If Lewis Hamilton wins the championship despite the 12-point cushion of Nico Rosberg, the Briton will make history. But he needs to perform much better than Rosberg in Abu Dhabi GP to succeed that! Here's our F1 pick
Gabbling and gaggling comes with a price this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Guests to the Marina Grandstand have paid $5,400 each to secure a VIP view towards the start and finish line at the F1 Grand Prix race track. That includes a three-day pass to the Paddock Club events, where Rihanna is set to perform on Sunday. The territory still tries to recap about $1.5 billion invested to build the facilities for the 2009 inaugural race.
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton will be competing for the 2016 title even though the German has already secured an advantage thanks to his previous victories. Earlier, Hamilton won the lottery and pulled out three consecutive wins, reaching within 12 points Rosberg. But the Briton will need to stand at the podium without Rosberg on his side in order to celebrate the unexpected. If, for example, Hamilton finishes first, Rosberg should finish fourth or worse so that the Briton stands a chance to win the championship. But if Rosberg sets foot at the podium Hamilton kisses goodbye the title hoping for the best next year.
Nonetheless, Hamilton may not be off the race yet. The imperfections of Yas Marina could prove perfect for his driving skills, especially over the clockwise acute angles at the last piece of the track. With his signature delayed braking and sharp-steering driving through the curves, Hamilton may very well take the lead on this unconventional track, which Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) described with extremely harsh words in 2009.
The two rivals appeared next to each other on a press conference on Thursday. Prior to that rendezvous, the retirees Jenson Button and Felipe Massa also answered questions for the journalists.
Hamilton sees his odds this Sunday as “impossible.” But again, just hours before the race at Interlagos he appeared humble saying that he would try for the best. And look what happened. This time, however, he seems more determined, vowing to not give up. You never know what might happen, as unlikely as it may seem, he said.
True, considering that the Briton would have been today on the lead had he not suffered an engine glitch mid-race in Malaysia. Besides this unfortunate incident in September, Hamilton saw his engine fail twice during qualifying in China and Russia. In addition to his battered reputation these failures cost him quite a few points on the scoreboard. Again in Baku and Singapore, he did no justice to himself with poor head offs at the green light.
All this misshapening is perfectly priced in on the odds charts in online betting markets since the start of 2016 Formula 1 season. Once a favorite in the title race, Hamilton now sees his odds drifting at new highs (+430 at Bet365), proving his small chance to make history.
On the other side, Rosberg has succeeded twice in Abu Dhabi despite the overall better performance of his rival on this particular track. The German constantly beats Hamilton in qualifying. Once, the Briton managed to overtake Rosberg in 2014, but only because of technical issues the latter was facing. With 12-point safety distance, Rosberg seems to be in control of his own destiny. It would require a series of bad judgments and an awfully bad luck to let the win slip off his hands.
Given his recent performance, motivation but most importantly his betting odds price action on bookmakers, it would be crazy to go against the trend at this point. Of course, anything can happen in motorsports and short odds don’t guarantee a win. Yet, such shortening odds are rarely challenged, especially in long-term betting markets such as the F1 championship winner
Surprisingly, at the time of writing bettors appear excited about Hamilton, wagering against Rosberg. His odds have been shortening from -140 to -200 on online sportsbooks, although you can still grab WilliamHill’s generous -160.
But the odds are constantly swaying between the red and blue colors. November has proved so far to be full of surprises. If Hamilton eventually triumphs in Abu Dhabi then everything is possible in the championship race, otherwise Rosberg will have very little to worry about.
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