Lay Hamilton in title-deciding race

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Lewis Hamilton does not need to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to win the Formula One title and, therefore, it makes sense to lay the championship leader at his odds-on quotes.

The ridiculous decision to award double points in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix means that Hamilton must finish second in the United Arab Emirates if his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, takes the chequered flag, otherwise the German driver will pip his British colleague to the title. If double points were not up for grabs, Hamilton would only need to finish sixth in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to guarantee clinching his second Formula One crown.

There have been 18 Formula One races this season and the results of 14 of them would, if replicated in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, result in Hamilton winning the title. Hamilton is trading at odds of -455  with many bookmakers, including Coral and Ladbrokes, to take out the championship and those odds are close to the mark based on 14 out of 18.

One thinks that the key to betting on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is getting into the head of Rosberg, who beat Hamilton in both qualifying and the race last year. The relationship between the Mercedes drivers is fraught to say the least and one would not be at all surprised if tensions boiled over during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Mercedes cannot lose the Formula One title – either Hamilton or Rosberg must win it for the Silver Arrows – and one thinks that the championship underdog may do something reckless if he is directly behind the championship favourite towards the end of the race.

There does not seem to be a strong case for backing Hamilton at odds of -105  with Boylesports to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton may decide to let Rosberg have his way at the front of the race and concentrate his efforts on getting his Mercedes to the chequered flag in one piece. After all, such has been the dominance of Mercedes this season that Hamilton would be confident of beating all the non-Silver Arrows cars provided that his machinery did not malfunction. And letting Rosberg have his way at the front of the race means that the German driver cannot try a silly overtaking manoeuvre that may threaten Hamilton’s ability to reach the finish line.

Some bookmakers have little to choose between Hamilton and Rosberg in their Abu Dhabi Grand Prix markets and one thinks that makes sense. But rather than back Rosberg at odds of +150  with Betfred and Totesport one would prefer to jump on a betting exchange and lay Hamilton at around even money, thereby having the field and not just Rosberg on one’s side.

Bookmakers are being slow to chalk up Abu Dhabi Grand Prix straight forecast odds but the Rosberg-Hamilton option would appeal at the right price. One thinks that the right price would be about +225  based on Rosberg being +150  to win.

While most eyes in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be on Hamilton and Rosberg, spare a thought for Sebastian Vettel. The outgoing Formula One champion has just one more chance to record his first victory of the season and avoid being the first title holder not to win a race since Jacques Villeneuve went from hero in 1997 to zero in 1998.

Tips Summary

Lay Hamilton to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
22nd November 13:00 GMT (Qualifying)
23rd November 13:00 GMT (Race)
Odds: ~  +100
Where to Bet: Betfair Exchange

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