Lewis Hamilton in Pole Position to Claim Formula 1 Title with One Race Left

| December 6, 2021 7:39 am PST

It’s the season finale that pretty much every Formula 1 fan was hoping for.

Following Sunday’s action-packed Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the two title protagonists – Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton – are locked on the same number of points with only one race left.

2021 FORMULA 1 DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
Driver Team Race Wins Total Points
Max Verstappen Red Bull 9 369.5
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 8 369.5
Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1 218
Sergio Perez Red Bull 1 190
Charles Leclerc Ferrari 158

With one more race win to his name, Verstappen leads Hamilton in the standings. But the Brit has won each of the previous three races to set up a winner-takes-all showdown in Abu Dhabi.

The closest title battle in F1 history will be decided at the Yas Marina Circuit this Sunday, December 12.

Can Verstappen hold on to win his first-ever title? Or will Hamilton claim a record eighth championship this weekend? The latest odds for the Formula 1 title suggest that Hamilton is in pole position.

2021 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship Odds

  • Lewis Hamilton (1.40)
  • Max Verstappen (3.00)

Having won each of the last three races, Hamilton is now the clear favorite to win the championship with all the best online Formula 1 sportsbooks.

Verstappen was priced at 1.33 after cruising to victory at the Mexico City Grand Prix last month. A fortnight ago, the 24-year-old’s odds rose to 2.30 following Hamilton’s win in Qatar.

Fast-forward to today – the Red Bull man is the bookies’ outsider to clinch the title. Hamilton’s price of 1.40 tells you everything you need to know about the direction in which the championship has swung.

So, how did we get here?

Reliving the Chaotic Saudi Arabian GP

It is no exaggeration to say that Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go down as one of the craziest F1 races of all time.

Hamilton started on pole, with Bottas in P2 and Verstappen in P3. But when Mick Schumacher crashed on lap 10, the mayhem ensued.

The race was stopped twice, with the safety car being deployed on three occasions following multiple crashes. The lead continuously changed hands before Hamilton eventually ran away with the win.

SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX RESULTS
Driver Time Points
Lewis Hamilton 2:06:15.118 26
Max Verstappen +21.825s 18
Valtteri Bottas +27.531s 15

The major talking point came with 13 laps remaining. Verstappen was ordered to hand the lead back to Hamilton after forcing the Mercedes man off the track during an overtake.

When Verstappen slowed to let his rival past, Hamilton smashed into the back of the Red Bull – damaging his front wing.

Six laps later, Verstappen finally let Hamilton past. The Dutchman was handed a 10-second penalty by the stewards for the incident, which enabled Hamilton to finish more than 20 seconds in front.

Crucially, Hamilton also recorded the fastest lap of the race. That extra point saw the seven-time champion move level with Verstappen on 369.5 points.

Who will clinch the crown this weekend?

Looking Ahead to the Abu Dhabi GP

As the bookmakers’ odds suggest, Hamilton has the upper hand as the Formula 1 circus travels to Abu Dhabi for the final race of this thrilling season.

When Verstappen won back-to-back races in the USA and Mexico, it looked as though the Red Bull youngster would seal the title. But a lot has changed since then.

Not only has Hamilton won each of the past three races, but he also secured pole position in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

It is clear that Mercedes has gained an edge over Red Bull in recent weeks, and Hamilton has taken full advantage of his car’s new-found speed.

Of course, anything can happen on Sunday. Everything has to be absolutely perfect for both drivers if they want to get their hands on the trophy, so the stakes could not be higher.

As things stand, it feels like Hamilton in on course to clinch an eighth championship. But you would be foolish to write off Verstappen, who will do everything he can to upset the odds in Abu Dhabi.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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