Brazilian Grand Prix Betting Preview: Great Odds on Vettel & Hulkenberg

Formula One's most controversial new rule for 2014 has produced a unprecedented situation at this weekend's race. Although it is the penultimate round of the season and the drivers' championship is still up for grabs, the title cannot be won this weekend. We'll have to wait until the final race in Abu Dhabi two weeks later - where twice as many points are on offer - to discover whether Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg will be crowned champion.

Title battle could affect victory fight

But the championship situation could have a significant bearing on Hamilton's approach to the race. The points situation is such that he is guaranteed to be champion if he finishes second in both the remaining races. Moreover in a situation where he is running second to Rosberg - as he was on Sunday - Hamilton would have little to gain from passing his team. However he would have a lot to lose if he tangled with his team mate and failed to score - as happened in Belgium.

Hamilton's tenth victory of the season saw his odds on winning the title fall to 1.12, while Rosberg is on 5.00 (Daniel Ricciardo is now out of contention). Mercedes have been so dominant this year that when working out who is likely to win the title we can assume their drivers are likely to achieve one of three outcomes at each event: win, second, or fail to finish.

The injustice of the double points system means that Hamilton and Rosberg could each take a win and a no-score from the final races, but depending on which order that happens, a different champion will be crowned. The nightmare scenario for Hamilton is that he suffers more Mercedes unreliability in Abu Dhabi and fails to score, leaving Rosberg to win the race and title.

Rain may give Red Bull a chance

The forecast of persistent rain throughout the Brazilian Grand Prix will be welcomed by some teams but not by others. As has been demonstrated several times already this season, Red Bull fly in wet conditions but Williams struggle.

With qualifying and the race likely to be affected by rain, it's worth checking out the odds of the Red Bull drivers getting involved in the contest for pole position and victory. In a rain-hit qualifying session in Malaysia earlier this year Sebastian Vettel came within five-hundredths of a second of beating Hamilton to pole. Hamilton is favourite for pole this weekend on 1.60, with Rosberg on 2.40. Vettel's odds of 41.0 could be the pick of the season if Saturday is wet, and team mate Daniel Ricciardo is similarly good value on 25.0

Vettel has never completed an F1 season without scoring a win, but that will happen if he doesn't take victory in either of the next two races. A wet race at Interlagos would be his best chance, and he's on odds of 29.0 for victory and 4.0 for a podium. But it's Ricciardo who's done all the winning for Red Bull so far this year - he's priced at 22.0 to take his fourth win of 2014 and 2.30 to take his ninth podium.

But for a wet weather podium long-shot with real credibility, look at Nico Hulkenberg. He's a star when it rains at Interlagos - taking pole position in 2010 and leading much of the race in 2012. He's got a Mercedes behind him, and at 151.0 for a top three shot you won't need to put much on him for a chance to claim major bragging rights.

Keith Collantine is the editor of Formula One blog F1 Fanatic.