F1 Preview: The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

November 23, 2016

- Grant Whittington


Let’s take a look to see what the bookies are thinking for this thrilling final race. For all betting needs, be sure to check out our free bets page and sign up through Bethut to qualify for some amazing bonuses.

Driver Championship Betting Odds

Lewis Hamilton 6/4 Bet now

Nico Rosberg 3/1

Winner of the Abu Dhabi Betting Odds

Lewis Hamilton 8/13 Bet now

Nico Rosberg 2/1

Max Verstappen 12/1

Daniel Ricciardo 12/1

Constructors Championship Betting Odds

Mercedes 4/7 Bet now

Red Bull 2/1

Ferrari 15/2

The stage we all dreamed of is set. Will history repeat itself? Another superb drive from Lewis Hamilton in a rain-hit Brazilian Grand Prix leaves him facing a showdown with Nico Rosberg for the Formula One crown.

The British driver’s peerless form may have come little too late with the German only needing a top three finish in his quest to finally see his name engraved on the coveted trophy.

Nevertheless, pressure can cast the strangest spells on anyone of us. Can Rosberg maintain his poise for one more race?

Two years ago, the destination of the title was not known until the final day and the elation and glory belonged to Hamilton who stormed to victory with Rosberg way back in 15th suffering from technical difficulties.

This time round, it is Hamilton who is firmly the underdog and he heads to Abu Dhabi for the so-called ‘Duel in the Desert’ 12 points adrift of his Mercedes team-mate.

It is incredible to think that his scintillating form over the past three races and the fact that he could finish the campaign with more victories and pole positions than his arch-rival is likely to count for nothing.

His refusal to relinquish his grip on the title has been nothing short of admirable and his recent exploits have demonstrated that his dynamic and explosive driving cannot be matched when he is on form.

The harsh reality is that Hamilton needs any kind of explosive activity to come from Rosberg’s engine if he is to overcome the most improbable of odds and become the first British driver in grand prix racing history to be crowned champion of the world on four occasions.

After the frantic spectacle at Interlagos, the Yas Marina circuit is the complete reverse – a tedious course contested from daylight to darkness without the necessary drama or complications to provide the cream of the crop with a stern examination or a searing intensity to ignite the neutral.

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen lambasted the course when he first experienced it in 2009: “The first few turns are quite good, but the rest of it is awful.” Only Raikkonen uttered a ruder word than awful.

It was Rosberg who prevailed at the season-ending finale last year and he will be aiming to seal his expected triumph with a performance that captures the textbook season he has had. No mechanical failures all season and it is his Mercedes colleague who has been playing catch-up ever since the current leader regained top spot after his triumph in Singapore.

By maintaining his composure in Brazil and clinching the runners-up position, Rosberg averted from the real danger that remained in this enthralling campaign. Interlagos was the race where it all could go horribly wrong, the course that looks to have sucked the life out of Yas Marina and taken all of it perils and pitfalls.

Except for Rosberg as he has been all year was in total control – he doesn’t need to take any unnecessary risks and simply play the percentage game. Hamilton has won twice in Abu Dhabi since its inception in 2009 and I expect him to cross the finishing line in first place once again as he continues his supreme end to the championship. Sadly from a British perspective, I am not hopeful that it is going to be enough. Then again, it only takes a moment or a bad decision for delight to turn into a disaster. Surely there isn’t another twist left in the tale?

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