Hamilton to light up the night in Abu Dhabi

The curtain will come down on the Formula 1 season this weekend in the glamorous surroundings of Abu Dhabi, a venue, like so many others in recent times, which has been a happy hunting ground for Mercedes.

Since the start of the V6 hybrid era, the Silver Arrows have won every race, securing a one-two finish in the last three editions of the season-finale. Lewis Hamilton has become very familiar with the top step on the podium at the Yas Marina circuit, and he looks likely to be up there again come Sunday night.

Hamilton to turn it up to 11

The Brit clinched his fifth world title in Mexico but rather than ease down, as he has done in previous years, he fought hard for the win in Brazil last time out to help Mercedes retain their Constructors’ Championship.

Another win in the UAE this weekend would see him match his best total for a season, having also won 11 races in 2014. The former McLaren driver is 3.45 to do the business for a third time at a track that usually brings the best out of him.

His team mate and last year’s winner Valtteri Bottas is 4.80 to break his duck for the season and should perform well around this track once more, having dominated the 2017 race from lights to flag.

Raikkonen seeks fitting Ferrari finale

While Mercedes have thrived at this track, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has often proven to be a nightmare for Ferrari.

Since its introduction in 2009, no Scuderia driver has ever won the race, been on pole position or even cracked the top-two. Sebastian Vettel starts as the 2.40 favourite and that makes sense, as he has won three times at the track. However, they all came behind the wheel of a Red Bull.

Rather than Vettel, it is his departing team mate Kimi Raikkonen that could contend for a podium finish. The Finn will leave the Italian marque at the end of the season to take up a position with Sauber and with no pressure on his shoulders, Raikkonen could bag a 13th podium of the season at 2.65.

Red Bull seek to end Abu Dhabi struggles

Other stalwarts moving on to pastures new after this weekend are Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo, with the latter leaving Red Bull to join Renault. The Australian has never finished on the podium at Yas Marina and is unlikely to break that streak come Sunday.

The Milton Keynes-based firm have struggled at this race since the hybrid era began and based on their performances at tracks similar to this one this season, it is tough to see them cracking the top-three.

Max Verstappen is a man in-form though and he’s available at 1.90 to end up in the top three for the fifth consecutive race.

Pole key to Abu Dhabi success

For all the pleasing aesthetics provided by the £800million Yas Marina circuit and the twilight setting for the race, on-track action has often been in short supply.

The relatively narrow track was called “boring” by Verstappen last year, due to the lack of overtaking opportunities. With the winner starting from pole in the last three races, it stands to reason that whoever qualifies fastest on Saturday can continue that sequence at odds of 1.64.