Lewis Hamilton must beat Nico Rosberg in the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.
Mercedes duo Hamilton and Rosberg have been battling all season for the Drivers’ Championship and it could go down to the last race of the season.
Rosberg only needs to win the Brazilian Grand Prix to ensure he is champion. But can Englishman Hamilton get the result he needs to take the rivalry to Abu Dhabi?
Let’s check out his chances…
Hamilton v Rosberg: The 2016 story so far
Nico Rosberg got off to a blistering start in 2016, winning the first four races. Hamilton failed to convert pole positions in Australia and Bahrain into victories as Rosberg stormed into an early lead in the Drivers’ Championship. After Dutchman Max Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton hit back with six wins in the next seven races, including Canada, the UK and Germany.
But once again the pendulum swung in Rosberg’s favour as the German won three races on the bounce to regain the lead in the Championship. A freak Daniel Ricciardo triumph in Malaysia — secured when Hamilton’s engine caught fire — was a big boost for Rosberg.
Hamilton has won the last two Grand Prix — in the USA and Mexico — and as the Americas leg of the season comes to an end he must be in high spirits. Hamilton has kept his head above water over the past month and could do some real damage to Rosberg’s lead in Brazil.
F1 Drivers’ Championship Standings
Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton by 19 points heading into the last two races of the season. Twenty-five points are awarded for a Grand Prix win and 18 for second place. So, even if Hamilton comes second and Rosberg first, the German would have an insurmountable 26-point lead heading into the final race in Abu Dhabi.
Conversely, if Hamilton wins and Rosberg comes second, the Brit will have 355 points heading into the last race, with his rival leading on 367. This could go down to the wire.
Brazilian Grand Prix F1 betting
Look no further than Hamilton v Rosberg here. This is where the story is. Qualifying will be crucial — especially for Hamilton who has endured a number of bad starts from pole position this season. Last year Rosberg qualified first and won the race — just as he did in 2014.
In fact, you have to go back to 2012 to find a Hamilton pole in Brazil. That year he lost out on a race win to fellow Brit Jenson Button.
So, history suggests Rosberg should win this race. However, the odds are against Rosberg to qualify on pole. Despite dominating this circuit for the last two years, Rosberg is 2.40 to qualifying first, with Hamilton at 1.75. F1 betting fans may want to side with Rosberg here.
If you’re wanting a quick and easy combination bet — albeit at slim odds — then both Hamilton and Rosberg to qualify in the top three at 1.26 is not a bad shout.
The race itself should see both Mercedes drivers finish in the top two. Let’s face it, for the rest of the field this is merely a procession now and they’ll likely leave the two big dogs to battle it out at the front.
Hamilton is 1.70 to win the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Rosberg out at 2.75. Ricciardo, one of only two other men to have won a race this year, is out at 12.00.