The Formula One World Championship 2021 season comes to a close Sunday with the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The season-culminating race will take place on Yas Marina Circuit, where Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will go head-to-head one last time to determine who captures the crown.
The frontrunners are tied at 369.5 points, essentially meaning whoever finishes the race in a better spot will be the Formula One champion. While both deserve to win the title, the online sports betting sites seem to agree that this season is Hamilton’s to lose, pricing the seven-time champion as a -200 favorite.
You could make a case in favor of Verstappen. But based on Hamilton’s recent showings, it’s hard to argue with the F1 betting odds for this weekend.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Betting Analysis
Lewis Hamilton Is (Too) Fast
Hamilton’s resurgence across the last few weeks has been phenomenal, to say the least. After trailing Verstappen for most of the season, struggling to catch up to the Red Bull driver, Hamilton shifted into a higher gear and won the last three races.
“I’ve been racing a long time, but that was definitely, that was incredibly tough, and I tried to be as sensible and as tough as I could be out there, but also sensible and with all my race experience over the years, just keeping the car on track and staying clean,” said Hamilton.
The fashion in which Hamilton won the Brazilian, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia Grand Prix was truly awe-inspiring. Still, most importantly, his resurgence helped the seven-time world champion catch Verstappen.
The drivers are tied, a scenario that seemed highly unlikely a month ago. Still, the upgrades Mercedes have made to the cars and the shift in the track layout across the last few races both contributed to Hamilton’s success.
Not only has Hamilton won the last three races, but he also took the pole in two, including at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. His recent form suggests Hamilton will be victorious as well, making it very hard not to bet now on the Brit to close out the season as an eight-time world champion.
What Can Max Verstappen Do?
Max Verstappen will struggle to win the final race of the season, and unless he comes up with a plan how to outperform the (clearly) faster Hamilton, he will end the season with a bitter taste in his mouth.
At this point, we have to explore all possible scenarios in which Verstappen can win, and assuming he can’t be faster than Hamilton, the only way Mad Max can claim the crown is for Hamilton not to finish the race.
They say “everything is fair in love and war,” and that might be Verstappen’s thought process heading into this race. We aren’t trying to suggest that Verstappen will intentionally crash into Hamilton to win the title, but it wouldn’t be the first time a driver would try to do that.
Michael Schumacher led Jacques Villeneuve by a single point going into 1997’s final race…
We saw one of #F1‘s great season finales!#HistoryAwaits 🍿 pic.twitter.com/2RpGDopTng
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 7, 2021
Priced at +185, Verstappen’s chances of succeeding are slim, and given how the last few races have gone, it’s hard to argue with that.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Predictions
Hamilton is priced as the betting favorite, and we find the betting odds to be more than fair. Considering the form he has been showing, it will take a miracle for the Brit not to seal the deal on Sunday and win the historic eighth title.
And considering how fast he has been in qualifiers, it’s also highly likely that Hamilton will collect his third consecutive pole to make sure he is in the best spot possible to win the race.
However, while we don’t believe Verstappen has the car to compete with Hamilton for the title, we have faith in Carlos Sainz to end the season in a respectable place. He is priced at -140 to finish the race inside the top-six, which looks pretty generous.
Ferrari are enjoying an excellent second half of the season, largely thanks to Sainz’s consistency. He has finished inside the top-eight in nine straight races, including a third-place finish in Russia, and three top-six finishes in Italy, Mexico, and Brazil.
Sainz has a chance to finish the season fifth in the Drivers’ Championship even though he is currently seventh. He is 4.5 points behind Lando Norris, but the young Brith hasn’t been too convincing of late and will likely struggle to outperform the Ferrari driver – as he has since the United States Grand Prix.