Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2018: Odds and Betting Preview

formula 1The accolades for the 2018 F1 season may have already been dished out but there is still one more Grand Prix to go in this long campaign. Abu Dhabi is our destination this weekend but will it be a procession for Lewis Hamilton and the all-conquering Mercedes team or will there be a winning challenge from the chasing pack?

Max Verstappen came so close to winning his second race in succession in Brazil last time out and the Dutchman is one to watch moving forward but as we face the final curtain, the usual suspects are at the top of the market.

Race Winner

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

As we’ve seen across a number of weeks in this season, Sebastian Vettel is the narrow favourite in the race winner markets for Abu Dhabi. The German hasn’t won since Belgium eight races ago but somehow he manages to slot in at best odds of 7/4 with Ladbrokes and Coral.

Lewis Hamilton follows at 9/4 with BetFred and 888Sport and then we have our usual gap to the rest of the drivers. Valtteri Bottas is our third favourite at a top price of 13/2 with Coral and Ladbrokes while Max Verstappen follows at a best of 15/2 with William Hill.

Kimi Raikkonen comes along at best odds of 11/1 with Royal Panda and the big six is then completed by Daniel Ricciardo who can be picked up at a top price of 14/1 with Unibet and 888Sport.

The chasing pack, if you can call them that, are led by Charles Leclerc and Romain Grosjean who are both listed at a best of 1000/1 with William Hill and Black Type. We’re not expecting any surprises here so like the bookies, we’ll dismiss them and move straight on.

Other Betting Options

Both of the season long markets have now been decided with the Drivers’ Championship and Constructors’ Championship going to Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team respectively. There is, however, our usual set of preferred side markets to work through and these start with the Pole Position betting.

Once again, Sebastian Vettel is the favourite in a tight market and you can pick up the German at best odds of 13/10 with SportingBet while Lewis Hamilton follows on at a top price of 6/4 with Boylesports.

Moving back through the field, Valtteri Bottas is available at a best of 6/1 with William Hill and then we drift quite considerably to Max Verstappen at best odds of 14/1 with SportingBet. Completing the list of more plausible options are Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo who are available at top prices of 18/1 and 20/1 respectively – both with Boylesports.

Lewis Hamilton has been dominating the pole position markets in recent races but the Fastest Lap bet has been harder to call right across the season. Valtteri Bottas has taken this market in each of the last two Grand Prix but it’s Vettel and Hamilton who start as joint favourites for Abu Dhabi. Both men are available at the same best odds of 3/1 with BetFred but Bottas is only just behind at a top price of 7/2 with William Hill.

Verstappen and Ricciardo are both on offer at the same best odds of 6/1 with SportingBet and then we move out to Kimi Raikkonen at a top price of 14/1 with William Hill and Royal Panda.

That completes all of the figures for our preferred markets so let’s see if we can pick some winners from the final F1 race of 2018.

Verdict

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is one of the newer races on the calendar with the first edition being held as recently as 2009. In its short history, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have been the most successful drivers with three wins apiece while victories in the remaining races have been shared between Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg.

Back in 2017 Bottas completed a clean sweep here – winning the race after starting on pole and recording the fastest lap. The Finn will therefore have to be considered for this year’s renewal but while he has claimed the profits in the last two fastest lap markets, Bottas has finished just fifth in each of his last three races.

Elsewhere, Max Verstappen is in a better run with four straight podium finishes and he would have claimed his second race win in succession had it not been for Esteban Ocon’s unfortunate intervention.

There’s lots to consider but at the end of another glorious season, we expect Lewis Hamilton to end things on a high. A great campaign doesn’t always get the send off it deserves but while Mercedes’ number one driver was subdued in the closing stages of 2017, he remains the strongest of the pack at the tail end of this season.

Hamilton for the win is the tip but to acknowledge the rise of Max Verstappen, we’re taking the Dutchman to hit the throttle and go round fastest in Abu Dhabi.

Best Bets for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2018:

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