What can we expect this weekend? Well, for starters, how about more drama and speculation over the possible breaches in last year’s cost cap as the FIA has pushed back a decision until next Monday. Apart from the politics surrounding Red Bull and the accused breach, we are in for an interesting weekend.
Weather is set to hit the track for Practise 1 and Practise 2, with the chance of rain measured at 60%, and from previous races, we know that with Mount Fuji in the distance, the weather can change drastically. For the race it’s expected to rain at the latter stages of the race, with the chance of rain expected to be around 40%.
The Suzuka Circuit returns to the Formula 1 calendar after a two-year omission, and it could be the place where Max Verstappen clinches his second World Championship. He needs to win the GP with the fastest lap to win or other results to go in his favour. Mercedes have won the last six races in Japan and will hope that their previous triumphs can aid them toward their first race win of the season.
The midfield fight is back on after a horrible weekend for Alpine and a fantastic one for McLaren, who capitalised on Alpine’s misfortunes. Performance-wise, Alpine has looked like the stronger car throughout the season, but as Fernando Alonso stated after the race, reliability issues have cost him and the team valuable points that might have pushed Alpine way over McLaren in the fight for fourth in the constructors.
New regulations might mean that on the opening laps of the race, drivers could stay closer to the cars in front through that first sector and maybe we might see an audacious overtake at 130R.
All eyes will be on the performance of Max Verstappen, with most of the expectations being that he wins the race to wrap up what has been an outstanding season for him and his Red Bull team. Max Verstappen is priced at 1/2 (1.50) to win, whilst his nearest competitor is Charles Leclerc at 3/1 (4.00), still struggling to convert his stonking pole positions into race victories. Lewis Hamilton knows his way around the circuit, winning previous races, and if there is anyone who could win in this year’s Mercedes, it’s the seven World Champion; we are pricing Hamilton to win at 12/1 (13.00).
A faultless drive got Sergio Perez a well-needed win after a poor run of races, which puts him in a great position to pick up the pieces in Japan and get on the podium at 11/10 (2.10); Carlos Sainz has bucked down to his early season form, losing confidence and rhythm with the car which was so evident under the lights of Singapore. Sainz is priced at 2/1 (3/1) to occupy a place on the podium next Sunday.
Here are some of the bets that you can place on constructor betting:
- Ferrari, to be the winner of qualifying at 1/1 (2.00)
- Red Bull, to be the winning car at 2/5 (1.40)
- Mercedes, both cars to finish top six at, 5/9 (1.45)
Practice 1 – Friday, 7th September 2022, 12:00 – 13:00
Practice 2 – Friday, 7th September 2022, 15:00 – 16:30
Practice 3 – Saturday, 8th September 2022, 12:00 – 13:00
Qualifying – Saturday, 8th September 2022, 15:00 – 16:00
Race – Sunday, 9th September 2022, 14:00 – 16:00
Times displayed are track times
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing