Formula 1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Preview

Most sports go through ebbs and flows, and I feel Formula 1 is on the up at the moment. After watching fifteen years of Formula 1, I can’t recall the last time that, with one race to go, we still have four drivers in contention for the driver’s championship. The constructors championship did wrap up with a Red Bull victory in Brazil last week, but let’s be honest, the main act is always the drivers championship.

With a 12 point lead over his nearest rival, Alonso is in the box seat to take the title, but Red Bull will probably rate their chances of getting both drivers ahead of him to the finish line. If this occurs, then it’s simply a case of who comes first. In the scenario where Alonso is running third, if Vettel wins then Alonso would become champion. If Webber wins, then Webber would become champion. It’s no wonder that team orders have been the main topic of discussion this week. Red Bull have stated they will let their drivers race, and that it’s up to Vettel as to what action he takes. Vettel has a pretty cold relationship with Webber, so it will be fascinating if this scenario does play out and Vettel does have to make a decision. The bookmakers seem to view Vettel conceding to Webber as a real possibility, with many offering shorter odds on Webber than Vettel to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton could play a key role on Sunday. He really needs nothing less than a race victory, with Alonso, Vettel and Webber failing to score major points. If Hamilton races aggressively, with all or nothing overtaking maneuvers, you never know what collision scenario could play out. Furthermore, Hamilton topped Practice 2 on Sunday, so you can make a good case for him being in amongst the leaders on Sunday. He may act as the proverbial spanner in the works on race day.

The 2010 Season thus Far

Below are the results for the first 18 races this season.

Round Grand Prix Pole position Winning driver
1 Bahrain Grand Prix Vettel Alonso
2 Australian Grand Prix Vettel Button
3 Malaysian Grand Prix Webber Vettel
4 Chinese Grand Prix Vettel Button
5 Spanish Grand Prix Webber Webber
6 Monaco Grand Prix Webber Webber
7 Turkish Grand Prix Webber Hamilton
8 Canadian Grand Prix Hamilton Hamilton
9 European Grand Prix Vettel Vettel
10 British Grand Prix Vettel Webber
11 German Grand Prix Vettel Alonso
12 Hungarian Grand Prix Vettel Webber
13 Belgian Grand Prix Webber Hamilton
14 Italian Grand Prix Alonso Alonso
15 Singapore Grand Prix Alonso Alonso
16 Japanese Grand Prix Vettel Vettel
17 Korean Grand Prix Vettel Alonso
18 Brazilian Grand Prix Hülkenberg Vettel


Form Guide & Table Standings

Below are the current F1 standings, along with the points classifications for the past five races.

  Driver Season
1 Alonso
2 Webber
(ret ) 0
3 Vettel
(ret ) 0
4 Hamilton
(ret ) 0
(ret ) 0


Driver’s Championship: Scenario Analysis

Below are the points classifications for the 2010 Formula 1 season.

Place Points
1st 25
2nd 18
3rd 15
4th 12
5th 10
6th 8
7th 6
8th 4
9th 2
10th 1


The following is complements of the BBC.

  • If Alonso wins or is second, he is champion
  • If Webber wins, he wins the title if Alonso is third or worse
  • If Vettel wins and Alonso is 5th or worse, Vettel wins the title
  • If Hamilton wins, Alonso must fail to score, Webber be 6th or worse and Vettel 3rd or worse for Hamilton to win the title


Below are selected William Hill odds (subject to change).

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

2010 Formula 1 Championship

Betting tips

I made the statement last week that for pole position betting, “any bets on drivers other than Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Hamilton and Button are probably going to be a waste of money, even if it does rain.” Well, the weather, and Hülkenberg, certainly derailed that prediction! However, with dry weather predicted all weekend, I would be surprised if anyone other than Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Hamilton or Button took pole. Like I said last week, hold off until you have seen the Practice Session results before placing your bets. If you were to twist my arm, I would back Vettel to secure his 10th pole of the season.

For race betting, you may want to hold off placing your bets until you’ve seen the qualifying results. Having said that, with no rain predicted, the qualifying session shouldn’t turn up too many upsets. Due to potential team orders, Webber has the shortest odds, although an aggressive Hamilton could throw a spanner in the works, especially if Webber has another poor race start.

For the driver championship betting, Red Bull have the advantage of having two drivers in contention. This gives them the opportunity to take advantage of team orders, or hedge their bets with regards to pit stop timings in the event of a safety car. Barring any spectacular race retirements, the title will likely come down to Alonso and Webber. For Vettel to become champion, he needs to win the race and Alonso to finish 5th or worse. This is a big ask, given that Alonso has finished on the podium in the last five straight races. You may want to back Alonso and Webber, to profit either way. Your two bet amounts would depend on how optimistic you are about each driver. Based on the current William Hill odds (Alonso: 2.00, Webber 2.62), some options are:

  • If you rate Webber’s chances:
    If you believe Webber is the most likely winner, you could place equal bets on Webber and Alonso. For example, $10 on Alonso and $10 on Webber would yield $6.20 if Webber won the championship, and no loss if Alonso wins.
  • If you are indifferent:
    If you want an equal payout regardless of whether Webber or Alonso won, then you should bet 2.62/2 = 1.31 as much on Alonso than Webber. So if you bet $10 on Webber and $13.10 on Alonso, you would win $3.10 if one of the two drivers become champion.
  • If you rate Alonso’s chances:
    If you believe Alonso will become champion, you could bet (2.62-1) = 1.62 as much on Alonso than Webber. So if you bet $10 on Webber and $16.20 on Alonso, you would win $6.20 if Alonso won the championship, with no loss if Webber wins.

That’s all from me for this week. Enjoy the race on Sunday!

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