Lewis Hamilton has won two of the five editions of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the favourite and champion is the driver to support in this year’s 19th and final race.
Bwin is offering odds of -118 that Hamilton, who has won 10 of this season’s 17 Formula One races, will round out his second title-winning campaign with 25 points on Sunday in the United Arab Emirates. Once again, the decision for race punters appears to boil down to a choice between Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg. At the odds and given their respective records, Hamilton is one’s pick.
Hamilton’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix record should read better than it does. Hamilton began the first-ever Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole position and he only gave up the race lead to Sebastian Vettel during the initial round of pit stops just before a problem with his McLaren’s right-rear brake forced him to retire. Three years later in 2012, Hamilton secured pole position by more than three-tenths of a second and he led the race until a serious issue with his McLaren on lap 20 put pay to his afternoon. So while Hamilton has won two of the five editions of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, one could argue that he is unlucky not to have won four of them.
The Yas Marina Circuit, reputedly the world’s most costly Formula One track, is right up Hamilton’s alley. Hermann Tilke’s design is a permanent race circuit but it has the feel of a street circuit and Hamilton’s performances on the latter this year have been excellent – the Briton qualified fastest in Australia, Canada and Monaco and he would have won all three of those races had Mercedes not made one of the biggest-ever tactical blunders in the principality. Hamilton had a Singapore Grand Prix to forget but so did Rosberg because Mercedes struggled with its set-up in the conditions – the Silver Arrows were too bad to be true.
Mercedes-powered cars dominated last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the four quickest qualifiers and six of the first seven home in the race – Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull finished fourth having started from the pit lane. The Yas Marina Circuit lends itself to Mercedes-powered cars because it boasts two long straights and most overtaking manoeuvres occurring on the back straight thanks to its DRS zone.
All the stars are aligning for Hamilton, whose aggressive driving style means that he is better suited to circuits such as the one in the United Arab Emirates than Rosberg, to end the season as he began it – with a race success.
One is convinced that Hamilton is superior to Rosberg and one thinks that Vettel represents poor Abu Dhabi Grand Prix value even at best odds of +900 with Ladbrokes. Hamilton has beaten Vettel in each of the last five races since the Briton and his Mercedes crew had their weekend from hell in Singapore. Indeed, the Singapore Grand Prix is the only race out of the last eight in which Vettel has defeated Hamilton. So much for Ferrari making ground on Mercedes as the year as gone on – those numbers make a mockery of that argument.
Hamilton represents decent Abu Dhabi Grand Prix value at odds of -118 . Bookmakers such as Bwin would not be anything like as accommodating if the Formula One championship was still on the line because Hamilton should have won four of the five editions of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and he did not have the best mechanical package in some of those races, whereas everyone acknowledges that he is a lucky man to drive one of the Mercedes works cars for a living.
Hamilton to win Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
29th November 13:00 GMT
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