Japanese Grand Prix has become an all-important race in the pulsating formula one title race between Nico Rosberg and Hamilton. All eyes will be on the Mercedes duo when the final race begins at Suzuka circuit tomorrow.
Just four more races remain in 2016 after the Japanese Grand Prix. Rosberg has established a 23-point lead over Hamilton, following the anti-climax in Malaysia last week. Hamilton was leading the race in Malaysia for the most part, while Rosberg appeared down and out following an early collision. Hamilton’s car engine busted in the dying minutes of the race and he had to withdraw. And Rosberg painstakingly overtook one driver after another to clinch the third spot. The Malaysian Grand Prix was ample proof for those interested in betting that a race ain’t over till the checkered flag is shown.
Circuit and history
The Suzuka circuit has a peculiar shoe-string design. It is 5.807 kilometers long. The drivers have to cover a total distance 307.573 over 53 laps. Hamilton has fond memories of the circuit, having won here thrice, including the last two seasons. The king of Suzuka, though, is Michael Schumacher who has notched up six victories here.
Last year Hamilton finished first and Rosberg finished second. A similar one-two will secure the constructors’ title for Mercedes tomorrow.
Rosberg was quicker than Hamilton during practice session. But you cannot read much into that, as Hamilton was right there behind his teammate. The threat of rain looms over the race. The teams will be preparing a plan B incase it rains during the race.
Hamilton appeared in a belligerent mood following the engine failure last month. He openly asked why it is happening only to his Mercedes car. A win here would soothe his nerve and herald an exciting title battle. If you concede further points to Rosberg, it will be game over for him.
Daniel Ricciardo, who won the Malaysian Grand Prix, looked subdued in practice. But his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen looked super quick. If it rains, the Red Bull teenagers will fancy their chances, as the wet conditions will somewhat negate Mercedes’ fast vehicles. Still, for online betting, a Mercedes one-two will be the most realistic result.
Photo Credits: SkySports