Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sunday, 20.11.2022
It’s the last race of the season – and even though everything has been decided in the World Championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix is always something special.
Especially for one driver, because Sebastian Vettel ends his great career after this season and it will also be the last race for Mick Schumacher for the time being.
The two Germans, however, play less of a role in the win bets. Just as little as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Despite the double victory in Brazil, the Silver Arrows are not favoured with odds of 3.50 and 4.50 respectively. But Ferrari had also expected more overall.
Nevertheless, Leclerc, who will start the last race with Sergio Perez on equal points, can at least take second place in the drivers’ championship.
In my Formula 1 forecast for the Bahrain Grand Prix, I also believe in a three-way fight between the big teams based on current form.
But why I still see Mercedes in the lead here, I reveal in my detailed race preview.
Unfortunately, this season’s Bahrain Grand Prix will not be as exciting as last year’s Formula 1 World Championship final.
Nevertheless, the gap between Red Bull and the other teams is now no longer as large as it was at large parts of the season.
Mercedes, in particular, can justifiably hope for places among the top 3 on the basis of the last races.
Thanks to the double victory, even the long-lost second place in the constructors’ championship is possible again.
Thanks to the updates, the Silver Arrows were faster than Red Bull and Ferrari in Sao Paulo, but Toto Wolff does not believe that the Yas Marina Circuit will suit the Mercedes team.
Hamilton and Russell still have a realistic chance of a podium finish with odds of around 1.50 at Bet365 Betting.
On the other hand, things are not going so well for Red Bull and Ferrari at the moment. Both Perez and Leclerc are fighting for second place in the drivers’ standings, but have not been let past by their team-mates.
The mood in the various pits was accordingly. Especially at Red Bull, there was a need to talk internally after the race.
Whether there will also be a stable order in Abu Dhabi to help Perez remains to be seen. The fact is that the 5.5 km circuit has been in Red Bull hands in recent years.
Because after six Mercedes wins in a row, the winner since 2020 has always been Verstappen. German bookmakers are offering odds of around 2.25 for the Dutchman to win again.
The fact that Mercedes and Red Bull have better chances than Ferrari is also due to the past.
The Scuderia has never been able to win in Abu Dhabi and this year, too, the chances are less good.
But also in Brazil, Leclerc and Co. had to struggle with the tyres, as they have so often this year. In addition, Abu Dhabi is not considered very overtaking-friendly.
Despite the changes, there are only a few opportunities to change positions. The best one is on the 1.2 km long straight – the longest on the race calendar.
Therefore, I would bet on several lead changes even within the top 3. Of course, Ferrari has degraded compared to the Silver Arrows and can’t match the Red Bull in terms of pace either.
However, there will also be several lead changes due to undercuts and tighter duels, which is why the bookies only offer low odds of around 1.36 for this.
The battle behind the three big racing teams will be just as exciting and interesting. Alpine has a big advantage with 19 points due to the double defeat of McLaren.
Also for Fernando Alonso, who is also ending his career, 4th place would be a round finish.
McLaren, on the other hand – involved in accidents and anyway only competitive with one driver the whole season – has rather little chance.
In addition, Ricciardo will have to start further back in the field due to the accident with Magnussen in Brazil.
The last 5 races at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace:
With the current form of two drivers who are also performing at similar levels, it’s more likely to go for Alpine in Abu Dhabi as well.
As long as the car doesn’t fail, McLaren will lose out. For Alonso and Ocon in the points, there are therefore odds of around 1.85 at Betano Sportwetten, even in the H2H comparison.
In terms of track layout, the circuit is less popular with the drivers and, despite the modifications, not very spectacular.
Last year there were a number of crashes here and this season could also see close duels and a few crashes.
In addition, there are the obligatory technical failures, especially in the last race of the season. That’s why I’m taking the 1.50 odds at Happybet betting on fewer than 17.5 cars seeing the chequered flag.
Conclusion: There could be another exciting race in the final race of the season.
The top three teams are now closer together than at any other point in the season. Especially the Mercedes performed very well in the last races.
In terms of pace, I see a duel between Red Bull and the Silver Arrows – depending on how well Ferrari manages its tyres and its set-up.
In the end, Red Bull is best looking at the last few years, but Mercedes is highly motivated with a mini-chance of P2 in the Constructors’ Championship.
Therefore, my tip for the qualifying of the Abu Dhabi GP is: Pole Mercedes.