Venue: Yas Marina Circuit
Lewis Hamilton showed the heart of a champion when fourth in Brazil and is backed to finish the season off in style in our Abu Dhabi Grand Prix betting tips.
The British driver was forced to start from the pit lane at Interlagos following a 160mph crash in qualifying.
With the Formula 1 drivers’ title already safely secured, Hamilton could have been excused for taking things easy on race day in Sao Paulo.
However, the 32-year-old showed no signs of having one eye on the winter break as he fought his way through the field to finish a superb fourth.
And anyone wary of Hamilton taking his foot off the accelerator ahead of Sunday’s 2017 finale quickly had those fears eased.
“I am going to give it everything in Abu Dhabi – I love driving this year’s car,” declared the Mercedes star, now a four-time world champion.
Reflecting on Brazil, he added: “I was quick enough to win the race from pole to flag. I didn’t do that, so I made my job a lot harder.
“But I enjoyed the race, and I enjoyed the battle. It continues to show to me, and also to everyone else, that I still have a lot of fire in my heart.”
Mercedes are seeking a fourth straight win at Yas Marina and have had a one-two for the last couple of seasons, so stick with Hamilton at 19/20 to hit double figures in terms of victories this year.
How the Brazilian Grand Prix finished:
1 Vettel (Ferrari), 2 Bottas (Mercedes), 3 Raikkonen (Ferrari), 4 Hamilton (Mercedes), 5 Verstappen (Red Bull), 6 Ricciardo (Red Bull), 7 Massa (Williams), 8 Alonso (McLaren), 9 Perez (Force India), 10 Hulkenberg (Renault), 11 Sainz (Renault), 12 Gasly (Toro Rosso), 13 Ericsson (Sauber), 14 Wehrlein (Sauber), 15 Grosjean (Haas), 16 Stroll (Williams), DNF Hartley (Toro Rosso), Ocon (Force India), Vandoorne (McLaren), Magnussen (Haas)
As the dust settles on another thrilling F1 season, bwin have already introduced markets on next year’s action.
Hamilton is 3/2 favourite to be the leading points scorer once again, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel 3/1 and Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo quoted at 4/1 and 7/1 respectively.
Vettel claimed his first victory since July’s Hungarian Grand Prix when successful in Brazil and is taking heart from five race wins this term.
“Overall, it was very positive this year,” said the German, whose title challenge imploded after he failed to finish two of the three grands prix in the Far East.
“Nobody expected Ferrari to be that strong, but we made the biggest step, and we were there from the start until the end.
“Of course, if you miss out on the championship it sort of sucks – there’s no other way to say it – but you have to be fair as well. We were not very competitive last year, and we’ve made massive progress.
“Hopefully we can carry that strength into the next couple of years – not just next year, not just the winter, but also the future. Our objective is to bring Ferrari back and dominate.”
In the constructors’ championship, it is 6/5 for Mercedes to prevail in 2018, 37/20 for Red Bull to build on an encouraging end to this campaign and 11/4 for Ferrari to finish in front.
Past Abu Dhabi Grand Prix results:
2016 Hamilton (Mercedes), Rosberg (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari)
2015 Rosberg (Mercedes), Hamilton (Mercedes), Raikkonen (Ferrari)
2014 Hamilton (Mercedes), Massa (Williams), Bottas (Williams)
2013 Vettel (Red Bull), Webber (Red Bull), Rosberg (Mercedes)
2012 Raikkonen (Lotus), Alonso (Ferrari), Vettel (Red Bull)
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