Formula One: Hamilton 16/1 to not drive for Mercedes next year

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After disregarding repeated requests from his Mercedes bosses in the thrilling Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the weekend, speculation has risen that Lewis Hamilton might turn his back on the dominant team next year.

Hamilton saw team-mate Nico Rosberg win the 2016 world championship on Sunday, despite the Brit slowing down to bring Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen into contention to enhance his own title chances.

That tactic didn’t go down well on the pitwall, who feared Hamilton could cost them victory.

It’s believed the German giants are still considering disciplinary action against the three-time champion, whose season has ended with mixed success.

And after reports emerged that Hamilton threatened to walk away from the team following the first-lap smash with Rosberg in Spain, the bookies make it 16/1 Lewis doesn’t drive for the Silver Arrows in 2017.

But should the former McLaren man stick around, it’s 7/4 Hamilton ends up with exactly four world titles to his name.

It’s 2/1 Hamilton wins five championships, with 6s available on six world crowns, and 100/1 on a record-breaking eight or more.

The Brit is 16/1 to match Michael Schumacher’s seven championships, with 12s available Hamilton smashes through the great German’s 91 race wins.

With new rules coming into force next season, Ferrari and Red Bull will be hoping to challenge, the latter particularly so given Verstappen’s emergence this year.

The Dutch wonderkid is 6/4 to win more world championships than Hamilton or Rosberg, with the German a long shot at 20/1 to be the most successful of the three.

Hamilton, with three titles already to his name, is 4/7 to win the most.

The Formula One circus may head into the winter off-season, but don’t expect Hamilton to be out of the news for long.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.