- Lewis Hamilton is a narrow +150 favorite to earn a sixth career win at the Japanese Grand Prix
- Hamilton has posted nine wins this season, and sports a massive 73-point lead on the F1 Drivers Standings
- Charles Leclerc sits second at +165 after posting wins in two of the past four races
Lewis Hamilton will be looking to extend his recent domination at the Japanese Grand Prix, when he hits the track at Suzuka Circuit for Sunday morning’s race (Oct. 13) perched as a narrow +150 favorite in the Formula One odds.
Odds to Win 2019 Japanese Grand Prix
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||+100000|
*All odds herein taken 10/09/19.
Hamilton Aims for Sixth Career Win in Japan
Hamilton has taken the checkered flag at Suzuka on five occasions including four of the past five years, leaving him just one win short of the race record held by Michael Schumacher, who earned six career Japanese Grand Prix wins.
The two-time defending Formula One is coming off his ninth win of the season two weeks ago at the Russian Grand Prix, and now holds a virtually insurmountable 73-point lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas atop this season’s F1 Drivers Standings.
The 34-year-old has also dominated in qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix. Hamilton started from the pole in each of his four recent victories at Suzuka, and joins Charles Leclerc as a +165 co-favorite to do it again this weekend.
Japanese Grand Prix Recent Winners
|Year||Driver||Margin of Victory|
|2018||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||12.919 sec|
|2017||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||1.211 sec|
|2016||Nico Rosberg – Mercedes||4.978 sec|
|2015||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||18.964 sec|
|2014||Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes||9.180 sec|
Typhoon Hagibis Likely to Wreak Havoc
Weather is likely to play a massive role this weekend, as Typhoon Hagibis rapidly approaches. The super typhoon is expected to hit the Suzuka area on Saturday, with winds reaching up to 140 mph, and threatening to wash out Saturday’s qualifying session.
— Time Post (@thetimeposts) October 8, 2019
It wouldn’t be the first time that the Japanese Grand Prix has been disrupted by a major storm. Race organizers were forced to move qualifying to Sunday due to severe on two previous occasions, in 2004 and 2010.
Hamilton also has experience in bad weather at Suzuka, qualifying third before being pushed back to eighth on the grid in 2010, and driving to victory in 2014 on a rain-soaked track in the aftermath of Typhoon Phanfone.
Odds to Take Pole Position at 2019 Japanese Grand Prix
Strong Qualifying Key to Success
However, strong qualifying has proven to be crucial to success at this race, with Japanese Grand Prix winners starting from the front row in all but two editions of the race since 1991. That’s good news for Leclerc, who closely trails Hamilton as a +165 second favorite in the Japanese Grand Prix odds.
Will @Charles_Leclerc be able to get five pole positions in a row? @ScuderiaFerrari did not score a pole position at @suzukacircuit since 2006 with @MassaFelipe19. @alo_oficial @RaikkonenOficia and #SebastianVettel never had one there…#leclerc #ferrari #F1 #JapaneseGP #SuzukaF1
— Carlos Frederico PSG (@carloswancide) October 4, 2019
The 21-year-old has been dominant in qualifying of late, taking the pole in each of the past four races, and on six occasions overall this season. Leclerc’s strong showing in qualifying has produced dividends on race day, with wins at Belgium and Italy, and podium finishes in all six of the races in which he has earned the pole position.
Vettel Looks to Recapture Past Glory
A strong track record of success at this race has also benefited Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel. The four-time F1 champion has finished on the podium on seven previous occasions including four career victories, fueling his strong position in the odds to win the Japanese Grand Prix at +275.
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has rated his 2019 Formula 1 thus far giving himself “two-minus (or B-) for his performances in what is turning out to be a watershed moment for the four-time World Champion. #grandprix247 #newsroom https://t.co/9E6yMVh66s pic.twitter.com/rDKLkvV1GB
— F1 and Coffee???? (@F1Coffee) October 4, 2019
Vettel has endured a shaky campaign in 2019, posting just win and reaching the podium in just three of his past nine races, and has started from the front row of the grid just once in his past five appearances.
Bottas, Verstappen Aim for First Win at Suzuka
Further down the Japanese Grand Prix odds, Bottas trails the favorites at +700, just ahead of Max Verstappen at +750, while Alexander Albon lags at a lengthy +10000.
Bottas turned in a career-best second-place finish last year at Suzuka, after qualifying alongside Hamilton on the front row, and has been a fixture on the podium this season, finishing top three in 12 of 16 races. That has left the 30-year-old Finn pegged as an attractive -120 wager to earn a podium finish at this weekend’s race.
Red Bull seeking further improvement in Suzuka, says Verstappen. OCTOBER 9, 2019 (c) 2019 Reuters [MOTOR-F1-JAPAN/REDBULL] (STREAM-700-16X9-MP4) pic.twitter.com/PS3rwMy8m3
— chris and the Fippos (@dotfip) October 9, 2019
Verstappen has reached the podium just once in his past four races after enjoying a sensational midseason stretch that produced wins at both Austria and Germany. The 22-year-old will likely enjoy considerable fan support in Japan driving for Red Bull Racing, whose engines are provided by Japanese automaker Honda. Verstappen will be looking to build on solid performances in each of his past three appearances at this race, which have produced a pair of second-place finishes and three straight starts from the second row, making him an attractive +175 bet to once again reach the podium.
Picks: Hamilton to take pole position (+165), Verstappen to finish top three (+175)
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