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Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix predictions & best bets – 12/12/2021

Abu Dhabi GP betting tips

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Latest Odds & Race Info

F1 outright odds Hamilton -175.44 at Bovada | Verstappen +200 at Bovada
When Sunday, December 12 – 5pm GST
Where Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
Watch Live ESPN (US), Sky Sports (UK), Fox Sports (AU)

The closest Formula 1 title race in 47 years comes to a head this Sunday as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton do battle one last time for 2021 in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

While those two are tied atop the standings on 369.5 points apiece, Verstappen’s tally of nine race wins to Hamilton’s eight means the Dutchman will win the F1 Drivers’ Championship if they finish the season on level pegging.


As such, all the talk leading into the finale has centred on the likelihood of Verstappen wiping out Hamilton in a bid to ensure that his rival cannot add to his points total.

However, F1 race director Michael Masi on Thursday warned that any “unsportsmanlike” conduct on the track could result in a points penalty.

In his event notes, Masi singled out the following segments from F1’s racing code:

Article 12.2.1 – “Any infringement of the principles of fairness in Competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the result of a Competition in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics.”

Article 12.4.5 – “For all the FIA Championships, cups, challenges, trophies or series, the stewards may also decide to impose the following penalties: Suspension for one or more Competitions, withdrawal of points for the Championship, cup, challenge, trophy, series.”

Masi’s concern is rooted in precedent, as four F1 titles between 1989 and 1997 were decided by the points leader causing a crash in the final race of the season.

Despite the target on his back, Hamilton is a -175.44 favourite with Bovada, while his title rival occupies the second line of betting at +200.

Verstappen is the defending champion at Abu Dhabi, where Red Bull Racing have won four times since the race’s inception in 2009; however, Hamilton is the all-time record holder at the track with five wins out of Mercedes’ total of seven (including one as McLaren-Mercedes in 2011).

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 betting tips

Fastest lap: Valtteri Bottas

Since learning midseason that Mercedes would be giving his seat to George Russell in 2022, Valtteri Bottas has posted two fastest laps, three pole positions and five podium finishes, including a race win at the Turkish GP. The Finn has nothing to lose in his final outing for the Silver Arrows, so we can expect him to leave everything out there. The $13 for the win is tempting, but fastest lap might be the better play.

Valtteri Bottas fastest lap


Drivers’ Championship winner: Max Verstappen

Anything could happen in the race itself, but one gets the feeling Red Bull will find a way to get Verstappen over the line in the Drivers’ Championship. Max might not be able to make a beeline for Hamilton’s rear wing without incurring a penalty, but you can bet Sergio Perez will be buzzing around the Mercedes off the grid. On the flip side, it is hard to see the Alfa Romeo-bound Bottas offering his (soon-to-be ex) teammate the same kind of assistance.

Max Verstappen to win the title


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