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The Tenner Bet

The Tenner Bet has become about as predictable as a Sebastian Vettel grand prix win.

Which, of course, is a very predictable way of telling everyone that this week's bet is going to be on Formula One. I would forgive readers now should they wish to skip to the foot of this column to find out my pick because, frankly, even I am getting a little bored with F1 betting – even if it is a pretty lucrative pursuit. I can't look for the very obvious reason that I haven't written what's at the bottom yet. Don't tell me, though. It's become such a dull task that I require at least one surprise.

You see, despite not picking Vettel to win last weekend, it was bloody obvious that he was going to.

Indeed, I said as much in the column but then late in the day changed my mind and went for Lewis Hamilton. In hindsight, the stick-on bet was the German to complete the hat trick (pole, fastest lap and first place) at 5/1 but then, just as I can't skip to the bottom of the column now, I couldn't fast forward to the end of the race then.

Today, though, there is evidence to suggest that the Abu Dhabi grand prix will not be as one-sided as the last four have been.

For example, Fernando Alonso got closer in India than he has done recently, while he overtook Mark Webber in the other Red Bull.

THE RACE

Ferrari brings some new updates into Abu Dhabi, McLaren gets a second attempt to put things right with its car while Red Bull remains the one to catch.

There were signs last time out that they might do that and Abu Dhabi is a different course to the ones which Red Bull have thrived on of late. There isn't much need for the kind of tyre-burning speed that the Red Bull possesses and this could be a race where the Ferrari excels not least with Alonso at the wheel. In two of the last three Abu Dhabi grands prix the pole-sitter has exited the race early and while there isn't much room for overtaking, the Spaniard went from the grid to the podium in last year's race. Clearly, he has the mettle for the challenge and with this one of the best chances for Alonso to get back into the drivers' championship, he will be anxious to take it.

THE BET

Alonso gets the nod because Vettel is just too skinny this week. Everything points to the German once again but I just have a gut feeling that this may be the week when the championship takes another turn, especially with the track better suited to the Ferrari.

Qualifying doesn't appear to be as important at the Yas Marina circuit given that the driver on pole has only managed one win from the three races thus far. At a general 5/1, Alonso is the pick ahead of Vettel and the McLarens.

Sergio Perez, whose replacement at Sauber will be Nico Hulkenburg, Paul Di Resta's stablemate at Force India, may well demonstrate just why McLaren were so keen to snap him up once Hamilton opted to join Mercedes. He's 4/1 for a podium finish and is this week's saver.

SEASON'S TOTAL

Profits were almost halved by what now seems an impetuous decision to go for Hamilton and ignore the blindingly obvious bet that was Vettel for the hat trick. As it is, the total stands at £25.06.

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