Abu Dhabi GP Raceday Update and Tips – JP

by | Nov 20, 2022

Abu Dhabi GP Raceday Update and Tips

James Punt has already posted his ante-post preview, now it is time for his Abu Dhabi GP Raceday update. He is recommending just one more bet for the final Raceday session of the 2022 season, see who he is backing to take pole position below.

Abu Dhabi GP Raceday Preview

It is fitting that the final grid of the season sees a Noah’s Ark line up at the front, with teams lining up in constructors table order.

Red Bull have a rare front row lock out. Perez was just 0.04 faster than Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and it was a bit of a tow from Verstappen which tipped him over the line. The Red Bull looks in a very good position to win, and a probable 1-2 finish.

They have set their car up with a healthy amount of downforce but are still very fast in a straight line. The downforce will stop the car sliding in the slower sectors and that will help with tyre degradation on what is quite an abrasive surface. Their long run pace on Friday was seeing them have a bigger advantage than their one lap pace.

Ferrari Lack Race Pace

Ferrari have shown good one lap pace all season but not so good race pace, especially in the second half of the season. They look to be worried about their tyre degradation for today’s race. Leclerc was saying the soft tyre was gone after four corners. They have decent straight line speed but if they start to lose the tyres, they will fall back from Red Bull and into the clutches of Mercedes.

The Mercedes just isn’t quick enough on this track. They have had a run of three circuits which suited the strengths of their car, this one is playing to its weaknesses. Too draggy for the straights and the denser air at sea level hurts draggy cars. Hamilton was even saying that the porpoising is back.

They were decent in sector 1 and 3 yesterday but losing around 0.4 on the long straight. That is the key to a racing lap here and while their race pace is usually better than their race pace, due to their taking more time to heat the tyres, giving up that much pace rules them out of a meritorious win. Their battle is with Ferrari, and they could still finish ahead in this race, if not the constructor’s championship.

We are on Verstappen to win the race at 2.38 and he is now the 1.57 favourite. There is no need to do anything else in that market.

Alpine vs McLaren

The Alpine vs. McLaren battle is finely poised. Alpine are nine points ahead of McLaren but Norris starts in seventh, again, one place ahead of Ocon with Alonso tenth and Ricciardo, with his three place penalty, starting thirteenth.

It will be hard for Norris to make any impression on the cars in front without some attrition so Ocon and Alonso just need to hang around to get Alpine fourth place. It is Alonso’s last race with Alpine, so expect something outlandish. He isn’t happy with Ocon and I would not put it past him to try and punt his teammate out.

Vettel Poised For Points

We have backed Sebastian Vettel to finish in the points and he starts in ninth. The Aston hasn’t looked great here but he has driven the wheels off it and their race pace is usually decent, so hopefully he brings it home in the top 10.

His top speed on the straights might make that difficult but we shall just have to wait and see. He is carrying plenty of downforce which should help with tyre deg, but how he gets on on the straights might be his weakness. Hopefully he doesn’t get punted off on the first lap a la Magnussen in Brazil.

There isn’t anyone who is really out of position further down the grid. Ricciardo did qualify in tenth place so he has the pace to move up. His race craft isn’t what it was (as exemplified by his clumsy crash with Magnussen in Brazil which got him the penalty) and this will be his last F1 race the foreseeable future for a reason.

Improved Alpine

Esteban Ocon has an Alpine that is faster on the straights than the McLaren and he will be looking to overtake Norris and secure their fourth place. The Alpine has improved nicely over the season while the McLaren has stagnated and Norris has done well to keep them in the battle, almost single handed.

Over the season the Norris vs. Ocon battle has been close, 11-10 to Norris, but Ocon has beaten him in three of the last four. Rather than backing him just to beat Norris, I’ll take Ocon to be best of the rest today.

Abu Dhabi GP Raceday Tip: 1 point Esteban Ocon to win ‘without the big six’ @ 3.50 with Ladbrokes

That is it for this race and the 2022 season. Hopefully we can go out with a few winners and we are due a bit of a break after last weekend. Onwards to 2023 and the longest Formula 1 season in history.



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