Formula One heads to the capital of the United Arab Emirates for the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which will take place at the Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday. It will mark the 12th running of the race and the final event of the season before the drivers take a well-deserved break and prepare themselves for the challenges that await them in 2021, making it the last chance for F1 online betting this year.
Last weekend, we saw Sergio Perez claim his maiden F1 victory, with phenomenal driving and some help of Mercedes’ crew, who cost George Russell a win. Regardless, the race was a joy to watch.
While the betting odds for Abu Dhabi suggest another surprise win is unlikely, it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities that another driver can surprise and claim his maiden career victory.
The 2019 Abu Dhabi took place on Dec. 1 as the 21st and final round of the 2019 Formula One World Championship season. Like this season, Lewis Hamilton was already crowned as the champion ahead of the race, with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc fighting for the bronze medal on the driver standings.
The race belonged to Hamilton, who finished 16.772s ahead of Max Verstappen in second and 43.435s ahead of Charles Leclerc, who had to settle for a third-place finish. Outside of Valtteri Bottas, who finished the race +44.379s behind his teammate, all the remaining drivers were late to the party by a minute or more.
Hamilton’s win last year marked his fifth Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory in his career and his eighth podium finish there since 2010. The only other four drivers that have won in Abu Dhabi besides Hamilton in the last 10 years are Sebastian Vettel (2010, 2013), Kimi Räikkönen (2012), Nico Rosberg (2015) and Valtteri Bottas (2017).
Now, with Hamilton’s absence due to his infection with COVID-19, the race feels wide open for anyone to win. Here we have assembled a list of drivers and their betting odds who stand out and should be considered by anyone looking to place a bet at the BetUS sportsbook on the final race of the 2020 F1 season.
Valtteri Bottas +165
Valtteri Bottas enters the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the odds-on favorite to repeat his success from 2017, but we are not too excited about him. It’s not only his showing in Bahrain last weekend that makes us doubt his ability to impress, but there are a couple more red flags we have to take into account.
The Finn’s recent performances were rather disappointing, considering he has not finished above eighth in any of the last three races. If we combine Bottas’ poor form with Mercedes’ off-track issues, it’s hard to believe the Silver Arrows can lock in another win before the season ends.
One last thing worth noting is that Bottas removed the “Mercedes” tag from his Instagram bio, which suggests something might be in the air, and it’s highly unlikely it’s a positive thing for Bottas.
Max Verstappen +175
Verstappen had to retire from the race last weekend after he crashed into the fall following a collision between Sergio Perez and Charles LeClerc, which only added salt to the wound of an already very unlucky season for the Dutch. The 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix marked the second time this season that Verstappen was unable to finish a lap and the fifth time he had to retire his car.
Regardless of his mishaps, Verstappen has consistently impressed in all races he was able to finish. He holds 10 podium finishes, which includes a win from the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, as well as six runner-up finishes and three bronze medals.
If Mad Max can avoid another crash, he is, in our book, a very dangerous driver to win the race, and we can be sure last week’s crash only helps with his motivation to prove his worth on Sunday.
George Russell +185
After George Russell’s phenomenal performance in Bahrain, it’s difficult not to include him on our list. Although it’s way too early to call, the 22-year-old Brit just might be the one to step in Hamilton’s shoes when Hamilton inevitably retires from racing.
Russell looked extremely comfortable in the Mercedes car last time out and could have easily won the race if not for errors from his team. While one performance alone does not necessarily guarantee Russell will shine, there is no denying he is a driver no one should sleep on.
Outside of an outright bet on the Brit, placing a couple of bucks on Russell to secure the fastest lap is something worth considering. He has an excellent car, and, as long as his team doesn’t throw a wrench in his plans, Russell should prove the F1 odds correct and do well in Abu Dhabi.
Sergio Perez +2200
If we are giving Russell a chance to win based on his performance last weekend, it’s only fair to mention Perez as well. Although there are arguments to be made that everything fell into place for the Mexican driver to win in Bahrain with the retirement of Vettel and Mercedes’ mistakes, it’s also not fair to say Perez did not deserve to lift the trophy.
The main question on everyone’s mind is whether Perez can do it again, and while there is a world where he proves his maiden victory was not a fluke, there are better betting picks to choose from.