Since its inception in 2009, the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi has been the chosen setting to end the Grand Prix Season – and this glamorous track has seemingly favoured betting on a select group of F1 drivers. As the teams head to the Persian Gulf for the race on 26 September 2017, let's take a look at the Formula 1 betting trends and search for potential value bets on the grid!
With Nico Rosberg no longer driving in Formula One, the list of previous winners of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix can be whittled down to just three – leaving Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen to bet on for trend followers.
Lewis Hamilton's F1 betting odds in 2017 have in essence seen him installed as the early favourite to win every Grand Prix race. Typically priced just shy of even money, the odds you can find with the top online bookmakers for him to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday are promising.
Having won nine of 19 races before heading to the Persian Gulf to wrap up the season, consistently backing Hamilton to level stakes would have left punters close to breaking even, depending on the prices taken with the bookies.
While there's no significant value in his odds, his consistency has justified the oddsmakers running scared. Indeed, Hamilton has frequently rewarded backers and has proven to be a solid option to include in weekend accumulator bets across other Grand Prix gambling and sports betting markets.
Hamilton's late season form has also been impressive, taking five of the last eight Grand Prix races. Following the qualifying fiasco at this year's Brazilian Grand Prix, Hamilton impressed with his speed from down the grid, with many hailing it as the best fourth place finish in history.
The Brit's main challenge from those with form at the track comes in the form of Sebastian Vettell. He took the win in Brazil to finally get back on top of the podium for the first time since the Hungarian Grand Prix in August.
Despite sitting second in the Drivers Championship, that statistic is hardly encouraging for those looking to back Vettell at 5/2 to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix according to Betway. Indeed, while Vettel has won five races in 2017, he has failed to win back-to-back Grand Prix titles.
In terms of Abu Dhabi form, Hamilton has been on pole three times at the track, Vettel twice. Given Hamilton's stated determination to end the season on a high and doubts about Vettel's consistency, backing Lewis Hamilton to take pole and following up with the win is an appealing double – priced around 2/1 with Betway.
The consistent Kimi Raikkonen knows his way around the Abu Dhabi circuit, having won there in 2012. While a leap of faith is needed to back him for the win at 20/1, he's long overdue the taste of F1 victory. The Finnish driver hasn't won an F1 race since Australia in 2013, but has remained an astute racer.
Indeed, he sits fifth in the Championship, with one pole position, two second places and five thirds. Raikkonen is the only driver in the top six in the table who has not won a race in 2017. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that despite there being a Ferrari factory close to the track, the team has yet to win there.
Hamilton's teammate at Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas, has been under pressure all season to prove he has what it takes to replace Nico Rosberg. His three poles, two wins and 12 podium finishes have been enough to secure another season with the team, but Bottas is on a personal mission to become a star:
"I couldn't beat Hamilton this year but I am working on my weaknesses. Next year's going to be the same thing. I need to again prove if I am going to stay with the team for a long time."
The Finn's form has regained momentum during the last three races, with one pole position and second place finishes in Brazil and Mexico. The Yas Marina track also strongly favours betting on Formula One drivers starting in the top three on the grid, with only Kimi Raikkonen coming from further back to win there.
This looks a positive for Bottas, who has displayed good qualifying performances throughout the season and comes into the race with confidence. For punters looking to swerve the short odds about Hamilton, Bottas offers value in the pole market at 9/2, in addition to the race win at 7/1.
Having hit the podium 12 times in 19 races, his odds of 7/10 for a top three finish also looks a good option for weekend accumulator bets. Mercedes has the titles wrapped up for the season, but bet on its F1 drivers to end the year with more champagne on the podium. Head to Betway Sports this weekend for all the latest odds!