Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Betting Tips & Predictions – Sunday 25th November 2018

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Track Guide

The Formula 1 season comes to an end on Sunday, with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The season has been full of twists and turns, and we’re expecting more of the same in 2019. In many ways, the new campaign is now underway, as we’ll be seeing the main contenders trying to lay down a marker.

Lewis Hamilton has nothing driving him this week, and he is likely to lag behind some more determined competitors in this race. Sebastian Vettel will want to make a statement with competition coming to Ferrari next term. On top of that, in-form Max Verstappen will be pushing for another victory.

Top Tips

Max Verstappen to win @ 4/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been the final race in the campaign since 2009. It is supposed to be the big defining race in the calendar, but it hasn’t been that way since 2016. Hamilton has had the title wrapped up this term and last, leaving lower stakes for the big finale.

RoundCountryCircuitRace Distance
21/21 Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit 305km / 55 Laps


 DateStart TimeFinish TimeForecast ConditionsTV Coverage
Practice 1 Fri 23rd Nov 9:00 10:30 Dry / 28° -
Practice 2 Fri 23rd Nov 13:00 14:30 Dry / 29° -
Practice 3 Sat 24th Nov 10:00 11:30 Dry / 30° -
Qualifying Sat 24th Nov 13:00 14:00 Dry / 30° Sky F1
Race Sun 25th Nov 13:10 15:10 Dry / 31° Sky F1

Last Season's Result (2017)

With Hamilton already clear in the title race in 2017, Valtteri Bottas managed to sneak in front and win the race. He finished in a 1-2 with teammate Hamilton, putting Mercedes over 140 points clear of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship. The Ferrari pair came in third and fourth, with Sebastian Vettel continuing his decent record in Abu Dhabi by making in onto the podium.

It wasn’t a great year for Red Bull here, who have won at this race three times. Daniel Ricciardo retired 20 laps in, with Max Verstappen coming in fifth. There was a considerable gap between the top five and the rest, and we think the Dutchman can kick on in this weekend’s season finale.

PositionDriverCarGrid PositionPoints
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1 25
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2 18
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 3 15
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 5 12
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 6 10
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 7 8
7 Sergio Perez Force India 8 6
8 Esteban Ocon Force India 9 4
9 Fernando Alonso McClaren 11 2
10 Felipe Massa Williams 10 1

Race News: Red Bull Heating up, Hamilton in Hot Water

There is growing anticipation around Red Bull, who have teamed up with Honda for the 2019 campaign. They have had issues this season, mostly hitting Daniel Ricciardo. However, the Australian is departing at the end of the season, with team boss Christian Horner suggesting next year will be an improvement.

‘We have a phenomenal team which can create a great car,’ Horner said. ‘As soon as we can get that little bit more horsepower, which it looks like Honda are delivering, then hopefully we can give them a hard time at every circuit’.

Mercedes have rushed to the defence of Lewis Hamilton, who came under fire for comments about the Indian Grand Prix. He tackled F1 expansion, criticising the move to hold races in countries which he labelled as, ‘poor’. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff called his comments, ‘thoughtful’, blaming the media for changing the context. However, the quote didn’t come off well – particularly from a Brit who has absconded to Switzerland for tax reasons. He also seemed to suggest a move to bring more races back to more established countries, rather than build the sport worldwide.

Analysis: Can Red Bull Start Title Campaign?

There is understandably going to be a focus on Red Bull in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. They are being talked up for big things next season, while they are about to say good bye to Ricciardo. He’s had a turbulent year, but after years in the seat for them it’s going to be a big departure for the driver and for the team. It now seems like Ricciardo’s move has come at the wrong time, with Red Bull about to step up. Now he’s heading to a Renault side who trail his current team by 178 points.

Verstappen isn’t going anywhere yet, and with Ferrari putting their faith in youth, and Mercedes looking stocked up, he doesn’t have a move on the cards. Perhaps launching a title challenge with his current side is his best option, and that’s something we’re bound to see hints at in this season’s final race.

Final Verdict: Max Verstappen To Win

Vettel remains the favourite with the bookies here, while Hamilton comes in as second favourite. However, we can’t see either of the top two launching a bid for top spot this weekend. We like the look of Verstappen in this one, given that he’s been growing year on year in the sport, and potentially set to lead a title charge. He’s opened up a huge lead over Ricciardo thanks to five podium finishes in his last six outings. That form makes him to finish in the top three look like value at 10/11. On top of that, we’re going for Verstappen at 4/1, as he see him ending things with maximum points.


Yas Marina Circuit

As the final race of the year, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is easily one of the most anticipated and celebrated events on the F1 calendar. The race has been running in its current form since 2009 and with it thousands of people flock to the Yas Marina track from around the world.

The track broke ground in 2007 and took a little over 2 years to fully complete. As part of the design, it was decided that the it would around the Marina on Yas Island, which offers a stunning, yet unique backdrop. It’s essentially one of the richest races in the world and with it, the track has been formed to be able to show off the money that has been invested, which is thought to be around $1.32 billion.

Track Highlights

Yas Marina Circuit

The average lap speed is around 193kmph, just below the season average. There are 21 turns on the course, which sees very little in the terms of elevation changes, but several demanding braking areas and two possible overtaking zones into turn 8 and 11.

Cars cross the start finish line at around 265kmph, before hitting the first corner at speeds of around 290kmp. The first corner is a tight left-handed hairpin, which drivers need to navigate before coming ingot a sweeping left hander that is taken around 240kmph, one of the fastest on the circuit.

Turn three sees the drivers take a fast right hander before heading into a fast left hander, each at pretty much full tilt seeing cars reach around 270kmph before hitting the back straight and into the a tight ‘S’ Bend. The ‘S’ bend is one of the slowest sections on track and with it sees the cars go down to as little as 80kmph.

Next up the drivers have to slowly go through another of the hairpin turns on track, again very slowly at speeds of just 65kjmph before hitting a long straight that also works as the DRS zone and a popular passing zone. This is where cars generally max out with their speed, hitting up to 335kmph, before breaking hard from 8thgear into just 2ndgear and speeds of around 70kmph.

The chicanes are next to navigate and with it see high kerbs meaning that drivers can’t necessarily cut off as much as they normally would. The drivers then head back up towards one of the main grandstands again hitting high speeds, before breaking hard and then into a tight left hander and then tight right hander. This is another section that drivers are able to pass and often where you see cars getting the most out of shape as it’s a very technical section.

The chase towards the finish line is on and they take a sweeping right hander at almost full speed before then two more right handers, before heading past the back side of the main grandstand. The cars then are needed to go through two slow left-handed turns, before making their way down to the last corner, which is a right-handed chicane and back up towards the finish line.


Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2009
Powwow, Flickr

As stated the circuit was broken ground in 2007 and it first opened in 2009. It was a highly anticipated opening, especially given the money involved. But, the work started and then completed just before the economic crash and it was unsure as to how the track would compete given that money would be tight.

The work was carried out by that of Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Coutoure, who work as part of a New York Architect. It was actually a much-criticised appointment, given that many tracks worked with the likes of Hermann Tilke, but the management committee decided that a fresh approach was needed in terms of the design of the track and thus they decided to go against the grain, an choice that in hindsight seems to have paid off them. Interestingly, in 2017, it was announced that Hermann Tilke would be leading some changes on track in order to increase the number of overtakes and in turn, excitement around the race.

The circuit was created with a full lighting system, which meant that night races were able to take place and whilst qualifying is held through the day, the track does run as a night-race for the race itself.

2010 – First Championship Decider

Whilst the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix had already hosted its first race, the 2009 was a bit of a dead rubber. It was a year later when the last Grand Prix of the season was called into action in order to decide the championship, and it did so in dramatic fashion.

Fernando Alonso ultimately lost out to that of Sebastian Vettel, who won his first Drivers Championship in the process. It was Vettel’s second victory at the track after winning their 12 months earlier.

2014 – Double Points

In an attempt to reignite the excitement into F1 and to prevent drivers from running away with the Championship, it was decided that for the last race it will be run as a double points race. It was a process that many didn’t really like and it turned out to be the only year that it was used.

The race did mean that the Championship could still go either way through and with it both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton went into the final race with just 17 points separating them. It was Rosberg who would struggle in the race though and with it see his chances of winning the title diminish, eventually finishing in 12thplace. Hamilton went on to win and in turn, lifted the Drivers’ World Championship for the second time.

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