Japanese Grand Prix Betting Tips & Preview – Sunday 7th October 2018

Japanese Grand Prix Track Guide

It’s not that long ago that the race for the drivers’ championship was wide open. Things can change quickly in Formula 1 though and Lewis Hamilton almost looks home and hosed the in the race for yet another title. Hamilton is a best price of 1/20 to kick on and win the title and he’ll fancy his chances of extending his lead over Sebastian Vettel by winning the Japanese Grand Prix for a fifth time.

This is not a race to simply take for granted though. Drivers are always pushed to their limits at the notoriously tricky Suzuka Circuit while the inclement weather forecast for the practice sessions could play havoc with teams’ preparations. Mercedes will doubtless need to be on top of their game but it’s hard to imagine the other teams will make the necessary improvements to challenge the Silver Arrows’ star man so we’re predicting another Hamilton success.

Top Tips

Lewis Hamilton to win @ 5/6

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

Suzuka Circuit, home of the Japanese Grand Prix since 2003, is the only figure of eight track currently used in Formula 1. The bridge at turn 15 is perhaps the best known corner at Suzuka but this is a track which tests the world’s best drivers throughout. Suzuka includes every type of corner and the three sections all reward different elements of an F1 car. Although there are very few run-off areas, overtaking is possible towards the end of sector two and into sector three, a section which is more about straight line speed than the tricky first sector.

RoundCountryCircuitRace Distance
17/21 Japan Suzuka Circuit 307km / 53 Laps

Schedule

 DateStart TimeFinish TimeForecast ConditionsTV Coverage
Practice 1 Fri 5th October 02:00 03:30 Showers / 23° Sky F1
Practice 2 Fri 5th October 06:00 07:30 Dry / 26° Sky F1
Practice 3 Sat 6th October 04:00 05:00 Dry / 28° -
Qualifying Sat 6th October 07:00 08:00 Showers / 28° Sky F1
Race Sun 7th October 06:10 08:10 Showers / 28° Sky F1

Last Season's Result (2017)

Lewis Hamilton won his fourth Japanese Grand Prix 12 months ago. His was comfortably the fastest car through each section of qualifying and he had little trouble in getting the job done from pole position. Such was Hamilton’s dominance over the competition that he even managed to break the lap record at the Suzuka Circuit for what was the 61st Grand Prix win of his career.

While Hamilton will return to Suzuka with great memories this week, Sebastian Vettel will have decidedly mixed memories. The good memories come from his own four wins in Japan but he won’t forget last year’s race - when his Ferrari failed on the final lap - for a long time.

PositionDriverCarGrid PositionPoints
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1 25
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 4 18
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 3 15
4 Valteri Bottas Mercedes 6 12
5 Sergio Perez Kimi Raikkonen 10 10
6 Esteban Ocon Force India 5 8
7 Sergio Perez Force India 7 6
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas 12 4
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 13 2
10 Felipe Massa Williams 8 1

Race News: Row Opens Up Over Team Orders

Team orders were the big story at last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix. Mercedes decided that Lewis Hamilton’s significant lead over Sebastian Vettel at the top of the F1 drivers’ championship was not big enough to risk the British driver finishing second to his teammate, Valteri Bottas. Bottas’s radio communication with the pit teams suggested that he was far from happy to move aside and give up a golden chance to win his first race of the season but he sucked it up and did what was best for the team.

Hamilton himself suggested that the nature of his win made it hard to enjoy. Deep down though, he’ll be delighted to have opened up a 50 point gap over Vettel and it’s hard to argue that it’s undeserved. The situation did reopen the row over team orders as fans would love nothing more than to see the best drivers get a chance to race against each other. Can you fault Mercedes for doing everything in their power to secure another drivers’ title though?

Analysis: Mercedes to Execute Plan with Precision

Many F1 fans believe that Suzuka is the most challenging track that the drivers visit all year. It’s never just about the drivers though and the teams will need to get through a lot of work in the early stages of the week to ensure that they hit upon the optimum set up. That’s going to be a lot tougher if the rain disrupts the practice sessions so Ferrari and Red Bull may have to take the odd gamble in their quest to close the gap with Mercedes.

Of those two it’s Ferrari who have taken the more aggressive route in terms of the tires they’ve brought to Japan. Their choice of a SuperSoft-Soft combination shows that they believe the time has already come for them to take a bit of a risk. The power of the Ferrari’s coupled with that choice makes them a danger but Mercedes will believe that their more reserved, thought out strategy will secure maximum points.

Vettel to Push for Japanese Redemption

The aggressive strategy of the Ferrari’s this week will be music to the ears of Sebastian Vettel. The German is desperate to make up for last year’s late disappointment and will not stop chasing Hamilton until the drivers’ championship is over. We’ll learn a lot in practice so if the early signs are good, expect Vettel to qualify very strongly indeed.

Final Verdict: Hamilton To Win

Lewis Hamilton will, once again be very aware that Vettel is his main challenger. Ferrari are hopeful of a good week and may be able to close the gap in terms of performance but Mercedes never rest on their laurels and will be 100% committed to their own strategy. This should be an entertaining race but Hamilton is the man to beat at 5/6 with BetVictor even though it may be worth betting on Vettel to have the fastest lap at 9/2 with Ladbrokes.

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