Rosberg To Run It Close In Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The Formula One Season moves to the United Arab Emirates as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg go head-to-head once again.
The Season So Far
After four consecutive victories, Lewis Hamilton had opened up a twenty-four point lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, but Nico Rosberg’s win in Brazil closed that gap by seven and leaves the German with an outside chance of pipping Hamilton to the title. Felipe Massa grabbed third for Williams on his home soil and Jenson Button continued his recent revival with another fourth.
As the only twilight Grand Prix on the calendar, Abu Dhabi offers a spectacular setting for the finale of the Formula One season. It has some similarities to Singapore, with long straights giving way to slow corners, and the stop-start nature of this twisting course puts a lot of pressure on brakes. Overtaking is tough and earning a good grid position in qualifying is crucial.
In The Pits
Despite a glaring power disadvantage, Red Bull have been fighting admirably all season, and thanks to some stirring efforts from Daniel Ricciardo, have managed to hold off the other teams to secure second place in the Constructors Championship secure. But with that achieved, it looks like the team are putting their development efforts into 2015. Both Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were once again well off the pace in Brazil and I can’t see either of them causing a surprise in Abu Dhabi.
With one race to go and a healthy advantage, Hamilton holds all the aces in the Drivers’ Championship, but the double points on offer this weekend gives Rosberg a fighting chance.
Assuming that both drivers finish, then realistically Rosberg needs to win in Abu Dhabi and hope that his team-mate can do no better than third. It’s a tall order, but his victory in Brazil will have been a tremendous confidence booster and with Hamilton not necessarily needing to win the race to take the title, Rosberg is the better bet at Evens.
Red Bull have finished second in the Constructors’ Championship, but the second half of the season has seen Williams mount a strong challenge, thanks mainly to the skill and maturity shown by Valtteri Bottas. He had a rare poor race in Brazil, which dropped him down two places sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, but he remains the most likely beneficiary of a Mercedes melt-down and he will be eager to reclaim that fourth spot. Back him at 20/1.
Despite working with the Mercedes engine, McClaren have had a tough season, but their car has been improving in recent weeks, and Jenson Button’s fourth in Brazil was his third top-five finish in four races. It is going to take something pretty spectacular for him to take the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi, but he’s getting closer and if he does get the chance to make the podium, he has the experience to capitalise. He’s worth a look each way at odds of 100/1.