Qualifying was still in progress at the Autodromo in Sao Paulo, yet there were drivers posing on the podiums.
McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, two former world champions, both tried to lift the mood of a sorry season with the Woking team by storming the ceremony stage having suffered another terrible session.
Their trials are one strand of a repeated storyline in the 2015 Formula One season and, up at the front of the grid, nothing changed either.
Mercedes man Nico Rosberg, last season’s Brazilian Grand Prix winner, again qualified on pole position. It was his fifth in succession.
His teammate/arch rival Lewis Hamilton, the man already crowned 2015’s champion, trailed him by just eight hundredths of a second. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualified third. Does this sound like something you’ve heard before?
Thanks to his spot at the front of the grid and his nous around Sao Paulo, Rosberg is also handed the favourites tag by Ladbrokes.
The German is 10/11 to convert his pole into a win, but considering he has only managed that once in the last four races, that doesn’t look like particularly good value.
Hamilton’s price of 11/10, on the other hand, is as juicy as it gets for someone so dominant this campaign.
He has overhauled Rosberg to claim victory in each of the three races his teammate has failed to convert and qualified on the coattails of his fellow Mercedes driver.
Those qualifying times don’t suggest that Hamilton is being outclassed in Brazil. He has never won here, which is yet another reason for motivation in a season that has already provided him his ultimate goal.
Vettel is 9/1 to claim an unlikely victory and it’s 33/1 bar those. As for Button and Alonso, they are both rated as 7/4 not to be classified, which is about as close to printing free money as it gets.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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