Venue: Yas Marina Circuit
Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will be keen to put Formula One’s young guns in their place at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
With an average age of 23 years and 134 days, the top three in Brazil was the most junior podium in the sport’s history.
Hamilton insists he is ready to rise to the challenge and appeals at 7/4 to finish the year on a high note in our Abu Dhabi Grand Prix predictions.
The 35-year-old declared: “Whilst the numbers show I am a bit older, I feel like I am still able to kick it with these guys.”
Hamilton was third past the post in South America but later demoted to seventh for crashing into Red Bull rookie Alex Albon with just two laps to run.
Max Verstappen (22) finished ahead of Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly (23), with McLaren driver Carlos Sainz (25) the beneficiary of Hamilton’s punishment.
“I apologise to Alex and I hold my hands up for the accident,” said Hamilton. “I totally accept the blame.
“It was not my intention and you hardly ever see me collide with anyone. In hindsight, I could have waited to make the move, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
“An opportunity arose and I was in shooting distance. I gave it a shot because, in my mind, I was trying to catch Max for the win.”
One thing that statement does highlight is that Hamilton has no intention of easing off and resting on his laurels just because another title triumph was wrapped up in Texas last month!
How the Brazilian Grand Prix finished
1 Verstappen (Red Bull), 2 Gasly (Toro Rosso), 3 Sainz (McLaren), 4 Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), 5 Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 6 Ricciardo (Renault), 7 Hamilton (Mercedes), 8 Norris (McLaren), 9 Perez (Racing Point), 10 Kvyat (Toro Rosso), 11 Magnussen (Haas), 12 Russell (Williams), 13 Grosjean (Haas), 14 Albon (Red Bull), 15 Hulkenberg (Renault), 16 Kubica (Williams), DNF Vettel (Ferrari), Leclerc (Ferrari), Stroll (Racing Point), Bottas (Mercedes)
Mercedes have dominated this event in recent years, with Hamilton responsible for three of his team’s five straight victories at Yas Marina.
Nico Rosberg was successful in 2015 and Valtteri Bottas two years ago, while there have been a trio of one-two finishes during that period.
After a rare blip in Brazil, with Bottas failing to finish, technical director James Allison declared: “Overall, it was a very disappointing weekend for us.
“We want to put it behind us and move on to Abu Dhabi to put it right there and hopefully finish the season in fine style.”
To cap a brilliant day, his Red Bull team smashed the pit-stop world record, changing all four of the Dutchman’s tyres in just 1.82 seconds.
The duo had to report to Maranello headquarters to explain how they came to collide on lap 66 in an incident which saw both drivers forced to retire.
“We need to sit down and decide where the limits are to make sure these things don’t happen anymore,” said team principal Mattia Binotto.
“When we have tried to manage the drivers before, we have been criticised. When they are free to fight, we have been criticised, too.
“But we need to clarify what is silly, what is not, and what is the limit. When you have a crash, there is no doubt that something has gone wrong.”
Past Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winners:
2018 Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari), Verstappen (Red Bull)
2017 Bottas (Mercedes), Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari)
2016 Hamilton (Mercedes), Rosberg (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari)
2015 Rosberg (Mercedes), Hamilton (Mercedes), Raikkonen (Ferrari)
2014 Hamilton (Mercedes), Massa (Williams), Bottas (Williams)
Join bwin today and receive up to £10 money back as a FreeBet if your first wager at odds of 1/1 (2.0) or greater is a loser! Terms and conditions apply.