F1 Betting Preview: Back the Red Bull cars to be at home at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo – To finish on the podium at 10/11 (1.91) Ladbrokes

Fernando Alonso – To finish ‘in the points’ at 5/6 (1.83) William Hill

There have been seven F1 races at the $1 billion Yas Marina Circuit  in Abu Dhabi;  during which time four drivers have finished on the top step of the podium:  Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton (twice), Sebastian Vettel (three times) and last year’s winner, Nico Rosberg.

Despite his two previous wins, this is arguably not a good circuit for Lewis Hamilton.  In the inaugural race (in 2009) he qualified on pole but was forced to retire after 18 laps with brake issues.  In 2012 he was leading the race when grinding to a halt with a technical issue.  Last season he was out-qualified by his teammate by a significant margin (almost four-tenths of a second) and was a comprehensive second best in the race itself.

Statistically pole position is not an outstanding advantage at the Yas Marina circuit though.  Just two pole setters have gone on to claim the race victory, four winners have started second and the 2012 winner, Kimi Raikkonen, began in fourth.

Pinpointing this weekend’s betting value can only be done when accepting the best form indicators need to be pulled from the results at medium-to-high downforce tracks such as Singapore, Monaco and Hungary – this being a circuit of a similar ilk and featuring comparable atmospheric conditions.

This autopsy points us in the direction of Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo.  The Australian was robbed of victory in Monaco after his team botched a pit-stop, he ultimately finished the race in second as he also did in Singapore where his margin of defeat was just half-a-second.  In Hungary Ricciardo took third behind the mightily fast Mercedes cars.

It looks inevitable the Red Bull cars will be highly competitive at this circuit which may have two long straights but also features six corners that are taken at speeds of less than 100kph.  The Red Bull is a car that is notorious for cornering like it is on rails.

And so, added to the simple fact Daniel Ricciardo has finished on the podium in seven of his last ten races, we very much like Ladbrokes 10/11 about him taking that sequence to eight from eleven on Sunday.

Using the same theory, Fernando Alonso finishing amongst the points (a top-10 finish) is a ‘lock-in’.  The Spaniard finished seventh, fifth and seventh in those three races and is six-from-ten for points finishes in the latter half of this season.

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