Yes, Lewis Hamilton was the winner at the Russian Grand Prix, but the real news came from Ferrari, as Sebastian Vettel disobeyed team orders and a virtual safety car ended up taking the lead from Charles LeClerc, leaving Hamilton and the Silver Arrows to take the victory. Hamilton had not won in four races before taking first in Russia, and this was the first one-two finish for the Silver Arrows since July, when they pulled it off at the British Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s teammate, could catch Hamilton, although it is more likely that Hamilton will push to a victory, perhaps as soon as the Mexico race. This weekend, if Hamilton and Bottas finish one-two again, they would clinch the Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes. We have the F1 odds for each driver at Suzuka as well as thoughts about the teams.
F1 2019 Japan Grand Prix Odds & Betting Preview
Typhoon Hagibis is being closely monitored ahead of this weekend's #JapaneseGP 🇯🇵
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2019
- When: Sunday, October 13th, 2019. 2am.
- Where: Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: Formula1.com
Driver Odds to Win the 2019 Japan Grand Prix
- Lewis Hamilton 6/4
- Charles Leclerc 2/1
- Sebastian Vettel 7/2
- Valtteri Bottas 7/1
- Max Verstappen 8/1
- Alexander Albon 125/1
- Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris 500/1
- Sergio Perez, Daniil Kvyat, Kimi Raikkonen, Pierre Gasly,
Antonio Giovinazzi, Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen 1000/1
- Lance Stroll 1500/1
- George Russell, Robert Kubica 3000/1
The Suzuka course dates all the way back to the 1960s, when John Hugenholtz designed it as a test course for Honda. Within the first sector, the corners that require top speed without any rest in concentration are grueling as the course goes by. Then comes the Spoon Curve, which several drivers have described as the entire circuit’s most difficult corner. Common problems include oversteer and front-locking.
If you want to make a pass, the tight chicane right near the conclusion of the lap is your best chance. If you are willing to balance aggressiveness with caution in the right way through the braking zone, you can carom off the curbs and burst away from a competitor.
Will Lewis Hamilton pick up his sixth win at Suzuka in his career?
That would bring him level with Michael Schumacher for the most career wins at the Japan Grand Prix. Hamilton won here in 2018, leading from start to finish. The Silver Arrows will bring an upgrade this weekend.
Right behind Hamilton is Sebastian Vettel, who has won at Suzuka four times, each year between 2010 and 2013 back when he drove for Red Bull. If Vettel or Charles LeClerc can take the win, it would represent Ferrari’s first win here in 15 years — when Michael Schumacher won leading from start to finish.
What About LeClerc?
LeClerc’s strategy will include a maximum performance in qualifying on Saturday and avoiding the drama that brought so much trouble for Ferrari at Sochi. LeClerc has taken the pole in four straight races and looks to win that position again. Because there is really only one plummy passing zone on this course, winning the pole is an excellent predictor for the winner of the race. Each of the last three Grands Prix in Japan have been won by the driver who started in pole position. In fact, if LeClerc wins the pole, he would approach the record of eight straight pole positions, which Senna has held since 1988-89, when he started his run in Spain and finished it in the United States.
Should You Keep an Eye Out for Red Bull?
Red Bull incurred grid penalties in Sochi as the team decided to implement engine changes so that they would have served their time before the team’s home race this weekend. Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon will both have new Spec 4 Honda power units, and Red Bull typically holds cornering advantages over Ferrari, which could prove significant not just in qualifying but also in the race itself. This is Albon’s first Formula 1 spin at Suzuka, although he has raced on the course in karts.