Sebastian Vettel looks set to retain his world title with just one point needed from the final five races. Jensen Button – the only man who can stop him – has to win all five.
However, the race for second remains wide open. There is only 17 points between Button on 185 and fifth-placed Lewis Hamilton.
McLaren’s strong practice sessions so far have set them up for a good weekend…
Continuing his good form, 2009 world champion Button has finished top in the First and Second Practices. He is 8/1 to qualify fastest in Q3 and start from pole in Suzuka.
Vettel, however, is the favourite to start on pole at 2/5 and has qualified top in the last four races.
Hamilton has also qualified strongly in recent races and at 7/1 represents a good bet in the same market.
Can you ignore Vettel, last year’s race winner, at 8/13?
Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber is 8/11 to make the podium, which is the same price as Hamilton and Button, with the seemingly infallible Vettel at 1/6.
Kamui Kobayashi will look to improve on last year’s seventh place on home soil. He is 7/1 for a top-six finish in his Sauber.
Button and Hamilton have two wins apiece this season, making McLaren worth a punt at 11/4 to triumph.
Despite dominating this season’s championship, Vettel has failed to record the fastest lap time since Valencia in June and 11/4 represents the best opportunity to back Vettel at longer odds than in any other market.
Button has made the podium in every race since the German Grand Prix in July. He looks a positive option for second at 13/8.
Although struggling for form this season, if last year’s end-of-season results are anything to go by, Hamilton is a good outside option for second at 4/1.