Vettel wins in Brazil, but Hamilton pace shows Mercedes are still top

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Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, but Lewis Hamilton’s drive to fourth was the real talking point.

A crash in qualifying left this year’s champion starting from the pit-lane. But a storming drive through the field saw the Englishman finish just five seconds behind race-winner Vettel.

It was yet another clear indication that despite Ferrari’s progress and challenge to Mercedes this season, the German outfit are still the team to beat.

And so Hamilton goes into the season finale in Abu Dhabi as 10/11 favourite to sign off with a victory.

Vettel, whose title hopes evaporated with a self-inflicted retirement in Singapore and power unit problems in Malaysia and Japan, is 2/1.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas is 6/1, but the Finn has been a little lacklustre in recent races, despite racking up a string of podium finishes.

Red Bull Racing duo Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are next at 10/1 and 12/1 respectively.

The pair were hamstrung in Brazil after engine supplier Renault were forced to turn down their power units to ensure they reached the finish.

So their hopes in Abu Dhabi will rest on whether the French manufacturer has made improvements.

Kimi Raikkonen is the only driver from the leading three teams not to win a race this season.

The 2007 world champion could have won in Monaco, but has otherwise failed to really threaten for a victory.

The oldest driver in the field is 16/1 to ensure he doesn’t suffer a winless campaign in two weeks’ time.

As for next season, the odds suggest Hamilton will again face a stern challenge.

The 32-year-old is 11/8 favourite to win the 2018 championship, but Verstappen and Vettel are right in the hunt at 10/3 apiece.

Ricciardo is 6/1, while 10/1 says two-time champion Fernando Alonso – in a McLaren-Renault – makes a long-overdue return to the top.

Click here for all our Formula One odds.

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