Rosberg is heavily odds-on to win the title, reflecting the fact that he is 12 points ahead for the season, but Hamilton is odds-on to win the race, and if his team-mate slips up he just might be able to snatch the fourth championship title of his career.
How the Bookies See It
- Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton 8/13, Nico Rosberg 9/4, Daniel Ricciardo 12/1 – Ladbrokes
- Drivers’ Championship: Nico Rosberg 2/9, Lewis Hamilton 10/3 – William Hill
- Lewis Hamilton won his ninth Formula 1 race of the season – and his third in a row – in the Brazilian Grand Prix less than two weeks ago. It was a chaotic race, with two red flags, five safety cars and extremely wet weather, but Hamilton, who started in pole position, handled the surface well and avoided trouble throughout to score a comfortable victory. The race win gave him 25 points, which brings his total for the season to 355, putting him in second place for the coveted Drivers’ Championship.
- Nico Rosberg has only needed to finish in second place or better in the last few races to stay in the hunt to win the Drivers’ Championship, and that is exactly what he did most recently in Brazil. The German started in second place on the grid, and although he lost that position early in the race and suffered a half spin later, he kept his cool and recovered well to take 18 points. That puts Rosberg on 367 points, and all he needs to do to win the title is finish in third place or better in Abu Dhabi.
- Daniel Ricciardo started in sixth place on the grid for the Brazilian Grand Prix, and he finished in eighth place, but he could have earned more points had he not entered the pit lane when it was closed. That mistake in Lap 18 brought him a five second penalty, and although he wouldn’t have made the podium without that penalty, he would have finished a few places higher than he did. Ricciardo now has 246 points for the season, and sits in third place in the championship table.
Another fine race for Lewis Hamilton in Brazil might have kept his championship hopes alive, but the odds still favour the title going to Nico Rosberg. Even if Hamilton wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this Sunday, he would still need Rosberg to finish in fourth place or lower to complete his late-season comeback and secure his fourth title.
Rosberg has yet to win the Drivers’ Championship, and whilst he would no doubt like to take his first title with a season finale win in Abu Dhabi, we don’t think he will be taking any unnecessary chances. The German will be quite content to play it cool and settle for any kind of podium finish to win the title some 34 years after his father Keke Rosberg did the same.
With Rosberg unlikely to be overly aggressive in Abu Dhabi and Hamilton needing the win to even have a chance at the title, we will side with the latter to finish the season on a winning note.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Lewis Hamilton to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at 8/13 – Ladbrokes
*Please note, odds may change as the race approaches.