Abu Dhabi swan song repeat for Bottas


Having completed the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship double for a fifth straight year, the only thing left for Mercedes to do at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is make sure Valtteri Bottas does not end the season winless.

Bottas – Race Winner @ 15/4

In yet another campaigned dominated by the Silver Arrows, Bottas has been conspicuous by his absence from the podium.

Only twice since 1994 has the team-mate of the world champion failed to win a race, with Rubens Barrichello (2001) and Mark Webber (2013) the unlucky colleagues of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel respectively.

Bottas is in danger of joining their ranks, having been unlucky in both Baku and Sochi not to break his duck, with Abu Dhabi offering the Finn one last shot at redemption.

The former Williams driver dominated this race 12 months ago, claiming pole position as part of a Mercedes front-row lock-out before he led home Lewis Hamilton.

That victory extended Mercedes’ winning run at the track to four years and Bottas offers the value in this race when compared to Hamilton, who is 12/5 to sign off from winning his fifth world title in style.

Ferrari’s Vettel starts as the 31/20 favourite for this race – despite a Scuderia driver having never won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since it was added to the Formula 1 calendar in 2009.

Vettel did win this race three times when behind the wheel of a Red Bull but looks to have had the stuffing knocked out of him by letting the chance to win the world title slip through his grasp for a second successive season.

Verstappen – Podium Finish @ 10/11

It could be Vettel’s old team that takes the fight to Mercedes – especially if Max Verstappen can continue his strong end to the season.

The Dutchman should have won in Brazil but for an incident with Esteban Ocon, resulting in Verstappen shoving his French rival post-race.

His runner-up finish at Interlagos made it four successive races on the podium for the 21-year-old and he should be able to do enough to secure his first top-three finish at Yas Marina.

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo has also never made the podium in Abu Dhabi in seven previous attempts and is 5/4 to mark his final race with Red Bull before switching to Renault by finishing in the top three.

Pole Position – Grid Position of Winner @ 4/7

For all the glitz and glamour that comes with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, there has often been a dearth of excitement when it comes to the actual race due to the lack of overtaking spots.

The last three winners have all qualified in pole so it stands to reason that the victor of this year’s race will likely come from whoever performs the best on Saturday.

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