Mark Webber might be on pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but the short history of the race suggests that it could pay to side with Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel when the Red Bull pair line up at the head of the grid in the UAE.
Webber will start the race from pole, the 13th of his career, after a very impressive couple of days in practice and qualifying that culminated in his Red Bull being more than one tenth of a second faster than his team mate Vettel and well ahead of the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in third and fourth after a stunning third qualifying lap.
But there is perhaps a reason why the Australian is still a 9/4 chance to win the race and why the four-time champion Vettel is as short as 8/13 to win his 11th race of the season – and that is the record of those that take up the race in pole over the last four years.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has only been in existence since 2009 (as Bernie Eccleston continues to take the sport to previously uncharted territory) and in three of those four years, the driver in pole has retired and not completed the race – a bad omen for Webber, who has failed to finish himself on three of the last four occasions he has taken pole.
Besides, he doesn’t look in the sort of form needed to buck the trend – Webber has failed to win in 2013, with his last race win coming at the British Grand Prix in 2012.
He would dearly love to win one last race before he leaves the sport, but Vettel is in the habit of making history and having won the race in two of the four years it has been competed, at 8/13 he looks like the sensible call.
Kiki Raikkonen, who qualified in fifth for Lotus, is 12/1, while Hamilton and Rosberg are both 14/1. It is 25/1 bar.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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