Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014 – Preview and Betting Tips

This is it, the last race of the season and the venue for the much awaited showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to determine who’ll win the drivers’ championship this year. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the final stop for this year’s F1 calendar. It will take place on November 23 at 5:00 pm local time (1:00pm GMT). With double points to be awarded to drivers here, most racing experts are busy figuring out the different possible outcomes in the race and their implications in the title race, but Hamilton and Rosberg can only think about winning this race for sure.

Overview

yas-marina-circuit-abu-dhabi-grand-prix-2014The first edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix took place on 2009 at the Yas Marina circuit, a track which was designed by F1 resident track designer Hermann Tilke. It’s the only day-night race in F1 and usually begins at 5:00 pm local time just before the sun sets and ends early evening. Floodlights are turned on at the start of the race so that the transition from daylight to darkness will have no effect on the performance of the drivers.

The Yas Marina track is located in a man-made island and is considered as one of the best race tracks in the world. It has a length of 5.554 kilometers and filled with 21 corners, most of which are taken at slow to medium speed. The race has 55 laps and covers a total of 305.355 kilometers. The track here is covered with very smooth asphalt so Pirelli will use their super-soft (option) and soft (prime) tire compounds for this race.

Drivers

Unlike most F1 races in which were usually won by drivers who started in the pole position, this isn’t the case with the Abu Dhabi GP. Of the five previous editions of this race, only one of them was won by a driver who started at the pole and that was in 2010 by Sebastian Vettel. He’s also the most successful driver here so far and he had already won it three times. He’s the winner here last year, too. The other two drivers who have won here are Lewis Hamilton (who won it for McLaren-Mercedes) in 2011 and Kimi Raikkonen in 2012. Rosberg is still yet to win in Abu Dhabi but he has a good record here and even finished third in last year’s race.

The double points system really made a big change in this race and if it wasn’t because of that, even a sixth place finish here will be enough for Hamilton to bag the title. Now, let’s see the different possible scenarios for the two main protagonists, Hamilton and Rosberg for this race. If Rosberg wins this race, Hamilton needs to finish second to win the title. If Rosberg finishes in second place, Hamilton needs to at least end up in fifth place to win the drivers’ title.
A couple of other side notes, this could be Jenson Button’s last F1 race and Caterham will be back racing in Abu Dhabi after a successful crowd-funding campaign.

Betting tips

Hamilton who had won here once before is the odds-favorite of bookmakers to win this race again on Sunday. The odds for him in most bookies are at around 1.8 to 2 with Betfair (bookmaker) offering the best odds at 2.03. His archrival, Rosberg meanwhile comes second with bookmakers giving him odds of around 2.25 to 2.5. Past winners of this race like Vettel and Raikkonen are at 41 and 251 respectively.

Hamilton had already proven he can win here and with his loss in Brazil two weeks ago, I’m sure he’ll be more determined in winning this race. The odds for him are still very attractive as of now, so I think it’s still good to back him in Abu Dhabi.

Betting Tips: Lewis Hamilton to win, 1.83 (Odds from Bet365)