F1 2018: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

a formula a 1 driver cruises on the track.

F1 fans will get their last taste of four-wheeled racing action for the year when the F1 field lines up at the Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday the 25th of November.

The times may be changing in the F1 world with Vietnam being added to the 2020 calendar and other venues set to be added as well, but 2018 has followed a very similar script to the one that has played out over the past half decade with Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton claiming the Constructors' and Drivers' championships prior to the final race of the year.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Sunday 25 November
Yas Marina Circuit

To Win Race Outright
  • Sebastian Vettel 15/10
  • Lewis Hamilton 2/1
  • Valtteri Bottas 4/1 
  • Max Verstappen 7/1
    Kimi Raikkonen 11/1
  • Daniel Ricciardo 14/1
Previous Race
Max Verstappen really had this race stolen from him with a moment of madness from Esteban Ocon, who was attempting to unlap himself, saw the two drivers collide and Verstappen lose the race lead to eventual winner Lewis Hamilton. Despite the late crash, Verstappen still managed to claim second place. The Red Bull youngster was joined on the Interlagos podium by the in-form Kimi Raikkonen, with the Ferrari veteran securing yet another third place finish.

Brazil proved to be a rather happy hunting ground for Red Bull as Daniel Ricciardo brought his car home in fourth place. The grinning Aussie finished one position ahead of Valtteri Bottas, whose fifth-place finish - coupled with Lewis Hamilton's race victory - was enough to ensure Mercedes claimed yet another Constructors' Championship title.

It wasn't a great weekend for Sebastian Vettel with qualifying issues being the main cause for the Ferrari ace only managing a sixth-place finish out in Brazil.

Like the Top 6, the remainder of the Top 10 featured the usual suspects with talented rookie Charles le Clerc claiming seventh; veterans Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen taking eighth and ninth; and Sergio Perez finishing tenth.

The final port of call for the field is the Yas Marina Circuit which is situated in the desert Metropolis that is Abu Dhabi. Like most things in the UAE, no expense was spared when it came to designing this circuit.

Designed as a permanent racing facility, the Yas Marina complex can hold a 41,093 strong crowd. The actual track distance measures 5.554 kilometres and contains 21 turns. Drivers will do battle over 55 of these laps and will cover a total race distance of 305.355 kilometres.

The most challenging aspects of this track are the tight chicane through turns five and six - which offers next to no traction - and the sequence between turns 11, 12, and 13 which are exceedingly slow.

As always, there's no real need to look at a weather forecast for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the conditions are always insanely hot and there's never any chance of rain.

Last year's race saw a Mercedes 1-2 finish with Valtteri Bottas taking the race win. The podium also featured the Ferrari of one Sebastian Vettel.

Value Bet 
Podium Finish - Max Verstappen - Yes - 5/4
The young gun has enjoyed a solid close to the season claiming victory in Mexico and second-place in Brazil. 

Verstappen has enjoyed his outings in Abu Dhabi and has always been near the podium finishing fifth here last year and fourth in 2016. I predict this year will see him break his podium duck in the desert.

Fastest Qualifier & To Win Race Outright - Lewis Hamilton 13/10 & 2/1
Yes, Hamilton has nothing to race for here but this is a track that Mercedes dominate with the last four Grand Prix being won by a Silver Arrows driver - with Hamilton claiming two of those four race wins.

The smart play here is to back the 'Brit for the race win as 2/1 offers great value. I can see him claiming pole position as well, however.     

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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