Lewis Hamilton has one more chance to keep his winning streak alive.
The seven-time Formula 1 champion has won at least one race in each of his 15 previous F1 seasons. But he enters the 2022 season finale at Abu Dhabi on Sunday (8 a.m. ET, ESPN2) without a win so far this season. And he hasn’t been close to victory for much of the season.
Mercedes' (relative) struggles are well-known at this point. But the team showed some serious speed in Brazil just a few days ago as George Russell easily finished first and Hamilton rebounded from a collision with Max Verstappen to finish second.
Mercedes was the dominant team at Brazil as its straight-line speed problems were minimized by speed throughout the corners at Interlagos. While Mercedes will likely have the fastest cars through the twisty sections of the Abu Dhabi track, the track’s two long straightaways could end up hurting Hamilton’s chances at a win.
If Mercedes can make up for a straight-line speed deficit, then Hamilton and Russell will be in contention once again. And the odds for the race reflect that. While Verstappen is the favorite at +125, Hamilton is close behind at +250 and Russell is at +350.
No one else is very close. Sergio Perez is +800 to win the race while Charles Leclerc is +1000 and Carlos Sainz is +1400.
While Verstappen’s quest for a 15th win and Hamilton’s win streak are the two dominant storylines entering the race, the battle between Perez and Leclerc for second in the points standings is also incredibly intriguing entering the final race. Both drivers have 290 points and the exact same average finish (5.5).
Perez would be ahead of Leclerc in the standings if Verstappen had traded spots with him on the final lap as he was directed to by Red Bull. But Verstappen instead chased Fernando Alonso for the entirety of the lap and kept his position.
Will Verstappen be willing to help Perez if his teammate needs it at Abu Dhabi? He should if he can. Red Bull wants the 1-2 finish in the driver’s standings and Verstappen has nothing to lose on that front.
Here are our picks ahead of the final race of the 2022 season. All odds are from BetMGM.
Lewis Hamilton to finish in the top 3 (-160)
Mercedes has been stronger than Ferrari recently and that should continue.
Sergio Perez to finish ahead of Charles Leclerc (-140)
We’re banking on the Red Bull 1-2 finish in the points standings.
Sebastian Vettel to finish ahead of Valtteri Bottas (-110)
Alfa Romeo hasn’t had the pace it did at the beginning of the season.
Sebastian Vettel to finish in the top 10 (-105)
Vettel should score points in his final F1 race.
Lewis Hamilton to win the race (+250)
This is probably a sucker bet. But it certainly would be something if Hamilton kept his win streak alive at the track where he lost his eighth title because of a breach in protocols by the race director a season ago.