs an operating temperature of around 120-degrees Celsius to work at its best.
Likewise, McLaren and Lotus have historically had problems in "switching on" the tyres in cool conditions - witness Malaysia where arguably the three fastest cars in dry running couldn't get close to the pace of the the Ferrari or Sauber on a damp and drying track.
If the low pressure area is pushed away from Northamptonshire over the next couple of days, Vettel's and Webber's pace advantage could see them record a whitewash, which is why we're taking a chance on a straight forecast reflecting that at 22/1.
We'll also take the 11/1 on Webber to take pole position given his 3/2/1 form figures over the last three years in qualifying at this track, his noted profiency on circuits with fast corners and Red Bull's apparent re-emergence as the team to beat on Saturdays.
But our main bet for Sunday involves 66/1 12th-favourite Sergio Perez, the man who almost won that remarkable race in Malaysia after being consistently the fastest man on the track for most of the afternoon.
The baby-faced Mexican is an enigma, recording points finishes in only half of the eight races to date, yet finishing on the podium twice.
He has a knack of getting temperature into his tyres and then conserving the rubber better than anyone else in the field - witness his head-scratching run from 15th to third in Canada on tyres which were 30 laps old.
Perez's Malaysia performance also showed how he can get the most out of the tricky hard compound tyre, something which other car/driver combinations may struggle with late in the race (if, indeed, the rain keeps away and they are obliged to use both compounds).
Perhaps the closest track to Silverstone in terms of layout is the Circuit de Catalunya, where Perez qualified fifth in May, a performance which bodes well given his recent struggles in qualifying - his last two grid slots have both been P15.
The low-downforce set-up needed at Silverstone and the inclement forecast suggests that the Sauber man might be in a position to work his magic once again and we can't put anyone off taking a slice of the 66/1 offered by Ladbrokes, bet365 and Boylesports, with the first of those offering the most attractive each-way terms.
But a more canny approach would be to take bet365's 50/1 on a Sauber to be the winning car, chucking in a bet on Perez's team-mate Kamui Kobayashi at implied odds of over 200/1.
We can then take Ladbrokes' 16/1 on Perez finishing on the podium, losing only half a point on the place odds in the process, and taking the opportunity to balance our returns.
Kobayashi, it should be noted, is due a five-place grid penalty after colliding with Felipe Massa at Valencia but with a potentially unpredictable race in store we shouldn't pass up the chance of getting the Japanese driver onside so cheaply.