Hamilton to pose biggest threat to Vettel in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Victory has escaped Lewis Hamilton for the past two years in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but the fact that the Yas Marina circuit should suit his McLaren more than any other car on the Formula One grid gives him a great chance of victory this season.
Hamilton began from pole position in the first ever Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009, but was forced to retire during the race with a brake problem, while despite starting from the front row and posting the quickest lap of the race, he could only finish second last year.
Sebastian Vettel ended up winning both of these races and is 4/5 in the Formula One odds to complete an Abu Dhabi Grand Prix hat-trick.
However, at 5/1 Hamilton may be the value bet to pick up a victory that his previous showings in the UAE arguably deserve.
The Brit’s record at the circuit shows that he is suited to handling the anti-clockwise nature of Yas Marina and the fact that drivers are forced to wear speciality helmets with particular visors to best cope with the changing light at the track.
This is because the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix begins at dusk and ends as darkness begins to descend over Yas Marina.
The biggest factor that should work in Hamilton’s favour though is the layout and design of the track, which in theory will give McLaren the edge over Red Bull.
McLaren appear to have the quicker car in terms of high-end speed and with Yas Marina having numerous long straights, combined with low-speed corners, this should play to their strengths.
Another reason to expect Hamilton to do well is that he effectively has to win the final two races of the season if he harbours any real hopes of finishing second in the drivers’ championship behind Vettel.