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Bottas seeks to ice Mercedes cake

Bottas seeks to ice Mercedes cake

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Mercedes are once again sitting pretty at the top of both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships and can enjoy themselves at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend having maintained their status as Formula 1’s top dogs.

The only piece of the puzzle missing for the Silver Arrows is a win for Valtteri Bottas and they should put that right under the lights of the Yas Marina Circuit.

Bottas race winner @ 4/1

The Finn heads to the United Arab Emirates capital seeking to avoid becoming only the third driver since 1994 to fail to win a race when partnered with the world champion, Rubens Barrichello (2001) and Mark Webber (2013) being the other unfortunate bridesmaids.

The former Williams man should have recorded a win before now, suffering a disastrous late puncture in Baku before being forced to allow colleague Lewis Hamilton past in Sochi.

His last opportunity to stand atop the podium comes at a track which Bottas dominated last year, securing a lights to flag triumph to continue Mercedes’ excellent run of form in F1’s only twilight race.

The Silver Arrows have won the last four editions of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and they will be the team to beat once again given the similarities the Yas Marina circuit shares with Sochi, where Mercedes secured a one-two this year.

Lewis Hamilton is 12/5 to add a fourth win in Abu Dhabi to his already jam-packed CV, while Sebastian Vettel starts as the 29/20 favourite having also won this race three times previously.

Max Verstappen podium position @ 10/11

With Ferrari having never won in the UAE since its introduction to the F1 calendar in 2009, it stands to reason that Red Bull are likely to be Mercedes’ closest challengers this weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo will be driving for Red Bull for the final time and is 5/4 to finish in the top-three but it is likely to be the Australian’s in-form team mate who ends up on the podium.

Max Verstappen is 10/11 to secure a fifth straight podium after an excellent couple of months for the young Dutch driver. He should have won in Brazil and it will be interesting to see how he approaches the man who cost him victory, Esteban Ocon, after their physical alteration at Interlagos.

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Chris Rivers An experienced journalist, Chris is very knowledgeable on a host of different sports and often focuses on NFL, boxing and Formula One. Chris is also a regular at the Emirates Stadium, which adds to his knowledge of top flight and European football.