F1 Preview: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The final Grand Prix of the year takes place in Abu Dhabi as the curtain comes down on the Formula One season.

And despite the fact we already know Lewis Hamilton is the World Drivers’ Champion and his team Mercedes of the winners of the Constructors’ title – there is no letting up in the Desert this weekend.

The Yas Marina Cicruit once again hosts the final GP of the campaign and is now in its ninth year – although there have only been four winners ever, and in Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel – we have the two drivers who have dominated, as between them they have won six of the eight races.

Hamilton had to come through the field in Brazil after crashing out in qualifying, but he wants to end the season in style.

“I am going to give it everything in Abu Dhabi, I love driving this year’s car, and I generally don’t like to wish time by.

“I don’t wish the winter break was here because before you know it, we will be into the next season.”

Vettel is looking forward to next season already and said: “Mercedes have been very strong despite a regulation change. The final step is always the hardest, but that is why we are here.

“The team is ready and fired up. We have some good projects in the pipeline.”

This weekend will mark the final Grand Prix for Brazilian ace Felipe Massa, who is leaving F1 after this season.

“For me, it will be quite an emotional weekend as it will be my final race with Williams as well as my final race in Formula One,” he said.

“I am looking forward to it and plan to enjoy every moment, to finish my Formula One career on a high note!”

We spoke to BetSafe’s David Hill, Head of UK Sport for the Betsson Group, ahead of the race

90% of the bets so far are on Lewis Hamilton repeating his 2016 win.

We think the 7/10 although may appear short is in fact very good value and we expect him to take pole position and go off nearer the 1/2 mark on Sunday.

This means at 5/2 Sebastian Vettel is friendless, even though we are industry top price, we can’t give him away.

We expect him to have a tough qualifying and will go off nearer 9/2 – 5/1 on race day.

There is also Kimi Raikkonen with a hat-trick of successive podium finishes going to Abu Dhabi is in confidant mood and we give him very chance of joining the 2 Mercedes on the podium come Sunday.

The 20/1 is attracting some smaller stakes and we can only see this price shortening.

Of the best of the other markets –  you have to look at winning Margin – Over 10 secs, from an opening show of 11/4 – we have seen a barrage of large bets forcing us to cut it to 9/4, This is obviously down to the expected Hamilton domination.

Again expect this 9/4 to be shorter than 2/1 come Sunday.

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