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The Tenner Bet

Was accused of aping Hugh MacDonald last week (see Hugh MacDonald on Saturday).

I've got more body hair than him so I don't see how that stacks up. I'll ask my psychiatrist what he thinks – last time I saw him he suggested shock treatment, to which I agreed. I didn't know then that the therapy involved me repeatedly heading a Mouldmaster in the cold. It worked, though, I can't remember why I visited him in the first place.

Anyway.

The sports editor was pleased. He had just put the evening copy boy on the spike when I informed him that Lewis Hamilton had won the US Grand Prix. "It's a pity there isn't a Formula One race every week since you're a rubbish tipster during the rest of the year." I pointed out that it's a criminal offence to tip rubbish. To which he replied "Go to Jail, do not pass go, do not collect £200 . . . again. Now get on with the rest of your Formula One column. And stop aping Hugh MacDonald."

THE RACE

Rain is expected at Interlagos in Brazil this weekend and not for the first time could play a significant part in determining the outcome of the drivers' title. Yes, this is a Red Bull course – the team has won the last three Brazilian Grands Prix – but the weight of expectation is all on the shoulders of one man and that man is Sebastian Vettel. The German has been the odds-on favourite to lift the drivers' title since overtaking long-time leader Fernando Alonso at the Korean Grand Prix last month. Since then, though, Vettel has not had things all his own way with Kimi Raikkonen and Hamilton winning two of the next three races.

The temptation might well be for him to race conservatively in order to secure the points that will secure a third successive title. This track has witnessed the demise of many a championship challenge, though, most notably Felipe Massa's in 2008 when the Ferrari driver thought he had secured the title only to be told at the finish line that he had been beaten to it by Hamilton. Meanwhile, the pressure is all off Alonso, who will nevertheless be buoyed by noises emanating from the Red Bull camp that all is not quite right with the team's car.

THE BET

Hamilton is clearly the form horse and can take advantage of the battle that will play out between Alonso and Vettel. The McLaren driver was very impressive in securing the US Grand Prix and at odds of around 11/4 is still reasonable value for Brazil given that the updates carried out on his car have made it just as competitive as the Red Bull.

I'm tempted to suggest that Alonso might be worth a cheeky bet for the drivers' title – anything can happen this weekend – and at 4/1 to do so might take advantage of any slip-ups that need to happen to Vettel but it's worth bearing in mind that Mark Webber suffered Red Bull's third alternator failure of the season last weekend and given the propensity for things to go wrong it would only require a blip from Vettel and a podium finish by Alonso – something he has achieved 12 times from 20 races – for the title to swing his way.

SEASON'S TOTAL

Hamilton won last weekend and all was right with the world again following a couple of losing bets in Formula One.

The total for the season is back in profit at £26.06

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