Formula One: Hamilton set to do his part, but will Rosberg do his?
After another year criss-crossing the globe, the 2016 Formula One title race comes down to a twilight dash in the desert. Nico Rosberg has a 12-point lead to defend in order to claim his first world crown, but can the German do enough to fend off old foe Lewis Hamilton?
It’s been another dramatic year for the Mercedes duo, with plenty of clashes and spats, notably in Spain and Austria.
But amazingly they’ve won all bar two of this season’s races in another year of utter dominance.
But with three wins on the spin, the Englishman is favourite for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at 1/2.
Rosberg is 11/4, but he knows that as long as he finishes Sunday’s race on the podium, the world championship is his.
Can the German hack the pressure, though? Hamilton knows that in times gone by, Rosberg has cracked, most recently in Austria.
A similar error from the former Williams driver in Italy back in 2014 when under pressure from Hamilton will give the Brit further hope of stealing the championship.
And on four occasions this season Hamilton has won the race to find his team-mate has come fourth or lower – and another result like that would be enough to swing the title race back to Lewis.
Hamilton has claimed this week that he faces ‘impossible odds’ but they aren’t quite as bad as that.
Sebastian Vettel overhauled a 15-point deficit at Abu Dhabi in 2010, so it can certainly be done.
And after topping both of Friday’s practice sessions, Hamilton looks poised to do his bit to claim the title. But will he need a slice of luck along the way?
Meanwhile it’s farewell to Jenson Button and Felipe Massa.
The pair have driven in over 550 races between them, but despite winning a combined 26 races and one world championship, they’re unlikely to go out with a win this weekend.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing