The 2017 Formula 1 season enters its final leg this weekend with the Japanese Grand Prix at one of the world’s most famous and oldest remaining racetrack: Suzuka. The stakes are high in 2017 with the new-style high downforce cars prompting a number of drivers to pick Suzuka as the circuit they were most looking forward to race in them.
Last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton extending his lead. Sebastian Vettel put an impressive show by dashing from P20 to fourth, yet it was not enough to prevent Hamilton from going 34 points clear with five races remaining down the line. Ferrari will be desperately looking to get the better of their rival tomorrow and possibly change the momentum in their direction. Can we Ferrari pull things back? That’s the million dollar question for punting your money.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won convincingly at Sepang, which proves the team is a serious threat. Suzuka has been a track where a good aero package counts for a lot, and last year, Max Verstappen split the Mercedes on track with a solid race to second place. Meanwhile, Red Bull are arguably even stronger this year compared to Mercedes. However, Hamilton was the only driver from Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull to set a time in the second practice session held on Friday, with only five drivers out of the 14 posting a time, and the rest failing to do so. Meanwhile, the upcoming race will be a final goodbye for McLaren-Honda at Suzuka, and there will definitely be a good deal of expectation for the entire team to make themselves proud on Honda home soil. Still, not many will back Honda for online betting.
The esses in the first sector of the rack are where the new cars will be particularly effective by comparison to the previous models of last year, with the improved grip allowing the drivers to go harder and faster than before. Pirelli are bringing their P Zero white medium, yellow soft and red supersoft tyre compounds, and it will be interesting how the cars will cope with long and fast corners such as 130R – providing the longest continuous g-force loading of the year.
Hamilton and Vettel are still the favorites on this Sunday to win Japanese grand prix for online betting. Hamilton is perhaps a nose ahead of the German. Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo will strive hard to build on the Sepang win and create a late resurgence for Red Bull. Valtteri Bottas too will quietly fancying his chances.